21 February, 2007

Strike Two

So before I even elaborate slightly on the title, let me write a post-Shrove Tuesday report. I still haven't come up with anything to 'do' for Lent, but I'm considering giving up gluttony....ohh....the heartburn. Here' s a little lesson in Shrove Tuesday/German Pancake overindulgence: Just try to avoid it! The pancakes and sauce were both SO tasty, but since my stomach is 'shrinking' due to You-Know-Who and since heartburn is a regular issue now anyway, it sure didn't make my night any better. It was 2am and I still felt awful. Plus, Husband was on call last night and had to go in just after two. He wasn't even gone long enough for my heartburn to go away. Ugh.

I thought about giving up complaining about the house for Lent but realized that would just be silly - if not impossible. That's the thing about Lent though, isn't it? You make these resolutions or promises or whatever you want to call them, but whose to enforce them? If you don't follow through, what are the consequences? A stern look from Husband who saw you sneak that cookie? The only real consequence that I can see is a prick from your own conscience; that nagging guilt you 'might' feel for breaking that promise.

The way I see it, Lent would've been much easier in a bygone society when EVERYBODY participated. Like say in medieval England. It was a given that you abstained from various things during Lent (meat other than fish, weddings, sex - which by the way was already considered reprehensible on at least three out of seven days in a week). It wasn't just YOU adhering to a fish diet and it wasn't considered a fad either. Everybody suffered the same fishy fate. [I'm picking on fish because it's the Lenten tradition that I've read about the most. Good Catholics already had to abide by the Fish on Fridays rule, but for FORTY days during Lent? Nothing but fish? I mean, this was when people ate (perhaps they still do?) eels, from the Thames, in PIE. <- as an interesting tidbit, two medieval English kings (names escape me at the moment) died whilst eating an eel dish.] So, if you ate mutton for dinner instead of fish, everybody around you knew it was forbidden. There was a collective conscience to come down on you and little doubt somebody would report you to the nearest priest.

Nowadays, Sally might give up chocolate, Sue might give up pop. Larry might give up red meat (not the Larry we know, but maybe another Larry somewhere) and his next door neighbour might give up his morning bacon ration. People are encouraged to choose things which hold some personal significance. Come to think of it, environmentalists should get on the Lenten boat.

Truly! Imagine if a national observation of Lent was instigated and you had to give up driving your car! It would be just like Russian secret police, only it would be environmentalists rapping on your door demanding justice because "Er, Ma'am, your neighbour, Bob, saw you downtown yesterday...in your CAR...."

I'm rambling. Needlessly. Let's get to the title. I had another ultrasound today. This was the 'fun' one that Husband's coworkers did. They didn't spend as much time as the Midwife because obviously, they're not looking for all the same things when it's only for fun. Believe it or not, though, we had zero cooperation yet again! This child must be camera shy. It was moving all around when I was in the hospital parking lot, but from there to Husband's staff room, it must've fallen asleep. P and W couldn't even get a decent shot of the face nevermind seeing through curled up little legs. Harumph! The nerve of some people's children! (And for those of you who know me, you will know that I HATE SURPRISES! HATE! HATE! I can hardly think of a worse 'joke' than a HUMAN BEING coming out of me and something as life-affecting as its GENDER being a surprise! The horror!)

So we will have to continue on our little sojourn here based on the assumptions gleaned from the ultrasound in January. Maybe by the next one in March, Little Being will be getting used to it and will give us a little peek. We did get to see an ear though. That was kind of neat. We also got a CD with about a billion pictures on it - labeled, I hope.

20 February, 2007


I wasn't even going to post today at all because I couldn't think of ANYTHING even halfway intelligent to write (and I still can't), but I have exciting news to share!

No, we're not suddenly having twins (THANKFULLY!). My good friend Erin, as true and Canadian as they come, just started a blog! Please check it out: Erin's Blog.

Also, as I've been reminded several times this afternoon, today is Shrove Tuesday. I completely forgot. This happens every year. I usually forget about Shrove Tuesday until Ash Wednesday when I must hastily contrive some sort of Lenten promises that usually all go out the window within a week. It's sad when you think about it because Lent only lasts for 40 days. When we make resolutions every New Year (well, some of you still do, don't you?), we go into it optimistically expecting to pursue them for a whole year - at least - but realize after about a week that they were really just that - good intentions, not really resolutions.

So I guess tonight I will have to set aside some time to think about Lent and my own Lenten intentions: giving up sweets would deprive the baby of much-needed...sweets. Giving up blogging would simply be a travesty. Giving up reading other peoples' blogs would be equally devastating. No, I will have to come up with something much more meaningful.

All this thinking, will of course take place AFTER I finish revising the menu for the week (yes, KB, we've been faithfully writing up and following a menu for more than a month now! It's such a RELIEF!!!). Thankfully, the spaghetti sauce I've been inventing in my head all morning hasn't been started yet; which also means I've still got another day to get some celery. I had been planning on making a double batch of my Grama's (tasty) Waffles on Thursday so Husband would have leftovers to toast while I'm away next week. But pancakes and waffles in the same week? In my family, we're no strangers to having breakfast foods for supper; in fact it's a favourite little habit (I suppose it really could be a sort of tradition) of ours, but I'm not sure so much fun should be crammed into only one week.

No, tonight we'll celebrate with pancakes and leave the waffles for another time. Not just any pancakes, mind you. "German Pancakes." Most of you will be familiar with them as 'crepes,' but in our family, they have always been and always will be German Pancakes. I realize they're flat which defeats at least a portion of the Shrove Tuesday Pancake purpose (using up the leaven so it's gone before Lent officially begins, right?), but that's just the way we do things in my Menno kitchen. Oh, and forget maple syrup or Aunt Jemima's or any of that other crap. Nope, we go all out in my family. Pure cream and brown sugar cooked up into a tasty sauce. And no, for the love of all things good, we DO NOT for any reason, RUIN our German Pancakes by eating them with any sort of 'savoury' filling(s). THAT is an abomination of the worst kind! You have pancakes and brown sugar cream sauce, maybe bacon and a fried egg ON THE SIDE, but nothing else goes inside the cake, with the possible exception of some sliced banana.

I should at least tell you that we didn't exactly eat these Heart Attack Cakes every week growing up. Because of my brother's and my dad's combined inability to LIMIT their sauce per pancake ratio to something at least somewhat reasonable, Mom would make German Pancake meals only on occasion. Maybe when I'm home next week, we'll even be lucky enough to have one of those occasions. (Did you catch that, Mom?)

So now that my brain is thoroughly ensconced in the culinary dreamland that is German Pancakes, I'll go and clean up my spaghetti sauce ingredients until tomorrow and haul out the frying pan. Mmmmm....I can hardly wait till supper!

Also, in other news which I alluded to a paragraph or two ago, I'm headed Home for a week on Saturday. If you're 'lucky' (or probably more like if I'm looking for something to do to kill a half hour), I'll post a blog 'on location' in MB. Otherwise, I'm forewarning you that after this Friday, you may see nothing new from me for a week or so.

Happy Lent!

15 February, 2007

A Wee Bit of Advice For Yous

Okay, well if any of you were thinking of ever moving to Northern Maine, on behalf of Husband and myself, we offer you one word of advice:


All the nastiness you've seen on the weather reports is true! Even the Farmer's Almanac predicted such a monstrosity of storm! We had at least 6 inches (about 12cm?) yesterday. I woke up at 4:45 this morning to go out and start shoveling/cleaning off the car while Husband got ready for work (he was feeling well enough to at least try going today and it's after noon and he isn't home yet, so I'm guessing he's faring all right). So I shoveled those 6 inches away this morning (and rewarded myself with a lime popsicle at 5:50am) and since then, we've had at least another three or four. Now, however, to add to the mix, the snow is blowing all around. You know, just to make things more interesting....*grumble, grumble*

I've been watching the
neighbour kid across the street try to push out his little Honda for the last two hours. He got it hung up on the snow the plow left at the end of the driveway. Ah...the inexperience of youth. It's really been quite hilarious. And for those of you who think I'm being cruel by watching and laughing, remember this is the same neighbour that didn't even come to the door when we brought over his grandmother's (?) package the other day.

In other news, the wee clothes I ordered from Old Navy came today. So I'm going to post a picture of one of the 'onesies' we picked out. It's actually from the girls' section, but we figured it would work for either. It's darn cute, we think.

Hm, I think I'll also post a picture of the bagels we made the other day. We need to perfect the shaping a little, but they tasted fabulous! (We've been rather industrious in the kitchen lately.)

14 February, 2007

The Meeting That Almost Was

Yesterday, we got a package in the mail. Only it wasn't for us, it was for the neighbours across the street. So as soon as Husband got home from work, we bundled up and trudged *all the way* across the street. The first door we went to had a table on the other side, so we went to the garage door and rang the bell. No dice. We could hear those two terrible little white dogs yapping away inside, but no answer. We left the package and headed home quite disappointed that yet another perfect opportunity to meet another neighbour was foiled. Nobody home.
However, not ten minutes later, I could hear the dogs. They were outside and the package was gone and what the heck? Somebody was home after all! ARGH! What is with these people!?!? Seriously, the sign on the way into town - from all THREE directions - says "Friendly" on it...could've fooled us!!

In other news, yesterday I made Husband his Valentine's present - chocolate chocolate chip cranberry cookies which turned out fabulous! And it turns out it's a good thing he ate them yesterday. As much as I love the idea of spending all of Valentine's Day with Husband (though we weren't planning on celebrating today anyway), I hadn't figured he would spend the whole day sick. Boo! He's been up and down since just after midnight.

I should count my blessings that since lately I haven't felt much like eating either, I don't have to whip up some fancy-pants Valentine's dinner since he likely won't be eating by then anyway. We will look forward to our pizza date on Friday and I will have a baked potato for supper.

So here's hoping this V-day finds you doing something for or with somebody you love - sick or otherwise.

P.S. EK - can you email me? Something's wrong with that email address and I can't find your address!!

08 February, 2007

An Original Quiz

Last week the CBC evening news showed a series of segments about driving, focusing particularly on bad driving. They asked viewers to write in and tell them where in Canada the worst drivers could be found (in my humble estimation, that would be Vancouver, but since I'm no longer a Canadian resident....). When it comes to which city or province has the worst drivers, one could find many differing opinions, I'm sure, but today, I'd like to present to you my a quiz to exhibit my findings about driving in Northern Maine. This quiz, cleverly titled "Am I Qualified to Drive in Northern Maine?" will, by answering a series of questions, enable you to find out if YOU are qualified to drive in Northern Maine.

Quiz: Am I Qualified to Drive in Northern Maine?
For each question, choose the answer that best represents your own driving habits.

Question 1:
You are driving down Main Street where the speed limit is 25mph. You:
a) drive 25mph because that's the speed limit and you are a law-abiding citizen (even though you too secretly agree that the limit should be more like 40mph).
b) drive at least 40mph because that's what they really meant to write on those signs.
c) honk your horn and tailgate, barely missing the bumper of the car in front of you, just so you can arrive at your destination 30 seconds sooner than 'the slow guy.'
d) Both b and c are correct.

Question 2:
You are approaching a stop light that has just turned yellow. You
a) start slowing down and prepare to stop.
b) curse at the car in front of you whose driver was too stupid to rush through the light so that you could still make it through at the beginning of the red light.
c) wait for the car in front of you to go through the red light and then do the same.
d) Both b and c are correct.

Question 3:
It's winter and the blue paint of the 'handy spot' is nearly obscured by snow. You:
a) realize you've parked in a handy spot and promptly move your car.
b) realize you've parked in a handy spot and stay where you are - you're only going to be five minutes.
c) realize you've parked in a handy spot but decide to ignore the blue paint and secretly congratulate yourself on scoring such a great parking spot at the MALL on SATURDAY.
d) Both b and c are correct.

Question 4:
You're backing into your garage just as you notice your neighbour is leaving. You:
a) smile and wave and think, 'hm, I really should go over and introduce myself one of these days.'
b) glare at them.
c) hope that by pretending to ignore them, they'll go away, even though they've smiled and waved at you four times since spotting you - you're too busy trying not to hit your garbage can anyway.
d) Both b and c are correct.

Question 5:
You are a cop out on traffic patrol in Northern Maine. You
a) get all excited when you see a car pull through a red light. It's your fifth ticket for such an offense just this morning!
b) decide to follow the law-abiding, non-speeding, non-red-light-running station wagon in front of you, just because it will make the driver nervous.
c) decide to go for coffee - somebody else will catch traffic law violators today.
d) Both b and c are correct.

Question 6:
You are a Northern Maine resident. Your most frequent driving dream is:
a) to have just one safe, uneventful commute to work. Just once a month, even one-way will do!
b) getting that handy spot at the mall every Saturday.
c) successfully talking your way out of tickets for speeding and running a red light - on the same day!
d) Both b and c are correct.

How Did You Do?
If you chose all A's, under NO circumstances should you attempt to drive in Northern Maine if it is at all avoidable. You could be involved in a serious car accident.

If you chose mostly A's with maybe one B thrown in, you should probably stay where you are, though venturing into Maine once in a while could prove quite the adrenaline rush for you.

If you chose mostly B's or C's, you should seriously think about what kind of driving hazard you present in your very own town or city of residence. Consider staying home today and giving other drivers some much-needed peace.

If you chose mostly D's: It's YOU! YOU!!!!! Shame on you! Shame!!!! You park in handy spaces, don't you?! When the only thing you're probably handy with is a butter knife! I'm appalled! (So...when are you moving out here?)

05 February, 2007

Are YOU a Superhero??

Your Superhero Profile

Your Superhero Name is The Magnetic Hornet
Your Superpower is Meditation
Your Weakness is Kittens
Your Weapon is Your Lunar Catapult
Your Mode of Transportation is Cable
What's your Superhero Name?

I'd really like to SEE this lunar catapult...

01 February, 2007

For Enquiring Minds....

So the 'results' were leaning, but not conclusive.

Another ultrasound is scheduled for March to look at something else, so the midwife will check again then.

Sorry to disappoint. You'll all just have to wait in suspense a little longer. In the meantime, we're still hoping for our little Ben.