Tuesday, 27 September 2011

He Didn't Even Try...


Son #1 came home from his Earth Quest adventure on the west coast of Vancouver Island last night.  This is about 4 days early.  

When they left last Thursday the weather was forecast for 110 km winds (that's about 60 - 65 mph) and 200 mm  (that's about 8 inches) of rain had already fallen that day.  

This weather was to continue for days.  

Their leader, who has been doing this for 30 years, told them to dress and pack appropriately. 

They would be sleeping in tents.  

They went skim boarding on Long Beach.

Sean hit a clam shell and needed  stitches to the bottom of his foot but wouldn't go as he wouldn't be able to continue to skim board.  I think the doctor will try  crazy glue on  the wound today - it really is quite nasty, has not started to close and is still bleeding.

He met a pro surfer.


They went kayak surfing, which I am told was "awesome! the most fun I've ever had!" 


He bought a $30 tee shirt at the Tofino "Give Me All Your Money" tourist shop.

He had the best fries he's ever eaten.

Yesterday they were to go to an outlying island by water taxi where they would camp for the next three days.

The ocean swells and crashing waves were over 8 feet so the water taxi would not go out.  


"He didn't even try mom!"

I love that water taxi driver.


This was the weather and ocean forecast for the next week which is why their leader decided to bring them home.

I'm disappointed that their adventure was cut short. I am thrilled to have him home.
Safe and Sound.

Sunday, 25 September 2011

My Pail Runneth Over....

...with apples, that is.

I made this on Friday because my apple tree is full of apples.

And because I love to eat.

This is very quite easy to make and really, really good.

This baked thing in the background of this photo is not the Apple Pudding Cake but it also uses apples, is cut into squares and is great in the kids lunch.  One day I'll post the recipe.

Apple Pudding Cake

Step One
2 cups Apples - peeled and sliced
I usually partially cook the apples before using them in the recipe and then I add the following
2 tbsp Lemon juice
1/2 cup   Brown Sugar - packed
(You can add a handful of raisins if you like but I don't because my kids complain)
Butter bottom and side of 9" pan.  
Put apples, lemon juice and brown sugar in a bowl and mix around until apples are coated with sugar.
 Gently press apples into the pan and set aside.

Step Two
1/2 cup  Butter
1-1/4 cups Brown Sugar - packed
1 Egg
1 tsp  Vanilla
1-1/3 cups Flour
1-1/2 tsp Baking Powder
1 tsp Cinnamon
1/2 tsp  Nutmeg
1/4 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp Ground Cloves
3/4 cup Milk

In large bowl, beat butter with sugar until fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla.
In separate bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and cloves. Stir into butter mixture alternately with milk, 3 dry additions and 2 wet additions.
 Pour batter over apples; smooth top.

Step Three
1-1/4 cups Apple Cider or Juice - Hot
1 Tbsp Cornstarch 

Heat the cider and cornstarch to just below boiling, either on the stove top or in the microwave.
It doesn't have to be thick, just hot.
Pour over cake batter.  
Do Not Stir. 

Place in a 350 deg F oven and bake for 35 -  40  minutes or until cake is set and apples are tender.

The cider will form a pudding sauce with the apples on the bottom of the cake.
Cool for 15 - 20 minutes.
Serve with Rum laced Whipped Cream
(unless you don't want the kids to get tipsy in which case leave out the Rum.)

This is also delicious with a blob of vanilla ice cream.

This picture is not very good.  It doesn't show the spicy cake, just the caramelized apples.
I was just too excited to begin eating it to take a better photo.

There are leftovers in the fridge - I hear them calling me.....

Thursday, 22 September 2011

Warts and All

This morning I went out to pick some apples.  
They are crisp and sweet and juicy.

I kicked my slippers off at the back door, walked across the deck and slid my feet into my Crocs.


It was soft and cold and it moved under my toes.


I didn't kill it and it did hop away - slowly, dragging one leg a bit.

I hope he is just bruised.

Poor little toad.

It brought back memories of a time when we got to experience a toad nose to nose.


In our local school, Grade 4 year end, there is a lottery held to see who gets to bring the classroom toad home for the summer months.

Both my lucky boys won this lottery in their grade four years.

Her name is Wartina and she had been living in the terrarium for 14 years.
The teacher didn't know how old she was when her son brought it home to her.

The first summer I worried that Wartina would die from old age while in our care.
The second go-round I was less concerned.

She enjoyed her time with us.

She got to swim in our pond.
She had rides on top of the remote control jeep.
She got to hop along the sidewalk and catch ants and bugs.
She didn't hop well on the grass.
We fed her big juicy earthworms.

She is still living in the grade four classroom.

I wonder, is Wartina still the original, or has she been replaced?

I also wonder, how long does a toad live, if they don't get squished in a Croc?


Tuesday, 20 September 2011


A couple of days ago I received an invitation to a ladies get together and other than "it will be fun" received no other information on the night. 

Do I dress for crafting?

Do I dress like I'm going to meet the Queen?

Will we be hiking?

Drinks and appies?

Then it hit me.

This happened to me two years ago at our ladies club.

"Wear something comfy, and stretchy," the hostess said

What was there when I arrived?

A big shiny pole that went from  floor to ceiling and a woman, who was a stranger to me, in tights and a  leotard.


Pole Dancing.....

Emma Grannon Pole Dancer

"Be sexy!"  the instructor shouted

Its hard to be sexy when sex is not on your mind but instead, humiliation ... and fear.

Maybe I could do the athletic route,  that she would confuse for sexy.


"Pout your lips!"

My face was turning blue from trying to hang on upside down and not fall and crush my skull on the ceramic tiles below.

"Straddle the pole like you mean it"

Maybe a drink would help but then alcohol  not just loosens my inhibitions it also loosens my muscles to the point where they are noodle-like.

My ladies were cheering me on.  I was praying for a power outage and complete darkness.

My shirt was hanging over my face.  My torso was exposed.

Gravity, you are not my friend.

Sexy indeed.


Sunday, 18 September 2011

Mutant Ninja Tomatoes

It is tomato season.
Yesterday they were canned, frozen, made into salsa, dried, roasted and made into soup.

My fingers were wrinkly and tingling from their acidity.  

There are normal tomatoes.

Tomatoes that grew so I would know where to cut them for wedges.

Tomatoes that are too big to fit on a slice of bread.

and tomatoes that defy description.

There are green ones, red ones,yellow and  some with a purplish tinge.

All are delicious  and most have left juice, seeds and pulp on my shirt, the floor, the stove (that's a bad one!), the floor and the dog.

There are still strawberries.

And now I need to make chips for dipping.

My feet hurt.

My lower back hurts.

The kitchen smells like tomatoes and peppers.

and now I'm going outside to paint trim.

The next time this house needs painting I think we'll move instead.

Friday, 16 September 2011

The Perils of the Shopping Trip

The other day anther blogger  Isabella and Max and I had a brief connection on taking kids to the grocery store and how much easier it will be for her now that they are back at school which got me to thinking about the whole shopping experience.  

There are many things wrong with grocery store, the biggest being the shopping cart problems, that we have all experienced.

Wobbly wheels or wheels that lock

The cart that always pulls to the right

Goo or something on the handle.

Someone else's left behind list that you mistake for your own.

But we are all used to those annoyances.

The biggest problem I have with my shopping cart is that it always fills with stuff not on the list and changes a $100 shopping trip into a $400 shopping trip.  

Because of this  I am no longer allowed to do the grocery shopping.

(insert a very big smile here!)

The Husband goes every Saturday morning at seven because that is when there are the best bargains and that is when they are changing the shelf listed prices and that is when he can get those priced-wrong items for free.

A little anal perhaps but I don't care - I am not there.  I am at home coffee in hand, feet up.  Okay, maybe not feet up but definitely not ready go out in public.

A couple of weeks ago I tagged along with and I am here to tell you that I know how kids feel when they follow along, have to keep up, are not allowed to touch anything and cannot put anything into the cart.

No wonder they have tantrums and fits - I was close to having one myself.