Sunday, August 31, 2008

a quote

i don't know what this has to do with anything "simple," but i just re-discovered this quotation, and it's going on the sidebar here so it won't get lost, but i want you to read it, so it's a post, too (don't mind me, i'm a little odd...). here it is:

beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.
- Benjamin Franklin

a wise, wise man, that ben franklin... ;)

Friday, August 29, 2008

ah, the joys of purging...

well, it's that time of year again, when you can't walk down the street on a saturday afternoon without taking other people's junk and unwantables... that's right, folks, it GARAGE SALE TIME!!!

ok, annie, i know, it's been garage sale time for a while now, like since the spring. but i don't really do garage sales. i have too much of my own junk, so why would i want someone else's? but... i have a LOT of stuff to get rid of, so i'm having a garage sale of my own. my mom also has quite a bit she needs to purge, so we're doing it together.

it'll be fun, i think. i'm getting rid of my stuff, mom's getting rid of her stuff, the kids are going to sell lemonade or iced tea or something (and they get to keep whatever money they make, so c'mon out and buy some lemonade from them!), and mom and i tossed around the idea of putting asher in the playpen and selling tickets. you know, "two bits a gander!" (which, for those of us from the generation who never got to go to a freak show, means, "if you wanna look, it's gonna cost you 25 cents). i don't think we're going to do that, though. he's too cute! we could get far more than a quarter! lol ok, totally joking about the asher sideshow. please don't come with your toonie all set to gawk at my boy. but i digress... (wow! i say that a lot on this blog, don't i? i wonder why? maybe i talk to much, you think? lol)

anyhoo... so, yeah, garage sale at mom's house on saturday morning. she's getting rid of a lot of stuff. me, specifically...

  • kids' clothes. everything up to girl 4 or 5. boys, up to size 24 months or 2. something like that. stuff that won't fit the boys (and they fit opposite seasons. so asher could wear bram's winter stuff right now, but that won't work, because, um, yeah, it's summer. who'd've thought that these boys, with their b-days 3 days apart would be so vastly different in size? or, rather, the same. there's only 4 lbs difference. seriously.)
  • cloth diapers. Kooshies. i have the baby size and the toddler size. i also have extra cloth liners, and flushable paper liners which makes clean-up much easier. i also have a cute hanging thing to hold the baby sized diapers in.
  • scrapbooking. lotsa paper and magazines.
  • Stampin' Up! stamp sets. for cheap. i think the biggest set is only $10.

i have other stuff, too, i think. but that's all i can think of off the top of my head. well, i've gotta go now. we worked on my stuff all week, now i'm here in hamilton to help mom get her stuff organized.

so, if you're out and about in hamilton on saturday, stop by our garage sale. we're right by Queensdale school, which is on, coincidentally, Queensdale ave. we're one block north of the street; the backyard is right by the playground. see you then! :)

Thursday, August 28, 2008

thank-you, sarah, for finding bug info. be warned, though, readers: don't click on the links if you don't like bugs. tanna, this means you! lol

ok, remember my post the other day about that creepy bug in my backyard? i think we all do, and now we've all got the heebie-jeebies just thinking about it. well, sarah looked it up for me, and here's what she wrote:

I looked it up on a site called 'What's that bug' and figured it to be a Hellgrammite. Yeah, an interesting name to say the least. But it is the larva of a dobson fly...if that tells you anything. Apparently they can pinch but other than that, pretty harmless. So if you want to know more about it, just google it.Just letting you know as you peeked my curiousity,
Sarah S
so, there you have it. a creepy bug with a creepy name. now i'm off to google "dobson fly," because i don't really know what that is either, although i think i have an idea. i'll post a link when i find it.

UPDATE: here's the link to What's That Bug?
enjoy. or don't, if you're squeamish. be warned. it's all about bugs. if you don't like bugs, don't click on the link. but, if you're into bugs (and i looked around, they're not all creepy), check it out.

also, i don't think it is a Hellgrammite, they're all black, and this one has some grey on it, not as many legs, and the pincers look brown. i'm going to send them the pic of my bug and let them figure it out. but thanks for the tip, i'm definitely taking advantage of this site now.

and a bonus about the bug site: there are these weird black and red bugs in st thomas (i've seen them in a couple places, one of which was, you guessed it, my backyard... what is it about my backyard and bugs! sheesh! i know it's got lots of grass and mature trees and a garden, but seriously! leave my backyard alone, creepy crawlies!!!!!! oh, yeah, i'm SUCH a girl, lol). well, i found them on this site. they're called boxelder bugs, or garagebugs. and, joy of joys, they tend to come indoors as the cooler weather approaches. fortunately, they're harmless, so i don't have to worry about trying to kill them (so, pam, tell hal i won't need him too often in the next while). but still... a world without bugs... a girl can dream, right? here's the link to that specific bug:
nice, eh? glad they're harmless, but i'm also thankful for the nice tip on getting rid of them. dishsoap and water, what could be easier (or greener)?

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

mmmm.... couscous salad.....

so, my mom and i went out for chai lattes and cheesecake this afternoon (ed has the kids today), so we weren't overly hungry at suppertime. but, i've been craving couscous lately. don't know why. i'm just weird, i guess. i mean, really, who craves couscous, other than me? anyway, i made a delightful little couscous salad for supper, and it turned out rather nicely. here's what i did:

2/3 cups couscous
1 cup water
a drizzle of olive oil
a wee bit of salt (like the exactitude of the quatities there? lol)

bring water, oil and salt to a boil. stir in couscous. cover and remove from heat. let stand for 5 minutes, then fluff with a fork. this makes 2 servings of couscous. then...

add spinach, diced tomatoes (from my garden, no less!), green pepper. drizzle lightly with oil & vinegar dressing. stir it all up, and enjoy!

this was SO good... i'm totally making it again. mom and i enjoyed it in the backyard. a nice, light supper (would also make a good sidedish or even a lunch in the hospital or something). if you try it, let me know what you think. we liked it a lot, and i'm going to use this again.

my next couscous adventure will likely include garlic, black beans, corn, feta, tomato, green pepper and oil & vinegar dressing. can't wait!!!

Monday, August 25, 2008


so, every once in a while, i check out one of my favourite blogs, A Year of CrockPotting. not only does she post a good recipe every day (well, most days it's a good recipe, other days, by her own admission, not so much). but i love her blog because she's funny! think me, but funny and domestic!

anyway, you know how much we all love mexican food here. and even asher loves refried beans. but as yet, i had not quite figured out how to make refried beans. well, thank-you very much, crockpot lady, you have provided me with the recipe i need! yay! i'm going to go soad some pinto beans overnight now, and cook them tomorrow, and i'll let you know how it turned out.

meanwhile, here's the recipe.

and feel free to peruse her blog while you're there. she's awesome! :)

Theology 101 at Blithe Peters Seminary (i don't know what denomination, or even if it's accredited, though)

and i'm quoting here:

"mommy, you know what? God is an alien."

that's it. no room for questioning. just "God is an alien."

*****here's her reasoning: Daddy told her that God lives in heaven, and that heaven is in outer space. she made the leap to "God is an alien." how's that for systematic theology?! yup, she's gonna be a famous theologian someday... or maybe, infamous... lol

WTF???????? (pardon the profanity, but you'll understand when you see the pic...)

ok, i haven't been this creeped out by a bug in a long time... well, at least since last week, when i had to borrow hal to kill a centipede in my bathtub. but i almost think this one is creepier because...


seriously, i have never seen anything like this in my life! what is it? if you know, please let me know. if it's dangerous and could kill us all, please let me know ASAP, since my kids all love playing in the backyard. and most importantly, if you have any idea how to trap/eliminate thse creatures, please let me know. not only for safety issues. i just think it's gross, and i want it gone from my home. thanks.

does anyone else have the creepy-crawlies right now? or is it just me? yuck!

Friday, August 22, 2008

is there anything more fun than tea with little girls?

yes! ice cream cone cake and iced tea in teacups... with little girls!

it was blithe's birthday party today. (and sorry to all my scrappy friends... i forgot my camera in the van, so i don't have any pictures. but i'll take one tomorrow of her balloon, so at least there's something.) anyway...

we had so much fun! blithe had 3 friends come over, and we had a little garden party in the backyard. they painted flower pots, blew bubbles, played in blithe's room, had cake and ice cream and iced tea, and then opened presents. it was so nice to see blithe so happy with her friends. she really did have a wonderful time this afternoon.

oh, i wish you could have seen them all dressed up in their pretty dresses, they looked lovely. oh, and the giggles! and one of the girls gave blithe some make-up, so at the end of the party, they went up to blithe's room and played with that. and of course, just like we all did when we were little (come on, ladies, admit it, lol), they went straight for the bright blue eye shadow, orange blush, and bright red lip gloss. absolutely lovely! :)

it really was a fun afternoon, and it was heartwarming to see blithe so happy and playful. :)

happy birthday, sweetie; i love you very much! :) xoxo

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

more toronto pics

i said i had more to share, so here you go...

blithe and bram got the chance to dig for dinosaur bones at the ROM. they loved it. they each went back to the sandboxes a couple times. they had loads of fun.

asher insists that everything blithe and bram can do, he can do, too. so, he raced over to the bone-digging, grabbed himself a pair of goggles, and called to nana to come lift him up. he had loads of fun, too.
would you be at all surprised to learn that this was blithe's favourite display at the museum? and that it wasn't mine?
the Delta Chelsea has an amazing thing for kids - they can check themselves in!!! they get to climb up to the counter, and then they get an activity pack. all three kids got one, and they loved it. our room (which i got for cheap, by the way - $129 for a premium room! woohoo!) was a mess almost from the moment we got in. lots of crayons and colouring books, and toys and plastic bags and ribbon ties and squealing, delighted children. so much fun!
ok, here's the story. wednesday morning, we had to go over to SickKids for asher's immunology appointment. and of course, because of the parent rate at the hospital versus the cost of parking anywhere else, the van was parked at the hospital. so we had to walk from the hotel. problem is, it started to pour just as we were checking out. nice, eh? so, we walked. in the rain. we weren't impressed. but, at least we were wet. because, of course, we didn't have umbrellas. i am not exaggerating (for once) when i say that within 30 seconds outside, we were all soaked. so, we scrambled under a canopy and dug the towels out of our bags and draped them over our heads. i threw a blanket over the stroller in an attempt to keep my child out of the rain before consulting a doctor about his compromised immune system. and i say "attempt" because asher refused to have the blanket over his stroller. he and i walked all the way to the hospital with him peaking out from behind the blanket, unbeknownst to me. at least, until we got to the hospital and he was wet and cold. oh, yeah, i was thrilled. anyway, with the towel over my head, i couldn't see mom and the other kids, because they were behind me, so i just barrelled along on my way to shoppers. you see, at shoppers, they have umbrellas. well, i got to the store, and looked behind me for the rest of my party, and there they were, standing on the corner, looking wet and pathetic in their towels. and to all my scrappy friends, you'll be proud to know that i have trained my mother well: you see how she's standing off from the kids a bit there? yeah, she's taking their picture. are you proud? i sure am. teehee!

so there you have it. a few more pics from our toronto trip. i have a couple more i want to post still, but i'm tired and sick, so i'm going to bed. maybe i'll post tomorrow. i'll try, anyway. talk to you later! :)

UPDATE: ok, so i'm showing the older kids the pictures here tonight, and blithe says, "we should have took a taxi." bram adds, "but there's no taxis in this world." i says, "bram, you know what that green and orange car is? the one right behind you in the picture? it's a taxi." yeah. conversations with my kids are funny. lol

but really, what else would i be doing at 5am?

so, here i am, awake (on purpose) at 5am. i have to get out early this morning, so i'm up early. and of course, since there's really nothing else to do at 5am (well, i think i vaguely recall something called "sleep" but i'm not entirely sure, having been awake so often at this hour anyway...), i'm going to make my lunch for today. and what am i making at this hour? well, let me tell you:


from scracth, no less!

proud? why, yes, i am, as a matter of fact. here's the ingredients:
my "honourary" mom taught me how to do it. and like most real cooking, she taught me without a real recipe. she said, "about half the package of flour, and then some water and salt until it's right." now, that, my friends, is my kind of recipe. how much to add? until it looks right. seriously, that's how i cook, so those are instructions i understand (especially since she told me what it should look like. otherwise, what does tortilla dough look like? i don't know).

anyhoo... i'm going to get working on this now. i'm going to make my own corn tortillas, pressed in my very own tortilla press (which i picked up at mennomex in aylmer), and then fill them with refried beans, which i am going to cook up with a bit of onion. then i'm adding cheese and tomato and maybe some peppers.

and yes, in case you're wondering... the tomatoes and peppers are from my garden. awesome. ;)

anyway, i've never really done this before. so i'll post later and let you know how it all turns out. i'll try to remember to take a picture of it all when it's done. talk to you later! :)

UPDATE: the tacos turned out great. i will never again buy corn tortillas. they're so easy to make, and i did up the tacos in about half an hour this morning. this means:

  1. make the dough, and roll it into balls
  2. press the dough into flat tortillas (thank-you, tortilla press!)
  3. fry the tortillas on a dry skillet
  4. add cheese and beans to the tortilla, fold it, and place on baking sheet
  5. broil until done (well, this was done while i dressed the kids)

and they were so yummy! i didn't quite use Mom R's recipe, but only because it would have made a billion tortillas, and i wanted about a dozen. the recipe on the bag makes approx 16 tortillas. i got 15 out of it (i guess i made them a little big). i still have 4 balls of dough in a container in the fridge, so maybe for snack tomorrow or something... anyhoo... i highly recommend making your own tortillas. give it a whirl! so easy, so yummy, so healthy, so cheap. good, all around. ;)

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

long overdue... our mini-vacation in toronto!

waaaay back at the end of july, my mom and i took the kids for a little mini-vacation to toronto. we went to the ROM on the first day. here's some pics:

these are the coolest chairs. they have them in the lobby at the ROM. they're metal and angular, and surprisingly, very comfortable. anyway, the kids loved them. never mind the look on bram's face. he thought the chair was really cool, too.
ok, mom, you're going to have to help me out with the names of some of these dinosaurs. this was a flying one (pteranadon? i don't know. paleantologist, i ain't). and hokey doodle, the wingspan is huge! i think it said it was 12 feet or something terrifying like that! honestly, this picture doesn't do it justice. but it's right there, as soon as you come onto the dino exhibit, there it is screaming at you like that. "hi, i'm looking for the dinosaurs... and a clean pair of shorts." lol
this is a turtle. a giant turtle. a dino turtle. don't know the specific name. don't really care, to be honest with you (i'm really not that into all the names. i call this one dino turtle because it's a turtle from dino times. original, i know). and to say it was big, would be an understatement. if you look up from the funky metal chairs, it's right over your head. and then when you're on dino floor, it's right there, "swimming" out over nothing. it's gotta be 40 feet up in the air, just hanging there. and it's bigger than me. a lot bigger. yikes! but uber-cool!
this is blithe's favourite, the long-neck. and really, do i have to tell you what it is? you know, when you read in books "the such-and-such-a-saur was a million feet long" it's hard to picture, i find. but then you see it, and suddenly it's even bigger than you thought! wow! bram couldn't care less about this dinosaur. seriously, not even interested in the quiet ones. nope. he's all about...
the ultimate boy dinosaur. ever noticed that? for some reason, girls tend to like the brontosaurs and the like, but show the boys the fast, carnivorous giants with blood dripping from their fangs and claws, and those boys are clutching things only little boys clucth in public (or maybe that's just how bram reacts when he's excited. whatever. there was a lot of "bram, let go of that" at the museum. and he wasn't grabbing the exhibits. {roll eyes}) so, yeah, bram enjoyed this dino, and blithe still says, "mommy, i'm scared of the big dinosaur, the one with sharp teeth. it's the one that eats meat. i don't like that one." never mind that there were lots of dinos, and indeed animals today, who eat meat (including, ironically, blithe). never mind that this is not the biggest dino we saw. i think it was how they had it displayed (and maybe how it's always portrayed, as the "bad guy" dinosaur). if you notice, at t-rex's feet, there's a dino skull. i think it's a triceratops. no body, just the head. pretty.

so, that was part of our trip to the ROM. there are other pics from the trip, but i'm going to have to post those later. right now, i'm off to check on the kiddies, who, miracle of miracles, all seem to have gone to sleep nicely tonight! delightful!

Monday, August 18, 2008

ok, this is just too funny

so, last night, i took the kids to my friends' 25th anniversary open house. we were sitting at a table, munching and chatting. well, the kids were very tired, and granted, i may have forgotten the "be on your best behaviour or we're leaving" conversation, but whatever. they know the rules. anyway...

let's just say, the kids weren't at their best. so, i said that if i had to speak to them one more time about their behaviour, we would leave. blithe was not impressed with that idea. (which is fine, i wasn't impressed by her behaviour, so whatever.) anyway, i said, with a smile on my face, "blithe, who's the boss in our family?" she answered, sullenly, "you are." "that's right," said i, "so what does that mean?" "we have to do what you say... but can't someone else be the boss for once? like bram or me? please?"

um, let me think.... no. but still, nice try, kiddo. lol

Why I Write Here

i like this blog. this is where i write about homelife. my kids, my pets, recipes, natural cleaning products, gardening, cool finds... that's what i write about here. this is the hands-on part of my personal journey. i'm reclaiming myself, a self i lost in a hospital somewhere, among all the meds, plastic, waste and complexity that comes with Special Needs parenting. i crave simplicity, and this is my journey to create it for my family and me.

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