30.4.11

Harvick the Ham

A friend of mine had to fly home suddenly on Wednesday so I'm dog-sitting her pug, Harvick. We got off to a slightly bumpy start but things have smoothed out since he ended his hunger strike and stopped attempting to escape (He'd break free from his tied leash only to hang out on the back deck). He's more work than our two boys, and having THREE dogs to myself for the last two days has been exhausting. It's the weekend now and Marc's here, so today will be a lot easier.

I've never really spent time with a Pug before, so I didn't know they were the Jim Carrey dogs. For reals. Every time I'd take a picture of Harvick, he looked totally different. 

Hilarious!

Better still is my interpretation of what Harvick was thinking. This kept me entertained for a good chunk of yesterday afternoon.

"Where's my Mommy?" This was day one. 


"My face tastes good. I lick it a LOT"


"I'm not super jazzed about being tied to this leash. I think I'll (almost) escape soon."


"Running around in circles makes me soooooo tired."


"I appreciate that you want to hang out but quit touching me." (Harvick moved the MOMENT Pepi made contact...it was pretty funny)

I think that I've taken about 200 pictures of Harvick since he got here. I'm OBSESSED! Our boys pretty much look the same, but Harvick is endlessly entertaining to photograph. Plus, I SWEAR that when I take the camera out now, he starts posing on purpose, thusly becoming...


Harvick the Ham!


27.4.11

Spring Snapshots

Two days ago, some lovely spring weather appeared for a brief moment before unleashing another week's worth of rain upon us. I took the opportunity to wander around our property and here are some of the shots I took.



We are the proud owners of a magnificent and large-scale concrete bear, which my Maman (grandmother on my mother's side) commissioned. It's friggin' wicked. This is his head.

We also have a wolf, but he's not concrete.

There's so much moss in our forest that I'd be surprised if gnomes DIDN'T stop by to hang out.

aaaaaand there's also a marble dolphin in the front garden.

As you can see, there's just a LITTLE bit of snow left in the forest.

I friggin' LOVE this tree

Happy Hump Day!

26.4.11

First Impression Fail: The Sequel

I know that I may have poo-pooed the current Canadian election but MAN, it's giving me SO MUCH to write about that I kinda want it to go on FOREVER (I kid, I kid).

Yesterday was a beauuuuutiful day here in somewhat rural New Brunswick and I took advantage of the sunny warm weather to dry my clothes on our clothesline (one of the rural-living benefits being outside-smelling clothes…loves!). With my back to the driveway, the boys started barking like crazed cujo-ites so I whipped around to tell them to quit it when I saw a little blonde woman coming towards me. We don’t get many visitors, so seeing her startled me (that and I may have been gearing up for a slight swear-fest for the boys as they’d been driving me crazy all day).

She came up to me, remarking on the sunshine and how nice it was to be able to dry clothes outside. Here’s how the rest of it went.

Lady: “I’m the Liberal candidate for this constituency.” She hands me a folded up paper.

Me: “Okay.” I took the paper.

Lady: “All right, well have a nice afternoon.” Then she turned and walked away.

Me: Reads top of page to find candidate’s name. “Thanks Kelly.”

Lady: Turned around and waved.

Well if you’re an AVID reader of this blog, you’ve probably guessed that this was the SAME woman who has the WORST campaign photo ever.

*shudder*

Our entire interaction lasted for approximately eight seconds, where she didn’t introduce herself, her platforms, or offer a description on the piece of glossy white paper she’d handed to me. Shaking my head at her social ineptitude, I finished hanging the laundry and then took a moment to look at the propaganga-laced paper.



I would like to point out two things: the first sentence (granted, it’s a run-on and lasts for the entire second paragraph) and the all-capped-bolded sentence at the bottom.

“My goal over the next several months is to be able to meet with you in your home or business and discuss specific issues that need to be addressed whether it be agriculture, fisheries, the gun registry, senior or concerns of the less fortunate and at the same time provide you with some of the knowledge I can deliver as your representative in Ottawa.”

Really? You do? Well you came to my house, Kel, and didn’t ask me one darn question about my issues. I'm all for listening to what candidates have to say, but this statement and the lack of her action makes her a big fat liar-face (not a good start in politics...just sayin').


GOAL FAILED


“I WANT TO KNOW WHAT OUR ISSUES SURROUNDING THIS RIDING ARE SO THAT I CAN PROVIDE YOU WITH THE BEST POSSIBLE REPRESENTATION IN OTTAWA.”

Really? You do? Again, you were AT MY HOUSE yet didn’t ask me a single question OR even tell me your name. Also, I don’t appreciate the use of BOLDED ALL CAPS because it usually implies that whatever is ALL CAPPED is VERY IMPORTANT. Clearly, my issues aren’t important to you, so the all caps should be removed.


GOAL FAILED


All in all, Kelly-the-Liberal is 0 for 2 with me…all by her own hands no less. Quite a feat really. 


Whomp, whomp. 

24.4.11

Easter EGGstravaganza!!

Happy Easter everyone (who celebrates the holiday).


Look what I woke up to!!



I LOVE EASTER EGG HUNTS!!! (and can somewhat feel the sugar rush already)


If my AMAZING hunt wasn't enough, we spent last night cramming turkey, peas, candied carrots, mashed potatoes, stuffing, bread and pie into our mouths at a friend's wonderful Easter supper. My stomach is STILL full from all the deliciousness.






If you don't hop on the Easter train, then it's just a regular old Sunday today...



or IS IT?



Enjoy!! *starts unwrapping foiled eggs*



21.4.11

Early Morning Hatefulness

Ever had one of those mornings where you so frustrated that you seriously contemplate stabbing someone in the eye with a stalk of overpriced celery until they get out of your way?

Anyone? No? Well it just must be me then.

I'm usually pretty good at letting the small things roll off my back (a silver lining to having the Black Lung - not my technical diagnosis but I like how it sounds) but this morning...MAN...I feel like the world is working against me.

So, first thing, I didn't have a great night's sleep. This usually wouldn't be a problem, since I take daily naps anyway, but the lack of proper REM meant I woke up with my cranky-pants on tight. I get downstairs to let the dogs out of their crate and feed them breakfast and then moved onto making Marc's morning smoothie and lunch. At 6:50 A.M., I called up to Marc to hurry up so we could leave by 7:00.

His response? "Oh, I don't have to be on the job site till 8:00."

Let me back up for a moment. Last Wednesday, Marc returned home from work WITHOUT his company van and phone. His company's slow for work and his boss lent him out to another company until he can secure some more jobs. The seriously bad new though, is that this temporary gig didn't give him a vehicle SO that means that either I have to drive him to work (and pick him up) or be here without a car, all day. Before this morning, he had to be at the new job site for 7:15 A.M. 

Waking up AN HOUR earlier than I needed to in order to make HIM breakfast and lunch while he's taking a leisurely shower and NOT telling me of the change was INFURIATING! 

THEN, I had to go to the grocery store because everything's closed for Good Friday tomorrow and my grocery NEMESIS appeared. Let me be clear. I HATE these people.

HATE.

They're a seriously overweight couple with a new baby who use TWO carts as well as pushing their baby in the most ENORMOUS stroller I've ever seen (I only mention their size so you understand how much space their bodies, plus two carts, plus a stroller makes). They bicker, nit-pick at each other, and the baby basically cries the whole time. I've run into them a lot, and as much as I try to avoid them, they seem to sense the exact location of where I need to go to next and then BLOCK the aisle COMPLETELY. Not ONLY did they block me several times this morning (and then don't say sorry when I ask them to move their caravan parade) but then ended up in front of me at the checkout and argued about a THIRTY CENT discount on some corn. 

I've never wanted to throw tomatoes at someone more and even though I bought the fancy ones, it would've been SO worth it. (I also felt like the cashier would have given me a high-five and free replacement tomatoes. Just sayin')

The cherry on top of my sucky sundae aka Thursday morning? On my way home, I got stuck behind a tractor that was moving at approximately 30km BELOW the posted speed limit, and therefore, took me an INSANELY LONG time to get home because he NEVER pulled over to let the LONG stream of traffic pass him.

Now it's 9:23 A.M. and I'm home. I may need to go back to bed so I can have a morning-do-over as I'm not terribly comfortable in these cranky-pants. They're at LEAST two sizes too small. 


...


Okay, I feel better now.

*takes deep breathe*

Thanks for listening (reading). 

20.4.11

Wal-Mart Wonder

Needing a refill on my meds yesterday, I planned to be at the Wal-Mart pharmacy exactly when it opened so I could get in and out with having as little contact with germ-infected people as possible. I arrived exactly ten minutes after the pharmacy opened to see a long line of senior geriatrics who'd had the same idea. By the time it was my turn, the pharmacist explained that they had a girl away on vacation and that it would be the better part of an HOUR before my stuff would be ready (as an aside, all I needed were a few inhalers which require NO counting of pills, but whatevs). I hadn't planned on staying around that long, but decided that I'd use the time to head into the actual mall (that's connected to the Wal-Mart) and get some ideas for Marc's birthday present. What I didn't know is that the mall didn't open until TEN! 

Boo.

So, having NOTHING to do but wander around the big-box store, I begrudgingly got a cart and began exploring.

Well THANK GOODNESS I did that because if I didn't, I wouldn't have found the GREATEST thing EVER!

KA-POW!
I've had nail stickers from Sephora before and they're fun, but kind of expensive at $20 a pop (even though they're $15US and our dollar is worth more...*grumble, grumble*). I don't really peruse the Wal-Mart cosmetic section, but since I was being held against my will, I took a turn down the aisle and found a Sally Hanson display with over a dozen different patters that are WAY better than the options at Sephora. 

The best part?

Sally's nail stickers are UNDER HALF THE PRICE!!! 

That's TWO for ONE, people!

There were butterflies, sparkles, fishnet patterns, circles -- sooooooo many options.

They're just as easy to put them on and with a swipe of topcoat, I suspect they'll have a similar life expectancy of just under a week. Amazing!!!

Needless to say, the discovery totally made my sick-week-cation MUCH better as now I resemble an Easter Egg...or Katy Perry (same difference really...)

19.4.11

Grandma's Bread


Here's the deal. My sick alter-ego, aptly named DOLORES, has reared her bitchy little head and, as such, I haven't have much on the go lately. LUCKILY, the last time I made some bread, I took ample pictures. I'm not sure if she'd be down with me giving out the recipe, so I'm not going to share it. This one's close though....

So, without further adieu, I present:

My Grandma's Bread: Kind of a pain in the ass but soooooo worth it.

Here's what ya need (plus sugar, but I forgot to put it in the pic).

Scald the milk. Yes, scalding isn't exactly necessary these days...but I do it anyway. 

This is how you know it's been scalded -- a large brown crusted bottom that requires quite a bit of elbow grease to clean.
In the meantime, proof the yeast so it's nice and pouffy.

Throw in the sugar, butter & salt with the hot milk. Let cool until lukewarm.

Then add the yeast, flour, egg and knead until it the dough is shiny and smooth.


Not so smooth here but it's shiny!

Cover and let rise for about an hour and fifteen minutes. Then it'll look like this.

Punch it down. This is the FUNNEST PART!

Divide into two equal balls and let rest for ten minutes.

Roll them out and place them in a greased and seeded (I used one poppy and one sesame this time) pans.

35 minutes later they look like this!

It's mean because you have to wait until it's cooled slightly or you'll PAY LATER. 

So there you have it. No bread machine required! Plus there's no bad stuff (aside from the delicious yet slightly poisonous white flour....but no preservatives is a good thing). 

14.4.11

First Impression Fail

As you read in my previous post, it's election time in Canada. As such, every time I drive around town, I see campaign posters. I've always wondered why campaign photos (and realtor photos for that matter) were so unattractive. If I was running for office (or trying to sell a house) I'd want to have the BEST picture possible. After all, it's how people see you for the first time. 

Keep that in mind as you look at the following picture.

Oh Kelly, NO!

This is probably one of the WORST pictures I've seen so far. I actually drove home to get my camera and swung back by in order to get the shot.

Why is she looking to the side? Is she worried about someone sneaking next to the photographer?

Does she even WANT to win? She looks annoyed, kind of indifferent...and there's just a splash of "you're an idiot." She must be a mother because only a Mom can give a look like this.  

No smile usually means either bad teeth or a bad personality. You all know how I feel about bad teeth in politics. A bad personality though, can't be as easily fixed. 

In terms of personal style, I'd give ole Kel a 5/10. Her hair's all right, I guess, but she should have seen that it looks like one side is DRASTICALLY shorter than the other and her eyebrows need to be filled in. The blazer-red-shirt- combo could be improved as well. 

I could totally start a photography company that specializes in KICK-ASS campaign (and realtor) photos. Seriously, I'd be a millionaire and everyone would look MUCH BETTER! Regardless of your degree of cute-ness, it's entirely possible to look like a friendly person.

As much as I may WANT to vote Liberal, I don't want a total beotch representing me. If you can't smile in a photograph that's meant to RALLY your supporters then there's a problem. Based on this picture, I would NEVER want to talk to Kelly as I fear my questions would be met with this bitchy stare...followed by a long and uncomfortable silence. 

If this were Twitter, all there'd be left to say is #FAIL.


13.4.11

Election Reflections


Believe it or not, Canada is in the midst of yet ANOTHER Federal election. Since I turned eighteen, I feel like I’ve voted like a THOUSAND times. Fine, maybe not a thousand but they’re supposed to happen every FOUR YEARS, not of every four minutes – I kid, I kid. Not that my vote ever really counts though because nobody I’ve ever voted for has been elected.  

As such, it’d be easy for me to think that my vote doesn’t matter. Well rest assured; I don’t think that at all. I’m disappointed to say though, that the main four parties are kind of a “same crap, different pile” deal, with the exception of the Bloc Quebecois of course (but they really only care about Quebec). That being said, I still tuned in to the debate last night although I only lasted about thirty-five minutes before a Big Bang Theory repeat became more appealing.

None of the party leaders had anything interesting to say. I somewhat keep up with governmental happenings and there was NO new information. Left with a wandering mind, I started to look at the candidates and was left with the following thoughts.

Who the hell designed the set? It was like an elementary-school-spelling-bee from 1987. Yellow, black and grey? Um aren’t our colours RED and WHITE? Also, what was with the constant ECHO? Fire the sound and set crew IMMEDIATELY.

Worst. Set. Ever.

Why don’t we have any good-looking leaders? Gilles resembles the wedding planner from Father of the Bride (I kept waiting for him to say “he wants the cheap chicken”), Jack’s kind of short and old (he’s a grandfather, which he told the nation last night), Stephen’s hair looks like a piece and Michael has the worst teeth EVER. I mentioned to Marc that if the Liberals win I’d be game for Mike using some of my tax dollars for caps. Marc’s response was that he should have to pay for them himself but he supported the dental work concept. Also, whoever did their makeup needs to be FIRED as they all looked chalky and orange.

Gilles aka Franck Eggelhoffer. Blue tuxado anyone?
Grandpappy Jack

Okay, so this picture is HILARIOUS. He should have brought that kitten to the debate. Yes, he is our CURRENT Prime Minister.
Truth be told, it was difficult for me to get a shot of his teeth. The fact that he keeps his mouth closed tells me that he's aware of his dental situation.


Why didn’t the other party leaders INSIST that Elizabeth from the Green Party participate in the debate? I think it would have been MUCH more interesting with her there.

Where, exactly, were the leaders looking while debating? It wasn’t at each other and it wasn’t at the camera.

Who decided on the host? It would have been VERY SMART to put a handsome dude or pretty gal in that spot because, frankly, eye candy is sometimes the deciding factor on whether people will sit through the mud-slinging. Also, the host SUCKED at keeping the leaders on-topic. By SUCKED I mean DID NOTHING, but whatever.

Steve Paiken. Sorry, but you're not very cute either. 

So yeah, in the brief thirty-five consecutive minutes, followed by five-minute intervals during commercial breaks on other networks, I’m not really sure why we’re even having an election. Nobody is talking about doing things differently, if you really listen to them. Plus it’s not like there’s been a majority government here in, like, FOREVER….so no matter what happens in this election, things will most likely REMAIN THE SAME. Except for the MANY WASTED tax dollars required for a Federal election….in a recession….awesome leadership guys.

*sighs deeply*


11.4.11

Pineapple 101

A while back, my Scottish Stepfather gave me a very strange kitchen utensil. I'd never seen one before and, frankly, it was slightly terrifying with it's circular-saw bottom and unforgiving teeth. He explained that it was a pineapple core-er and that it was THE BEST way to cut a pineapple. 

When Marc and I took the hour-ish drive to Saint John's Costco on the weekend, they had $2.99 pineapples! In April! I did the ole pull-the-leave-out trick and, lo and behold, they were ripe! I have an AMAZING pineapple-curry chicken recipe, so in the cart it went. 

When we brought it back home, I rummaged around until I found the AMAZING pineapple core-er. 

Here's why it really is THE BEST:

As you can see, it's just about as tall as the pineapple, which is pretty crucial. You'll see as the pictures progress.

The second step (the first being the actual FINDING of the core-er, it's not every day that I need it...) is cutting the top off and then shoving in the toothed-bottom as hard as you can.

Oh, also, you want to make sure that it's as centred as possible.

While pressing quite firmly, turn the handle and push down. After a few turns, you don't have to push as hard, but still keep the pressure. Do this until the black dot is just at the top of the pineapple. Then SPIN the handle WITHOUT pressure in order to sever the bottom of the spiral. As soon as it's cut, you can feel it.

Then pull out SLOWLY. Oh, and make sure you're doing this in a bowl because if the core-er isn't totally centred then you can puncture the outside and get juice EVERYWHERE. Is speak from personal experience. 

This is what you're left with. A craftier person would probably incorporate this into some type of food display. I wasn't in the mood.

Ooooo, spiraly. I like to cut it into chunks while the spiral is stacked. It's easier.

Whoever invented this is a GENIUS.

So there you go! That whole process took less than THREE MINUTES!! No fuss & no muss, just delicious, juicy pineapple.

If you're a pineapple enthusiast, I'd TOTALLY recommend getting one of these. I have no idea where Scottish Stepfather got it, but I'd guess that it was some type of fun kitchen store. I will admit that they're kind of a nightmare to clean, but it's worth it!

And supper was DELICIOUS, by the way. 


7.4.11

Live Wire

I've been anxiously waiting for the release of Harlan Coben's new MYRON BOLITAR mystery, Live Wire. Chapters has been quite unreliable with my pre-orders, so when we were in Toronto, I picked up a copy. 




link
Of all the writers, and all the series, in all of the world...Coben's invention of Myron and Win are my MOST FAVOURITE! So much, in fact, that I've written a post about them before.

Now, I can't say that this was the BEST Bolitar mystery, but it was still really good. All the main players were there: Win - the amazing old-money ninja, Esperanza & Big Cyndi. 

I've read EVERY Bolitar mystery thus far, but thought that the talented Mr. Coben had retired good ole' Myron but NO!! He's BACK! For those who know of the pro-basketball-player-turned-sports-agent, his clients often get him involved in private detective-like activities, with the backdrop being a specific sport.

A basketball player needing help means there's a lot of basketball.

A baseball player needing help means there's a lot of baseball.

You get it.

Well, LIVE WIRE starts off with a former tennis player needing some assistance, but this book isn't about tennis. It's actually about music. Way to mix it up, Mr. Coben!

I found the plot to be slightly less complicated than others, but it was great read nonetheless. I suspect that although Myron's slated to get married, he may not. Jessica, his slightly bitchy ex, was a favourite character of mine, but now she's looooooong gone. 

There was a storyline that I hadn't remembered from waaaaaaay back too, concerning Myron's family, and it was interesting to read, but didn't really add to the main plot (for me, anyway).

The book has an open enough ending that another in the series could emerge, but (and it PAINS ME to say) it may be time to retire the character. Myron and Will aren't spring chickens anymore and some of the pop culture references are fly way over my head (aside from the couple of Jersey Shore shout-outs, which were unexpectedly hilarious). 

If you're a die-hard fan, then clearly this book is in your collection. If not, I'd STRONGLY suggest that you pick one up, but not this one because you'd like it better if you had the background info. 

Happy reading!

ps. I find it QUITE challenging to write a review WITHOUT spoilers. As such, this reads as somewhat vague, but I don't want to ruin the book for anyone. So, you're welcome for the glossing-over. 

6.4.11

Dear Headbands:

It pains me considerably, but I think that it's time for me to give up on you. I wouldn't have thought that my head was so BIG that it would require a couture headpiece, but apparently it does. Although it cuts my soul to admit it, I've heard that the first step is admitting your problem. Okay...here goes...

My name is Jennie...and I have an ENORMOUS head. 

So many times, I've seen magazine shots of the boho-chic look and I crave to emmulate the style, but alas, it doesn't seem to be my lot in life. Each time I order a headband or try one on in a store, I get an instantaneous migraine.

For example, this headband would leave serious indents on my forehead and I'd end up feeling like Sylar from Heros had just paid me a visit. 


Sure, I've tried to cut them up, add more elastic or stretch the fabrics to the brink of tearing, but the same headache always remains. Sometimes there's one that feels all right at first, but then it sneaks up the back of my head and eventually snaps off. There's just TOO MUCH pressure from my big sexy brain (obviously). Not even soaking the problem in vodka can dull the pain.


Ah, the basic headband that cuts directly into the sides of my head...causing me to feel like someone's fingers are digging their way under my scalp.

Whether it's plastic, elastic, fabric or ribbon...at the end of the day, they're all too small. *sigh*

So I bid you adieu, lovely feathered, beaded and sparkly headbands. Until there's a plus-sized headband designer, I believe our days are done.

What I wouldn't give to be an Olsen twin with a tiny noggin'. 

5.4.11

Mmmmm....

Toronto Trip...in food. 


Best Breakfast Waffle EVER!

Mike's Breakfast Bagel. This is a pic from Fiona (my AyePhone). It doesn't accurately capture the  scrumptiousness. I'll break it down for you. Bacon. 2 Fried Eggs. Cream Cheese. Provolone Cheese. I had TWO in five days. 


Amazing Pizza


Deelish panchetta sandwich


Gnocci, yes please!


LAVA CAKE!!


I must say, although I'm over living in an urban area....

I do miss the food options.



And so ends the blog postings regarding our Toronto Trip!