Monday, April 23, 2018

Another great low-carb lunch...or breakfast

"What do you eat for breakfast?" a friend asked the other day. I couldn't lie. The answer was, "Coffee and Facebook." Sometimes I'm not hungry in the morning, and sometimes I'm too lazy or befuddled to make something, because I just don't know what to make. Carbs were my breakfast go-to, and now I'm off breads for the time being. So no more English muffins, toast, bagels, waffles, wraps, pancakes, hot (or cold) cereal.

My recent post about the Cheese-crusted Quiche was one solution, but that's not the sort of thing one tends to whip up on a weekday (however, you can save portions and reheat them, which I plan to do at some point with that recipe).

The other day I built myself a cabbage-leaf wrap for lunch. I didn't take any step-by-step pictures (y'all are smart enough to imagine this on your own). Besides, this is not a recipe so much as an idea. You can put virtually anything you like inside.

I removed, washed and trimmed the stem area from a couple of large outer cabbage leaves and laid them on a dinner plate. I lined the leaves with cheddar cheese slices and nuked it all for 1 minute in the microwave. This softened up the cabbage a bit and melted the cheese. Then I added two large slices of turkey breast deli meat, half an avocado (sliced), some alfalfa sprouts, and garnished it with some salsa.

It was really good. So good, I almost don't miss eating actual flour wraps.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

I am not on the Keto diet

But since I'm going low carb for the time being, I've been googling Keto recipes, and found this Cheese Crusted Keto Quiche last Saturday morning. I wanted something really delicious and satisfying. What ho! It was incredibly delicious and satisfying. I tweaked the recipe a little bit (of course) because I had no ham, but it turned out really well.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

This isn't even a little bit funny.

It's past the middle of April, and we're into Music Festival week, where I have to drive literally hundreds of km (29 km one way; round that off to 30, then multiply by 15) back and forth to a nearby town for our daughters to compete in piano, vocal and musical theatre. And I don't like winter driving. And what is going on outside at this very moment is winter. I know this is Canada, but even here, we're supposed to have something resembling Spring right now.

In the olden days when people were ignorant and superstitious, they would blame this on the weather gods. But now we have Al Gore.  I'm long past even hoping for a little bit of Global Warming. At this point, I'm praying that our government will let us keep our carbon tax so that we can use it to heat our homes in June. Cuz the planet isn't overheating. Not here. Not even a little bit.

The view out my North patio doors, blocked by the driven snow.

An artistic (blurry) rendering of my patio chairs, buried in snow.
The melting drops on the window in the foreground represent my tears of frustration at Al Gore, and all Global Warmists and politicians who think taxing us will change the weather. 

My "garden."  I use the term loosely. 

Sunday, April 15, 2018

I've mentioned this artist before (and I will keep doing it until everyone I know has at least given her music a try), but if you want to be blessed and uplifted and refreshed and energized, LISTEN TO AUDREY ASSAD. This song is appropriate, because it's mid-April, and we are still sitting under three solid feet of snow. So try not to laugh when this video begins with the "Spring" quotation from Shelley. He obviously had never heard of Saskatchewan.

On a somber (and more hopeful) note, the song and video remind me of death and resurrection. I'm thinking of the men, boys and Dayna who "woke up in April" to eternal life, and to the broken hearts they left behind. I am praying for every one of you.  #BroncosStrong.


Saturday, April 14, 2018

Hello from the amusement park!

Last post (oh so long ago-sorry!), I said my life was like a movie. Not really. It's been more like this:

I love this classic photo, which has inspired countless internet memes. It's all the more funny to me because the terrified kid reminds me of one of my daughters (when she was little), and the girl holding her hand reminds me of my niece, who is close to the same age as said daughter.

Every time there's a chronological gap in my blogging, I allude vaguely to how challenging life has been, and I more or less hint that I may explain myself in time, but somehow I never do.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

My life is like a movie!

Unfortunately, the movie is Napoleon Dynamite. This actually happened to me recently.

Yes, Middle Age Brain strikes again (actually, I'm past middle age, since I don't think it's likely I'll live past 100, but that's neither here nor there. I still feel too young to call myself a 'senior'). I was at a small-town grocery store, having dashed inside to buy two (literally two) items. $44 later, I zipped open my purse to see... no wallet. Of course. I had put it in the side pocket of my gym bag the previous morning, and had forgotten to replace it. No cards, no cash, no knowledge of how to use my smartphone to pay for stuff (IS there such an app? I don't even know. Probably, but I'm old.)

Luckily, I had my bulging little change purse, and if there is anything I don't do often enough, it's empty my change purse. I decided to pay with "loonies" and "toonies" ($1 and $2 Canadian coins).

I got as far as $37, and that was that. The kindly clerk said she would ring in the entire amount ($44) and that I could bring the rest back the next day. Did I mention she didn't know me from Adam? Or Eve? However, I must have looked suitably pathetic (and trustworthy) because she let me walk out with $7 of my groceries unpaid for. Fortunately, when I got to the car, I remembered hubby also has a little stash of coins which he uses at the coin-op carwash (sorry, Hon). So I ran back into the store to square my debt.

It restores one's faith in humanity. My memory, not so much. Must go put wallet back into purse now.

Scale: our quarters, nickels and dimes are the same size as U.S. coins of that ilk.
So are the pennies, but we don't use them anymore. 

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

One more quick post

This blog post was written by my lovely niece Anna, who is a mom, designer and seamstress/crafter. She owns and operates Little Plum Tree from her home: beautiful hand-made toys, using local products and materials. I have a couple of her tote bags, and my pet hen, Henrietta, also came from Little Plum Tree.
Henrietta enjoying a prairie summer sunrise from the comfort of the settee

The article is about making one's home beautiful--something with which I have always struggled mightily. Heck, I can hardly keep the place tidy, but it's all part of the same problem. I liked this quotation:
In the past I’ve been tempted to settle for a solution that is functional only, thinking I need to be content with something I don’t particularly like because we need to finish a project, or because it’s superficial to hold out for something that’s more attractive.

Ain't THAT the truth! Mrs Beazly and I have struggled with this for so long, we even came up with a name for our decor style: "Scrap and Salvage" (and not in a good, trendy, hipster, thrift-store kind of way). For a while at my house, we had an old kitchen cabinet standing backwards (doors to the wall) embellished with some laminate shelving and pine "trim," which functioned as a shoe shelf IN OUR ENTRYWAY: you know, the place in your house where guests get their first impression. Before it went to its rightful home (the dump) I photographed it, but it was so ugly, I can't even bring myself to post it. (Like that Legolas guy said after that Gandalf guy died in that movie, "the grief is still too near.")

And I still can't get my hubby to throw away the boxy, non-functioning, fake wood/fake leather stereo speaker from the 1970s that he uses for an end table next to his reading chair. Good Lord! I'm in my FIFTIES: when can I stop living like a college student, and instead have only real furniture in my house? (Yes, I know: First World Problems.)

Anyway, back to Anna and Little Plum Tree. She also has a great eye and is a marvellous photographer.

I think my next acquisition will be this little owl. I'm in love with him. 

Deadlines and other necessities of life

Today is music lesson day. Not much time for blogging. 
So true. It was true in university; it was true for freelancing, columns and speech-writing. It will likely remain true for future projects (evidently).

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Fitness update

I'm old, but I'm not that old. Going to the gym, circa 1923
OK, I've now completed three workouts, and I have good news: I DIDN'T DIE! And I didn't even throw up (though after my first one last Thursday, I felt pretty nauseated, and my entire body felt like Jello). But I survived! This took place at the local CrossFit gym. I was inspired by a friend and assured that "anyone" can do it: they scale down the exercises and movements to fit your age, fitness level and any injuries or or chronic physical issues that you may have. So far, so good.

And golly, as a Catholic, how can you not be attracted to something with the word "cross" in it? And believe me, after my first three sessions, the emphasis is definitely on the "cross" -- fit, not so much.

I have to do the "On ramp" beginner's class, before I'll be ready to join the regular fitness classes (well, "ready" is a relative word. I may never feel "ready"; the best I might be able to do is "willing"). My first sessions have definitely pushed me to the edge of my strength and abilities. I had not done any research into CrossFit before plunging in; this was so that I would not get intimidated before I even began. But I'm moderately intimidated now. Not only are the workouts hard, but it also looks as though the cost of regular gym membership might be prohibitive, at least for the present. My writing income has been (*cough*) hovering around zero for the last three years. So until I can find a job or two, and earn a few dollars, I don't see how it will be feasible for me to join a second gym. (Our family already frequents another establishment on a semi-regular basis.)

Thursday, March 8, 2018


Closer to reality
Fantasy--sort of

Today I'm taking the plunge and starting a new fitness adventure. I'm carpooling with a couple of other ladies and going to a gym in a nearby community. Close to the time they were due to arrive, I heard a vehicle pull up outside. "Is this my ride?" I wondered.

No, it wasn't. I hope this isn't an omen.

But with snow. Lots and lots of snow.

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Promises, promises

Not that I want to pick on Mr. Gore especially (cough); after all, he's not the only alarmist, but it's possible that he's made the most money off his fear-mongering. (Oh wait, mybad; that's money made from fossil fuels.) And I have just one teeny question to ask him: WHEN IS THE GLOBAL WARMING GOING TO START? and CAN IT START IN SASKATCHEWAN, PLEASE? Pretty please?

Here it is, March, and yes, I know March always has unpredictable weather (heck, so does January, February, April, and so on.  Do my classmates remember the blizzard of '82 that happened on the day of our high school graduation on the last weekend in May?) At any rate, there is such a thing as "normal and "seasonal" temperatures for this time of year, and -26 degrees Centrigrade is NOT IT.

I don't mind the snow--truly I don't, except when it's all over the highway and makes you cancel appointments or makes it dangerous to drive. With the fresh fall of snow, I might even get out to use the snowshoes that I received for Christmas.

But the cold: I can no longer stand the cold. Not in March. Please Mr. Gore, let loose the Dogs of Warming ... or at least open up one of your many vacation homes  to winter-refugees, so we can get away from this chilly misery. Some of us can't afford tropical vacations, because we're trying to keep up with the cost of not freezing to death and stuff.

Too funny not to share.