31 March, 2008


Well it's April 1st, April Fool's Day....the most useless non-holiday on the calendar. Probably I only feel that way because I can't stand having practical jokes played on me. Playing them on somebody else? Maybe. But on me? Grrr....So you will have no April Fools prank from me. Har.

In the spirit of it being a new month though, Mr. J.* and I have decided to go on a refined-sugar fast until the end of the month. Or more accurately, until the 27th, whereon we will celebrate six years of mostly wedded bliss with a grand cake of my own invention (details to come). So this means no sweet treats of any kind. Now before you write us off as crazy, we have done this before. For a month in 2006 and I must say, we felt really good by the end of the month. It was, well, not quite amazing, but close.

This comes on the heals of my March goal which was to get some form of cardiovascular exercise on every weekday, which is snow small feat when one is living on the frozen tundra. Thankfully, if one can be truly thankful for such things as SNOW, I was able to get in a few days of shoveling as part of that exercise.

My Mom is joining us on this venture (She's been on a health kick as of late, going to the gym and everything. I'm proud of you, Mom!), which made me think that I should blog about this goal because if I do then a) I have something to blog about and b) I have all of YOU to help keep me accountable. Not that Mr. J and my Mom can't help with that, but Mom is a few thousand miles away and Mr. J. and I together can come up with all kinds of justifications. Hm. Perhaps some of you would like to join in our little sugar fast? Let me know in the comments and I'll make it a point to come and harass you regularly.

We're actually kind of excited about this fast. After the glut of Christmas, Valentine's and most recently, Easter candy, we are getting almost - dare I say - sick of chocolate and candy. A sign that we are almost sick of the candy is that last night - our last night of sugary freedom - we hardly ate any. The only candy I ate yesterday was a caramel Cadbury egg, which, granted, is gargantuan, but oh so tasty. Mr. J. and I have decided that the Cadbury caramel egg contains the best mass-produced (so this excludes some of the really good creamy caramels you find in fancy chocolate shops, or shoppes if you prefer) caramel available; the perfect mix of sweet and salty. Then, right before bed, it was a mad rush to stow the candy (in a zippy bag...in the bottom of the freezer....in the back......be right back.........just kidding) and have one last swig of Sprite before dumping the rest down the sink.

Okay, so....farewell my sweet sugary friends. Farewell cookies and chocolate eggs and brownies and cinnamon buns. Farewell homemade puddings and anything resembling cake. I'll see you in 27 days. Well, 26 after today.


And can I just throw in how annoyed I am with telemarketers?!?!? We added our phone number to the National Do-Not-Call Registry. So you would think that we do not get called, right? Wrong. In actual fact, just yesterday, we got a call at 9:35 PM. Yes, at NIGHT.

Me: Hello? *pause* Helllllloooo?

Evil Telemarketer: Can I speak with Mrs. J. please?

Me: This is Mrs. J.

ET: Oh hello, Mrs. J. canItalktoyouforafewminutesandhowareyoutoday?

Me: Not that great actually; it's 9:35 pm here and it's a little late to be calling.

ET: (In the snottiest tone you can manage, please) So can I talk to you or not?

Me: No! You MAY not!

And then she hung up on me. Harumph! So rude!

Well it turns out the Little Goat is now awake and I haven't even showered yet and I have an appointment at 4 so....see ya!

*Yes, after more than a year of blogging and almost six years of marriage, the best I can come up with is "Mr. J." But I can't think of any clever nickname that doesn't automatically give away EXACTLY what his profession is blah blah blah.

26 March, 2008

Perfectly Blue

For Wordless Wednesday:

24 March, 2008

Easter on the Frozen Tundra

Good Friday was indeed somber as it is meant to be. Saturday was a sick day at our house but Sunday dawned bright, clear, and blindingly sunny (thank you, Snow) - just as it should be...although I highly doubt there was eight feet of snow on the ground the morning Jesus rose from and exited His tomb. (And not that He would've needed the help, but I can just picture those two angels guarding the tomb holding shovels! Hah!)

Anyway, Sunday we celebrated. It started with this:

Easter bag with an Easter ball!

The One Thing The Husband really wanted in his Easter basket.

Ready for church.

On the way to Holly and Chris's after church, we came upon Holly's car which was stuck on the side of the road after the plow went by and in an effort to avoid it, Holly hit a patch of black ice and slid into the 15-foot-high (that is not an exaggeration) snowbank. It took several shovelers digging and finally their landlord's plow truck with chain and hook to pull them out. I would've documented that particular scene with pictures, but since a mighty wind was blowing and it was C.O.L.D. outside, I mostly stayed in the car.

We finally got there, nearly ruined our dinner eating tasty assortments of jelly beans, decorated a bunny cake as is traditional in Holly's
family, baked a ham and some scalloped potatoes, wolfed down some delicious deviled eggs and some salad and that was lunch. We had cake and tea for dessert and created dyed-egg masterpieces. Then off to the living room for a rousing session of Rock Band - Chris on guitar, Luke on bass, me on drums, and Holly on riff-raff (read: Baby) management. We finally left at 8 when it was becoming overly apparent that proper crowd control was no longer possible. So overall, even though we were miles and miles from our nearest family, we had a wonderful Easter celebration with our 'adopted' family out here in the frozen tundra.

We're here now, get this off me!

Bunny cake!

Easter eggs - dyed.

Getting up to Holly & Chris's - this path is way steeper than it looks!

So what did YOU do to celebrate Easter?

20 March, 2008

Oh Spring, We Welcome Thee...

...on this thy Thoughtless Thursday!

We all knew this was the inevitable but maybe we were secretly hoping, deep down inside, that today of all days we might see a reprieve from the attack of the Hopeless White Fluff. I'm getting this feeling that whomever penned the song "Let it Snow" was some wiseacre living in Florida during a freak snowfall. On the plus side, this relentless weather makes us all the more joyful about the prospect of moving later this year. Yippee!

Presenting: "
Pictures I Took Five Minutes Ago Before it Started to Snow Twice as Heavily" OR "Ode to Spring" or "Behold! The Fury of Old Man (are we sure it's Old MAN Winter??) Winter!"

What's that? What do you mean you can't see our neighbour's truck!?
It's right there! Behind that tree! That pointy mound of snow! It's a TRUCK!

Happy Spring, Everybody!

17 March, 2008

Feed Your Inner Leprechaun

Well Happy Saint Patrick's Day to you! I was going to say something more like "Happy St. Paddy's Day to ye" but thought to even attempt an Irish lilt in writing might garner the disdain of some Irish folk and this is supposed to be a day of celebration and drunkenness and who wants to fight a drunken Irishman (or woman)?

Instead, I propose a toast, in a way, a celebration of all that is good in the culinary world. Really, I can't remember if I've posted this recipe before. If I have, bear with me...or make it again.

Drunken Irish Brownies
(or "Guinness at its Finest") Oh, be ye warned: this recipe should only be attempted if you a) really like dark chocolate (and you should because it's good) and b) really like Guinness or stouty beer (and you should because it's good). Your children will probably NOT like these brownies, but you can always bring the leftovers to work tomorrow and make everybody jealous that they weren't part of the festivities at your house tonight! Har!

4 eggs

¾ cup sugar
1-12 ounce package of dark chocolate chips*
6 Tablespoons butter
¾ cup flour
¾ cup cocoa

1 ¼ cups Guinness Extra Stout or whatever is the closest equivalent you can find (take one moderate swig of the beer; the rest of the bottle should be exactly the right amount - you should ENJOY making the brownies, should you not?)
2 Tablespoons icing (powdered) sugar (for sprinkling on top in case they really are just too darn chocolately for you)


1) Grease an 8-inch square pan.

2) Combine the eggs and sugar, beat until light and fluffy.
3) In a large glass bowl**, melt all the chocolate and butter in the microwave in one minute increments until you can stir it and it is smooth.

4) Beat chocolate into egg/sugar mixture.

5) Stir the flour and cocoa together and beat into chocolate mixture.
6) Carefully whisk in Guinness, half at a time.
7) Pour into prepared pan and bake at 350 F for 25 minutes or until a wooden pick comes out clean-ish. The brownies will be DENSE. Possibly the most dense you've ever eaten. Prepare thyself!

* Or semisweet - the original recipe actually calls for bittersweet.

** Make sure the bowl is completely dry - water will make the chocolate seize and you don’t want that!

Behold: The Brownie(s)

10 March, 2008

Everything I Can't Tell You

Well the Little Goat learned a new trick. Nope, she's not crawling, still not even rolling over, but if you say "Gimme five!" or "High-Five!", well, that's exactly what you'll get. And lots of smiles to boot.

Recently, Jess over at Du Wax Loolu participated in a blog exchange where you write a post about whatever you want and that post is guest-posted on somebody else's blog. You can tell your regular readers where your post is or you can make them read through 30 posts until they find it themselves. You don't have to use your guest post as a confessional, but it seems that's what a lot of people choose to do. For various reasons, we can't always say exactly the things we want to say on our blogs. Maybe a relative or spouse would read a particular comment and be justly offended. Maybe we're having a bad day and writing a post that includes a swear-word might affect our blogs perfect "G" rating. Suffice to say, some things we can't even tell perfect strangers!

Well no more. Today, I will tell you everything I've ever wanted to tell you and maybe more. Here goes! Harumph!

1) My ..... Oh. My. Goodness......... I can't ..... because ..... But .... after .... happened. I think .... how .... Good grief! I've ...! I'm ...having to .....

2) .... I'm really quite ..... But then how ....? We'd really like .....because ...... It's also .... from here .... On the other hand, ....seems ...., but that's ..... Either way, it's ....

3) Those friends of ours that are having babies? Well this is them: ....... Oh...and maybe ......but not till ......

4) My .... is ..... this ..... So is ..... I'd ... be at ..... because I love .... and I ..... Alas.

5) These .... have been ....our ...has ....being '.....' Some .... just about ..... But I think .... now.

6) When we ......., we are ..... No way, Jose! And ....I'm letting ....by those '.....' ....! ....from ...... with your .............., you ...............

7) And how much do I weigh? Well, I'm 5'5" and I weigh ...... You're kidding, right? You didn't really expect me to tell you that, did you?

8) My ....? Yeah, well, .....subpar. Just ....all. My ....nearly ................. And it's .............

Well! It feels good to get that all off my chest (I'm sure there's more but I only have so long to sit here typing). So there you are, now you're in the know. :)

04 March, 2008

Welcome to the North Pole*

Digging out Little RubySu. (Yes, she's kind of a homely car.) This is what we spent our Sunday doing. Even church was canceled on Sunday. CHURCH! CANCELED!! (This isn't all 'New' snow - just the top 12-ish inches.)

This snow pile would've been higher, but we first had to get up on top of it (using a LADDER) to shovel it down to make room for the new snow. At one point, one of my legs sunk in up to my waist while the other was stuck in an awkward position on top of the snow. Good thing The Husband was there or my pleas of 'Help! I'm stuck in the snow!' would have gone unheeded.

This is the pathway we keep shoveled in back of our house for when the oilman comes with a delivery. Part of the pile on the right that you can't see is approximately level with our neighbour's garage roof, which, if we knew it was more stable and she'd never find out, would be a grand roof to slide off of.

The clothesline. I can just barely reach is in summer. This snow pile is roughly five feet deep.

If you look closely, you might see a polar bear hiding in our neighbour's snow pile.

* Or, Yet Another Reason Why You're Glad it's Not YOU Living in Maine.
* Or, The Post in Which I Show You a Picture of Me Standing With the Clothesline at Waist-Height When in Summer, I Can Just Barely Reach it.

* Or, The Post in Which I Let David Suzuki Know That if I Had Money I'd Ship Every Last Cubic Inch of This Snow to BC and Dump it On His Front Lawn.
*Or, Global-Warming, My Sassafrass!
* Or, "The Mrs. Told Me I Had to Put it SOMEWHERE."
Love, Old Man Winter.