Monthly Archives: October 2011

way back playback: ghosts of hallowe’ens past

ok, technically, i never dressed up as a ghost when i was little. that would have been way too boring!

hallowe'en, age 22 months: first costume - a little witch!

from age four on, my costume ideas needed to include either makeup, jewellery, and wigs or fancy dresses in order to be considered as possibilities. while we never had hand-sewn costumes, we never ever had store-bought outfits purchased from zellers – you know, the plastic pull-on ones. rather, our costumes were a mix of dress-up box items, mom’s closet finds or stuff from our own wardrobe. i was always very happy with my final choices!

hallowe'en age two: a cat! remember how those plastic masks would make your face sweat?!

and boy oh boy, did i love hallowe’en! seriously, i would have been hard pressed to tell you which was better: hallowe’en or christmas.

hallowe'en, age three: a teddy bear! (mom had the costume from when she taught kindergarten!)

so many parts of hallowe’en were just too much fun: dressing up; parties and special activities at school; evening trick or treating traditions. i DID like getting all the treats, but to be honest, that was not the highlight of hallowe’en – i’d have to give that honour to dressing up.

hallowe'en, age four: an old lady. this is the first year i remember picking my own costume idea

here’s what went down at our place on hallowe’en evening (these memories come from the ages of five to about twelve, i’d say)…

hallowe'en age five: a witch! the obvious choice that year because i was missing a front tooth!

same year - this time the brother was the teddy!

my mom would stay at home and hand out the candy while dad took us out and about in the neighbourhood to collect our candy. the brother and i always went door-to-door with vfbf joanne, her sister, and their dad. we’d do quite a tour through our neighbourhood. hey – didn’t you always hate the years when it was chilly and you had to wear a coat over your costume?

hallowe'en age seven - mickey mouse (daytime for school)...

...and night-time for trick-or-treating!

we never went crazy-heads with the candy collecting. i remember gazing in astonishment at the kids who ran around – literally – with pillow cases. we were more moderate in style.

hallowe'en, age eight - a gypsy. FAVOURITE COSTUME EVER.

with joanne and wanda. we've always loved the orange squiggles emanating from the jack o'lantern in this photo!

so, after going door-to-door, we’d come home and the brother and i would dump our candy collections on the living room floor. honestly, this was the most fun to me – sorting through all the treats, and organizing them into categories: chips, chocolate bars, candies, crackerjack, miscellaneous [see, i’ve always been an organizer at heart!]. mom and dad would allow us to enjoy a couple of treats of our choice [i always picked a chocolate bar and sweet tart candies!], then we’d pile everything back into our bags and they’d be stored in our bedrooms.

hallowe'en, age nine: a scarecrow (did you collect for unicef, too?)

vfbf joanne was princess leia this year! love wanda's (genuine) dutch girl outfit

call me weird, but i never consumed treats on the sly, and we didn’t take sugary snacks for recess time. and i don’t believe that mom and dad ever snuck their favourites out of our collections, either! [now’s the time to ‘fess up, guys, if so…!]

hallowe'en, age ten - cowgirl!

the rule was that whatever was still left over by early december would be tossed out. all our favourites would be long gone by then, anyhow, and what was left would be stale. plus, by then, it was time to get ready for christmas goodies!

hallowe'en, age eleven - a queen (2nd fave idea, ever)

tonight i am working or else i would take a walk through the neighbourhood to see all the excited children. i still love hallowe’en!

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HALLOWE‘EN IS HERE!

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what was your first hallowe’en costume OR your favourite hallowe’en costume OR did you dress up this year?…or answer all three! this year, i did not wear a costume, per se, but saturday, sunday and today to work, i DID wear my spider bracelet

sparkly spidey - and you can move his legs!

…and my jack o’ lantern earrings!

wish i had three pairs!

(you don't need a huge shot of my ear)

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

the biggest lesson learned in october

hey friends! happy day-before-trick or treat-day!

i know it’s not the last day of the month – but i want to do a halloween-themed blog post tomorrow, so we’re going to do a recap of october today.

we’ll talk about the easy stuff first.

books: i gave up on the girl with the dragon tattoo [and am very glad i did, after y’all told me the rest of the story. eesh. not my cup of tea], and am now into the time traveler’s wife. it’s quite enjoyable, and i plan to stick with it [so far]. i was a bit confused about the time travel thing for the first few chapters, but it’s coming together in my brain the further i read.

outings of the month: checkmark (the brother and sil ana), checkmark (mom)….and hopefully checkmark DAD today!! true to form, we’ve left our father-daughter plans to the almost-last minute! one of two options should come together this aft or this eve, and i will report back on tuesday!

ok, let’s get to the meat of this blog post:

this month i learned that i do not enjoy making proclamations.

remember back here, early in the month, when i said i wasn’t going to blog daily any more. you were all very supportive and kind with your comments…so i skipped monday, october the 3rd…then proceeded to blog every day after that. well, do i ever feel foolish.

(source)

so i hearby PROCLAIM (uh oh!) to avoid making bold statements or promises on this dear blog o’mine. it’s different to set monthly goals or pursue my 41 new experiences for this year – at least in my own head i see the difference. i think it’s the potential for drama that rubs me the wrong way. for example: i always share new experiences AFTER i complete them. i don’t go about saying, “i’m going to meet canada’s best marathoner tomorrow!!” or “i’m going to puzzle ’til i go bonkers” -> sharing when it’s mission accomplished is way more my style.

ok, so here’s the funny part to this story: since i only missed that one day – october 3rd – i completed a backdated blog entry for that day last weekend. the only person, to my knowledge, who saw it was lisa – she was the only one who left a comment, at least. the blog entry is here: DATE squares.

do you get it?? i wanted to do a play on words with DATE. because it really is the date of october 3rd that matters – not that the squares are not fantastically tasty, mind you.

that means that every day in 2011 now has a blog entry. you can decide whether backdating one post is cheating or not. i say no because i pre-blog, so really what’s the difference between pre- or post- dating??

anyway – october flew by. november has got to be one of my two LEAST favourite months (the other is march) but i’m sure good times will abound, nonetheless! my focus is going to be on christmas shopping! and finding new experiences – planned or spur-of-the-moment.

what’s one lesson, big or small, that you discovered in october? OF COURSE you know i’m going to mention that it was confirmed to me that future shop SUCKS (i have too many blog posts on the subject to link back to just one).

least favourite month of the twelve options available to you? november -> at least with march, we anticipate spring. november -> winter’s gloom looms.

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COUNTDOWN TO HALLOWEEN:

the neverending story + a better story!

my tentative plans for thursday eve never came to fruition (<- don’tcha love how that word sounds?!) so i ended up booking an appointment for the apple store. it was meant to be: there was one time slot left for 6:45 p.m.

confirmation email!

since i know you are on the edge of your seat, i will cut right to the chase: the ipod saga is not yet over.

i know.

i am shaking my head, too.

apple store service dude listened to my brief account (this piece of sh!t won’t work my shuffle won’t play!) tappy-typed on his iphone for a good five minutes, and told me they could “swap out” my shuffle.

except they had NONE – yes, as in ZERO – in stock.

i was like, i am fine with another colour. no – it has to be replaced with exactly the same thing, i was informed.

after seven more minutes of iphone entries, he told me he had ordered me another silv-ah shuffle (ok, he didn’t say silv-ah) and it should be in within a few days.

i was not surprised, p!ssed off, or bothered because i had fully prepared my emotions and my brain for the fact that i would not be leaving the apple store with this situation resolved.

to be honest, i’m also nonplussed (<- what’s with the vocab today?!) because i am ♥loving♥ dad’s relic old-school shuffle! the thing’s a beast and i am never giving it back i am super-pleased with the sound and performance!

oh – i confirmed that yes, i do need to make an appointment to pick up the shuffle when it comes in. :/

arrrgggghhhhghhhh!!!

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two doors down from the apple store, you’ll find suzy shier:

home of cheap fashion

this sign caught my eye:

you don't expect me to walk on by, do you?!

i’ve never been a suzy shier fan, but when sarah and i went shopping in august, she found quite a few cute pieces, and on that day, i had seen a couple of items that i liked. no better time than now to try them on!

the store was pretty busy. and you could tell this was a “big event” because they had a dj spinning (very loud) tunes!

playing my favourite dance music, too!

smart move: provide music that makes customers want to be in the store -> they linger -> they buy more stuff…that’s a solid retail sales plan! or maybe the dj’d music was to keep the sales associates happy…either way, great idea!

i had to wait about 10 minutes to get into a change room. that was ok because standing there, i noticed THIS sign:

50 is better than 40!

and what’d’ya know, the two items i liked were in the 50% off category!

i couldn’t pass up these bargains. a little retail therapy was quite soothing after yet another apple delay.

i came home with:

greyish/silv-ah hoodie with a bit of a grunge look to it...

...and below-the-knee-length track pants!

total: $25. if the temps climb a few degrees any time soon, i can wear my new knickers this fall, yet. and the hoodie will be in active rotation twelve months of the year.

i left the mall pleased. quite an accomplishment considering i was leaving without a new ipod!!!

then, i completed some xmas present research. it’s all about balance, you know: one present for me, one present for you.

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COUNTDOWN TO HALLOWEEN!

have you decorated for hallowe’en at all? cutie c and little e and i had fun with window decals this past week!

if you build it, they will skate

nowhere is a generation gap more evident than between skateboarders and “older generations.”

well, the sk8er boys (and girls, although i haven’t seen any) in our ‘hood now have a new place to hang out.

the city permitted a skate board park to be built just on the outskirts of waterloo park and across from our local rec centre.

earlier this week, i took a walk over to check out this new spot for myself. it was pretty quiet while i was there…which is a good thing, considering it was about noon on a school day!

so new, the landscaping isn't complete - not that the skateboarders care, i bet!

i'd love to know all the jumps and tricks you could do, given this "terrain!"

there's an action shot!

bet they can catch some air with THIS ramp!

i totally approve of this skate boarding park. it’s a great idea. the location is optimal – in central waterloo, close to amenities, but not near homes or busy streets. when i drove by one evening, the place was hopping! i bet about 30 *kids* were hanging out and making great use of the park. my hope is that the park is respected by its users, and kept in the clean condition that it is in currently.

this summer (prior to the skate board park opening), the square in uptown waterloo was the make-shift skateboarding area:

the W-I-D-E open cement space...

this is also where i did yoga outdoors and where the (teeny) farmer’s market was held, this summer. oh – and buskers performed here, too! truly a multi-use space…but it was not intended for skateboarding!

actually, the city DID try offering the skateboarders specific times when they could use this outdoor area…but that idea did not go over so well. the skateboarders tred on the toes (sometimes literally) of people sitting, walking, passing by the square, and did not stick to the set hours offered by the city (i witnessed this, firsthand).

i can see why it was a tempting spot to do jumps, twists and tricks:

steps and stairs!

benches and obstacles!

a ramp!

so, i’m glad there’s a specific, designated spot for skateboarding. the activity may be viewed by some as a bit “counter-culture,” but a sport that gets kids away from computers, invites socializing, and encourages them to be out-of-doors has good potential to it. i admit i do squirm a bit when i watch the antics! all i picture is the potential danger! me = old!

and now, because i know this song is rolling around in YOUR brain, too…here’s the link! sk8er boi by avril lavigne. awesome tune!

what’s your history with skate boarding? i have never set foot on one – really! and no, i am not about to take myself over to the new skate park in order give myself a new experience – i have a feeling “ride a skate board” could too quickly turn into “have a cast on my leg!!!”

COUNTDOWN TO HALLOWEEN!

 

apple hunting

if you are tired of hearing about my ipod saga, bye-bye! we’ll visit again another day! no hard feelings.

when last we left off, i had a busted ipod, future shop is forevermore in my bad books, and dad is without his ipod because i stole it it is my newest arm accessory.

tuesday, i did not have to be in to work at the store til mid-afternoon, so around noon-ish, i headed up to conestoga mall where the new apple store is located:

shiny, happy storefront!

this time i came fully armed:

my future shop receipt and the entire ipod kit and kaboodle

the store is very sleek, minimalist, and likely an apple lover’s heaven.

i stood around for five minutes while some sales associates were in conferences with customers and others stood around poking at their ipads. it was in vain that i tried to make eye contact with anyone.

i decided to be proactive, and approached a female associate, about my age:

“um, would someone be able to assist me, please? i have a few questions about my ipod shuffle.”

“do you have an appointment?” she inquired, not completely friendly-like.

i looked at her blankly.

“you have to make an appointment so that we can give you our undivided love and devoted attention [ok, maybe i made that up] and so we don’t have line-ups [that part i did not make up].

“even if i’m standing right here?” [call me old-fashioned, but if i am in a store, can i not access some customer service?].

“yes, you must have an appointment.”

“you’re for real.” i honestly said this. sorry, i try to be polite because i know what it’s like to deal with irked customers, but i could not believe i was going to get a run-around yet another time.

“well, when’s the next time you have some availability?” my hopes were not high that it would be anytime soon.

she called over a peon another employee who poked around on her ipad.

“2:30 p.m.”

bear in mind, this was about 12:15 p.m., by now. *niiiiiice.* even if had NOT had to go to work, no way would i just hang around the mall for two hours, filling time.

i accepted the store card so that i can book an appointment on-line – at this time, i have no clue as to when i can get back up to the mall, so i have not booked anything, yet.

so, that is where things stand now.

i can understand the reasoning behind making an appointment: buying an ipad, say, is going to take a lot of time. but, can the apple store not have a “stand-by zone,” where it’s first come, first serve and you take your chances or agree to wait?

what frustrates me is that 1) i had no idea that you MUST have an appointment to talk to someone at the apple store [how do you find out these things??] 2) i am so over this ipod foolishness! for the time and money spent thus far in chasing down a repair, i could have bought a new shuffle…which, i am guessing, is exactly what apple wants me to do!

tell me a HAPPY AND POSITIVE customer experience you have enjoyed recently! i am just all the more motivated to give customers at the store the best service i can – and we DO NOT require an appointment for a proper gait analysis and shoe fitting, please note!

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COUNTDOWN TO HALLOWEEN!

no wake up jeff!

it’s aunti day!

file photo from this summer

this autumn, we’ve *fall*en (punny!) into a lovely routine in toronto: after everyone’s home at the end of the day, the brother and sil ana duck out for some time to themselves, and little e and cutie c and i get to have girl-time all together.

after supper, we typically gather around aunti’s computer while the girls enjoy their fruit dessert and we watch the wiggles!

(source)

our usual routine is that the girls take turns picking from the list of songs that pops up when i google “wiggles, watch online” – they now have their favourites: little e is big into “brown girl in the ring” and “ensalada de fruta” while cutie c quite loves “five little ducks.” i like ‘em all! we have a lot of fun cuddling up and having a sing-along.

the other week, i decided to get a wiggles dvd from the library. i think aunti will *forget* to pick up another one…while i truly don’t mind the wiggles’ songs (i know they are not every grown-up’s favourite, but i’m cool with them) the dvd was a little much. let’s just say the wiggles songs, one by one, are much better than their inane overly-enthusiastic bantering and cheesy dialogue!

anyway, also over the past few months, a funny situation has developed with little c: as soon as we settle in to enjoy our music time, she turns to me with a look of terror in her eyes and implores, “no wake up jeff!” she doesn’t mind the character of jeff when he’s in other songs or on-screen – she just has taken a huge dislike to the SONG entitled “wake up, jeff.” i’m not sure why! it’s a really upbeat song, so i doubt it’s the tune. the running gag with jeff is that he sleeps a lot…and snores. so, i’m not sure what aspect scares cutie c, but we just can’t watch that song! (luckily, there are 200 other songs for us to choose from).

cutie c’s reaction made me think of when i was little – i didn’t watch a lot of tv, but mom let me watch mr dressup and sesame street. i distinctly remember that on sesame street, there was a segment that popped up from time to time: it was a guy dressed up like a chef and he was carrying a platter of cakes. he’d walk up stairs (i think the purpose of the sketch was to count from 1-10) but then at the top, he’d fall down the stairs. for whatever reason, this skit scared me to pieces! as soon as i’d see this chef-guy, i’d quick run and hide behind the couch. mommy would tell me when he was gone, and then i’d go back to watching the show. what scared me was the tumbling down the stairs – maybe i thought he’d hurt himself? or maybe i was caught off-guard the first time i saw the chef fall, and it surprised me too much.

so, never fear, cutie c! we’ll avoid wake up, jeff. we’ll just go bananas, instead!

any characters that you had an inexplicable fear of, as a child? or, if you’re a parent/relative/caregiver, any funny aversions from your little darlings? it’s interesting how something adults find harmless and funny can evoke quite the opposite reaction in kids!

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continuing on from yesterday’s cereal theme, towel #3 arrived in the mail yesterday:

three for three, all free!

this one is my favourite, colour-wise. too funny that i have never had a lucky charm in my life, though!

vectorious

they say that the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. from what i have seen, over the years, this is an entirely correct statement.

the way to my heart, however, is to offer me a tshirt. i will run a race, enter a draw, volunteer if i know a tshirt is coming my way.

earlier this month, we had a vector cereal promotion at the store. with every purchase, customers could take home a mini trial-size box of vector cereal, if they so desired.

the sample example

i do not mind passing out cereal boxes one bit! after all, it is my favourite food! [you wouldn’t believe how many people actually declined the offer – like maybe 40%? i was genuinely surprised].

i was also thanking my lucky stars that we were not handing out vector tshirts. i recapped that head-shaker story here, if you missed it back in august.

imagine my joy when i walked into work late last week, and my manager presented me with!…

my very own vector tshirt!!

the very nice people at vector sent free long-sleeve, tech tshirts for store staff and current clinic instructors. yes, by wearing the shirt, i am a walking billboard for vector…

the shirt back

…but this cereal queen does not mind a bit.

i just hope we never work out a deal with ontario pork

rate vector on a scale of 1->10, if you’ve had it. i give it 8/10. i love the crunchy granola-y bites, the sugary-sweet flakes, and the fact that it does not get soggy. but i do find it heavy. it’s delicious mixed in a 50-50 split with plain old puffed corn cereal.

correct me if i’m wrong, but i don’t think i’ve ever asked you: what’s your favourite cereal? last year, as part of the 1970 kiki project, i reviewed 40 types of cereal. you can see the list here! currently, puffins still have my heart.

page 274 and an outing with mom

october is ticking right along!

you know what was not ticking right along?…the girl with the dragon tattoo.

the paperback is a whopping 847 pages thick!

i am sorry if you are tired of hearing me whine…i know i am. so i solved the problem.

i quit.

i was feeling i should continue since i had read over 200 pages.

then this comment from stephanie – in reply to a comment i left on her blog – sealed the deal:

Dump Dragon Tattoo. I think you’ve given it PLENTY of chances!

that was all the confirmation i needed.

i closed the book for the final time at page 274:

the proof!

i had a whole pile of stuff to take to mom, so i added in dragon girl:

bye bye!

i just could not take the creeping pace at which the story was progressing. let’s do the math: i was on page 274, there are 847 pages and i can read 3-10 pages per night. um, yea – i though you’d agree. the ratio of enjoyment:time is so not there!

the replacement novel? the time traveler’s wife. haven’t seen the movie so i can read the book!

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yesterday afternoon mom and i enjoyed our october outing of the month!

let's go shopping!!

in keeping with my “no repeats” plan – and sticking to a bookish theme – we went to…

sunshine matches a happy outing!

mom and i are two peas in a pod when it comes to chapters visits: we are both very content to wander around, check out the displays…and talk non-stop the whole time (this really slows down our pace).

a few highlights:

christmas cards are front and centre! these were my faves - esp the knitted monkey

it's genetically ingrained from grandpa c to love paper products - these file folders are fun!

we made our way to the toy department [tangent: chapters has hugely expanded their toy and home décor areas in recent years – with the decline of the paper book, it’s a smart move]:

a playmo advent calendar! (not paper, plastic - like as in a toy). how divine!

play kitchens have changed a lot since the '70s! check out the phone, the micro, the stainless steel appliances...and the subway tile backsplash! how gluckstein!

mom is in a book club that meets monthly, so we went in search of her next eight months of selections:

ACK!!!!!!

we found most of the titles she was looking for. mom decided to purchase just one, for now:

"state of wonder" by ann patchett. excellent writer. i highly recommend her novel "run," while mom suggests "bel canto"

somehow i doubt there would be a lot of similarities between this book and elizabeth giilbert's "eat PRAY love"...

and a super-fun outing ends with a sighting:

we love our snookster!

…which is a perfect segue because i watched the season finale of jersey shore last night [tangent: i heard a commentary on the radio that said season four, where the js kids are in italy, made the jersey shore phenomenon jump the shark. i have to say i agree. get the kids back stateside, and get back on the GTL track with season five!]

so, that was another successful outing with mom. and guess what: here we are with one week left in the month…and dad and i have not been out yet. well, at least we’re consistent!

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ipod update: dad has an ancient a classic ipod that he does not use – he has loaned it to me until i can get to the apple store. talk about a way back playback!

at least with this style, you PLUG THE IPOD DIRECTLY IN TO YOUR COMPUTER. THERE IS NO CORD!!!

your homework assignment: in five sentences or less, tell me what happens in the girl with the dragon tattoo. go ahead and spill those beans. merci buckets, in advance, for participating and saving me months of reading.

obviously, DO NOT READ THE COMMENTS if you have not yet read the book, and are planning on so doing!


what a stupid saturday evening

watch out! i’m about to go on a total tear. ear muffs may be necessary as i can’t promise that a few choice swear words won’t fly.

this story is a continuation of my ipod shuffle sagas. to refresh your memory you can check out this post where i went to buy my silv-ah ipod because greenie was acting stupid. then greenie kept behaving. then greenie really did bite the dust, and silv-ah became the go-to ipod. please note that all of this rigamarole has occurred within the last two months (i bought silv-ah on august 23rd).

ok – back to my rant.

friday: i turn on silv-ah and nothing happens. then 25 minutes later, he starts playing music. wtf???

saturday: silv-ah is playing away, normal as anything then starts skipping, like records used to do, then konks out. when i plug him in, NOTHING. itunes does not recognize the device, there is absolutely no connection going on. silv-ah is dead as a doorknob, as the saying goes. i freakin’ can’t believe my luck.

yesterday, i was at the store (naturellement on saturday) so the earliest i could get up to that hellhole of a future shop was early saturday eve. the only good thing about this story is that future shop is open til 9 p.m. on a saturday.

so, as i’m driving to future shop, i think, oh! silly me, i should have brought greenie ipod with me to see if there’s anything they can do to reboot him, and get him working again (in the back of my mind, i’ve suspected he has just been playing games all along). menh – i’m half way there, i’m not going back for it.

i get to future shop. i go to electronics. it’s not busy. two associates are playing on a computer. i wait. the guy finally comes over.

sure, he can plug silv-ah in…if i’ve brought the cord with me. they have no extra plug-in cords for shuffles in the store.

i did not bring the cord with me. frick-a-frack! i had it on the kitchen counter but it’s sure as hell not in my backpack now.

buddy is oh-so-sorry [*riiighht*] . he half-heartedly roots through a crap drawer of randomness. nope, no extra cord. he cannot open a shuffle to access a cord. he cannot help me unless i have brought my plug-in cord.

are you for real???? you’re telling me in all of future shop there is no cord??

yes, that is what he is telling me.

i realize my only option is to drive back home for my cord.

back home i drive (it’s about 10-15 minutes to future shop).

up to the condo casa i stomp. there on the floor is the plug-in cord. i grab greenie, and back to future shop go i.

this time i get the apathetic girl associate. she plugs in silv-ah and there’s no response.

then she plugs in greenie…and would you believe it, he springs to life! i’m not sure whether to laugh or pull my hair out.

so: bottom line – future shop refuses to replace my silver shuffle because it is more than 30 days old. i am told to follow up with apple. [*thanks*]. i am COMPLETELY pissed off not very happy as i leave future shop.

on my drive back home (fourth time down king street, so i don’t have to concentrate all that hard) i have time to reflect on the plus sides of the night’s adventures:

SILVER LINING #1:

i witnessed a gorgeous sunset when i got in to the condo casa to retrieve the plug-in cord:

two deep breaths of appreciation, and it was back out the door...

SILVER LINING #2: i had been working on another blog post for this morning: a way back playback to my very first marathon which was fifteen years ago at the niagara marathon (today is race day!). i was in a complete writer’s quagmire – the post sounded braggy and disjointed and stupid and i was frustrated -> that’s when i took the break to go to future shop. so now i can spare you that craptastic blog post. maybe another time it’ll flow out of my brain better.

SILVER LINING #3: thanks to all the time i wasted driving back and forth to future shop, i missed the window of opportunity to clean the condo casa! shucky-darn, the cleaning will have to wait.

SILVER LINING #4: greenie works! i scurried home and plugged him in to my computer, charged him up, gave him a trial listen, and he is fine. [for now. bets on when he gets ornery again??].

SILVER LINING #5: now that there is an apple store at conestoga mall, i can go there for my shuffle needs – cuz i will need to replace silv-ah – and i will never have to go back to future shop again!

what’d YOU do last eve? please tell me you had a fun night!!! i also ran out of time to watch the season finale of jersey shore. wah!

if you’re chilled to the bone…

…there is nothing like HOT SOUP to warm you up.

the easiest thing is to crank open a can of campbell’s…however the sodium content in tinned soups is enough to make your head spin. (even the “25% less sodium!” variations are heavily salted).

(source)

with the rainy/chilly/damp/cold weather of this whole past week, soup may be just what you need on a cosy night in. here’s one of my all-time favourite soups that my mom has made for eons. enjoy!

split pea soup

[recipe is in mom’s own words. and remember, it is intended for me, the non-cook. therefore, it’s written in plain and simple terms!]

soak two cups dried green peas for several hours in plenty of water. i soak them overnight; just let them soak until you’re ready.

simmer for three hours:

  • the peas (drained)
  • ham bone (or a smoked ham hock)
  • 8 cups water

after two hours, add:

  • one large onion, sliced
  • four potatoes, diced
  • 1 stem celery, cut up
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper

lift out bone. remove bits of meat; add to soup at end of cooking time. cut up meat if pieces are larger.

serves 4-6.

true confession time: i have never actually made this soup myself. but i have very much enjoyed MOM’S makings of it!

[i bet a vegetarian version of this soup would be delicious, too. mom made this not too long ago, shared some with me, and she had shredded carrot included with that batch – a yummy and healthy addition. for a veg version, i have no clue as to what you could add in as a protein replacement. please enlighten me if you have any ideas.].

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now let’s say you don’t have time to make soup. or you’re like me and you just don’t want to, hehe. you can also warm up by cranking THIS SONG and dancing around your kitchen. yea! that’s more my style! [i cannot get enough of this song!! sign me up in the snoop dogg fan club].

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what’s your favourite soup on a chilly late-fall day? chicken noodle reminds me of being sick with a cold, so i won’t say that. i always loved my mom’s borscht (cabbage soup) – that’s another traditional family soup for another day!

what song do you just blast and sing along to? i am very partial to anything on jersey shore dance tunes!

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