Thursday, December 23, 2010

Hello folks.

I can't believe Christmas is just a day away. Wow.

I'm pleased to report that I'm done my 'elving' (a term I picked up from another blog I read here). I didn't get it all done... the PJs for my friend's son didn't get finished nor did I made a fabulous pair of wire-work ear rings for A. I ended up buying an easy setting and a pretty bead to put in it. Less work but still looks adorable.

I did tons of baking and have one pie left to make - a raisin one for dad. I baked up the last of the goodies for my work pals - an apple crisp that I delivered today much to their delight. I told them that Christmas is the one time of year that you get to bake for a solid month and no one questions you! Seriously - its my favourite part of the advent season.

I'm recuperated from my 'illness'. I had a combination of strep throat and tonsillitis which was incredibly delightful! And then the antibiotics gave me oral thrush. That was almost a fate worse than death. I don't know how to put this delicately but it felt like a regular yeast infection, only in my mouth. There were moments where I wanted to scrape out the inside of my mouth! Fortunately the doctor I saw gave me a prescription for a mouth rinse that gets all that lovely yeast under control. Charming.

I'm almost all done wrapping gifts. Only two remain! I took a page out of soulemama.com's books and sewed cloth bags for all my gifts. I have a crisis of conscience every Christmas about using wrapping paper... it all goes into the landfill and just takes up space. So I opted for reusable wrapping this year and they sure look cute, I think. I had tons of ribbon from another project which came in handy! Here's my gifts all wrapped up:


Hope the season is bright for you all and that your Christmas is blessed.

Moving Forward with Joy.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Christmas is upon us! 15 days to go. Yikes. I have two major projects left to make plus a few little ones... and a couple extra projects I'd like to do if I can swing it!

The two major projects are of equal importance - one is a blue crocheted bunny for my little 'nephew' Eli for his birthday. The yarn is still in skeins and has yet to be made into balls... I want to have it done by Wednesday so I can have it in the mail on Thursday. A tall order, I'd say! I'm working Sunday, Monday and Tuesday nights so I'll have time to just sit and crochet. I think it can be done!

The other project is a white karate uniform for my friend's son (yet to be born), though its really a gift for her husband who loves all martial arts. She asked me to see what I could dream up so I've picked up a pattern I can alter because, surprisingly, they don't make karate uniform patterns for six-month-old babies. I know, I was shocked. But I'm eager to do this, I just need to block off an evening so I can cut out the pieces and alter the top in the karate fashion.

The 'minor' projects is an ongoing one that I pick up and put down whenever the mood strikes me. They're adorable crocheted Christmas tree baubles that I've been making as gifts for family and friends. A friend from school forwarded me the pattern a few weeks ago and asked if I could show her how to make them. She's due here any minute, actually. I've made about three dozen so far...

And if I have time, I have two other projects I'd like to make. One is a crocheted angel tree topper for mom and dad's tree. I started it the other night and got the head about half done. It looks good. Its awaiting the last four or so rows and the stuffing. I've been dreaming up ways to make the body and wings that don't involve starch. If anyone has any ideas... feel free to post a comment. Right now I'm leaning towards wire - I've got some 30 gauge craft wire in my bead box that I might try experimenting with. We shall see!

The other project I'd love to make is a repair of an old braided rug that mom's Grandma (Mattie, for those of you who know my mom's family) made. Its old and the stitching that holds it together is rotten. I've picked up some invisible nylon thread but the tricky part is trying to get the rug into my hands without mom finding out! I've sent dad on an expedition to find it but he's come up short both times. I'll have to send Jill in to have a closer look. I know its upstairs somewhere.

All my baking is done except for a few things I plan to make for dad a little closer to Christmas. Oatmeal Lace Cookies, Christmas Cake and Raisin Pie. And if dad is really lucky he might even get a mince pie out of me, too. We shall see! All my cookies have been baked, delivered and devoured and the ones I'm sending out of province are waiting patiently for me to finish the parcels.

But in all the hub-bub of Christmas crafting, baking, visiting not to mention the goings-ons of our regular lives, I hope we're all able to stop and reflect on the real reason we're going out of our minds with busyness. God sent Jesus down as a baby so that he could do some really rad stuff on earth... including is death for my sins. I need to remember that Jesus doesn't expect me to have everything done by December 25th, that he loves me regardless of how much or how little 'Christmas Spirit' I have!

Love to you all.

Joyfully Moving Forward.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Hello!

Hope you're all doing good.

So... its been a while since I blogged. My life feels like it's a never ending cycle of busy, busy, busy. But when I look at my calendar at the end of the week I see very few 'booked' things! It never ceases to amaze me that I no longer have time to sit around and craft! I don't have spare time anymore. I gotta say, its a good problem to have! So beyond crafting, blogging as taken a backseat to all the things that happen that keep me out of the house.

Work has been extraordinary. I really can't tell you how much I love my job and the people I work with. The business actually won an achievement award a few weeks ago for a business with 1 to 10 employees. There's only 10 of us but I think we do great things in the world of towing. *cheeky grin*.

Last night was the staff Christmas party. It was a good shin-dig and even though I ended up on the floor in a seizure at the end of it, I don't regret going. Everyone was pro-star, taking care of me. I've received countless apologies from the people who were playing with the flashlights that triggered the seizure. But really, they're not to blame. Yes, they triggered the seizure but really its my fault for not educating everyone enough about my freaky seizures. We all learned a lot last night but whats important for everyone to remember is that, in general, I'm not breakable. Yes, I'm sore, bruised and a little off balance (I just about went ass over tea kettle into my clothes drying racks this afternoon!) but this is normal. This is my life. Seizures suck but I don't blame anyone. Accidents happen.

Some reliable information on Epilepsy

So Christmas is upon us and I've got a list of projects and baking that need to get done this week. Its a frighteningly long list but I think it'll all get done. My first priority is a pair of flannel PJs for a friend's kid and then a gift I want to make my sister. Plus I have high hopes of baking up a storm... I'm not going to overwork myself trying to get it done but I think there's hope!

I hope your Advent season is going well.

Moving Forward with Joy

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Hello folks.

Its been a busy couple weeks in my world... and one of the first things to get dropped from my life is blogging. Sorry to you loyal readers out there.

I've been busy working Sun, Mon and Tues nights. I think I've found a balance but it'll be nice to go back to two nights a week. The extra money has been a real treat, though. I'm paying mom and dad back for the computer and am putting money into savings for my flight to Halifax next fall... plus there's Christmas coming up sooner then I'd like. I'm grateful for the money to say the least.

Beyond work, I've been busy getting caught up with various friends. Its so nice to sit down with a cuppa tea and hear about the goings-ons of their families. I'm super excited for Thursday and Friday! Thursday my good friend Kathy is coming for tea. She's an old PYPS friend (Presbyterian Young People's Society) and I love our visits! Friday is also fantastic because an old camp friend is coming to visit with her three daughters. I'm really looking forward to seeing both of them.

Church is what it is. I don't know how else to describe my current situation. I've spoken with the minister at my home congregation and am going to go back there for one Sunday a month. The other three I'll spend at the contemporary church in Agassiz. I still feel like I'm trying to serve two masters but the reality is that I don't know where to go or what to do. I don't have any peace about leaving my home congregation and this contemporary church has some seriously antiquated views on women in church government. I don't want to split hairs with this new congregation or challenge what they believe... but at the same time, I don't think I can be a member of a congregation where they don't have women in any part of church gov't. *sigh* Its the feminist in me, I think!

All the best.

Moving forward with Joy!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Hello folks.

Its been a while but there's not much new here, honestly. Work, church, friends, volunteering. Nothing out of the norm... but here's an update on all four of those things.

Work...
is going well. I've picked up a third shift each week (Sunday night). We're going to see how well I tolerate it. I'm currently working the second night of this new schedule. The other night dispatcher desperately needed another night off so I agreed to take on the extra shift. I hope this works out for both of us. My boss said the other day that they might be looking to hire a third dispatcher. Not sure when that'll happen but am looking forward to it because it would give us all greater flexibility.
We're still on rotation and that's going well. Last night (Sunday night) was really quiet. There were two tows - one at 11pm, the other at midnight which cleared at 1am. The phone didn't ring again til 8:30am. Kinda nice. I suspect tonight will be busier... but tomorrow night we're done rotation at midnight. horrah.

Church...
is fantastic! The 'new' factor hasn't worn thin yet... so I'm sucking all this up while I can. Though I suspect that even when the 'newness' is gone, I'll still be thrilled to go every Sunday. The people there are so lovely and the music and message are so relevant to my life.
That said, I'm missing a lot of my friends at Cooke's. They're such good people but I think my time there is done. I feel like I have to justify leaving even though everyone tells me that I don't. I still feel like I'm failing them by leaving. Few people seem to understand how I feel like I'm being pulled in two different directions. I'm missing so many of the friendly familiar faces. But even with all those fantastic people, I'm still not happy there. So why should I go to a church where I'm on the verge of tears because no one seems to see that they're not letting the Holy Spirit move! He's got such great things he could do but they're so mired in tradition.

Friends...
are all doing reasonably well. My good friend had her second baby the other day. A little girl - 9lbs 6oz! We're all really happy for her. Everyone seems to be pretty busy now that its fall and the kids are back in school.

Volunteering...
has taken a backseat to my job over the last few months. I no longer volunteer at Parkholm and because I'm not at Cooke's anymore, I'm not volunteering there either. I'm still editing and publishing the newsletter for the PCC's Women's Missionary Society and we sent out an edition earlier this month. Its nothing fancy but its a good gig. Its nice to be in touch with all these Presbyterian women who have a heart for missions work.

And in other news...
Mom is coming home from the island today. She spent some time there on a course for work. It'll be good to have her back. Dad is still hunting up north. They got a moose which is exciting (one of dad's friends did, not dad himself) and dad is staying up there for the rest of the week. Mom and Jill are heading up there on Friday to spend the weekend and bring dad home. Jill is taking her apprentice, Shelby, and they're going to trim and shoe as many horses as they can in two days. I'll be house sitting for mom/dad/Jill for two nights... feeding the chickens, picking up eggs, taking care of the horses.

Well, that 'bout sums up my life!

Until next time...

Moving forward with Joy.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Hello folks.

Hope you're all doing good.

Things here are pretty good. I've had a few days off which is nice but am back at work tonight.

My main news of the past few weeks is that I've been going to a new church in Agassiz. I'm not announcing that fact to anyone but to the few people who read this blog. Its a really rad church - like my home congregation, they're also Presbyterian but nothing else about the service is anything like any other Presby church I've been to in my entire life! They have completely modern worship, the minister and a few other people actually raise their hands in worship and the sermons actually speak to me. Its not crazy-evangelical or anything but its the perfect balance. The minister at the church where I'm a member is a great guy and his sermons aren't too shabby but they're geared for the 75-year-olds in the congregation, not to my generation.

I'm going to this new church's adult Sunday school for the next few weeks. They're doing a series on what they're church believes and who they're affiliated with. I know they're more conservative theologically then the Presbyterian Church in Canada (PCC) which is who my home congregation is affiliated with... and they're affiliated with the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA) but that's really all I know beyond the fact that I noticed there are no women elders in the congregation. I don't know of that's a denominational thing or if that's just cause there were no willing women in the congregation. Who knows. The service really speaks to me and I feel spiritually charged when I leave! I knew I was going to love it when, at the beginning of worship on my first Sunday there, the worship team did a peppy/rock/contemporary version of "It is well with my soul". It happens to be my favourite hymn of all time, the one that has kept me at peace through all this garbage that's going on at my home congregation.

I'm not going to make a decision about leaving my home church until I know more about what this one believes. And even then I don't think I'll leave my home church completely. I feel like my life is tied up there and I can't just walk away. At the same time, the church is dead and its hard not to cry on Sunday mornings simply because there's no children, no young people, no joy. Its sad hymns and a routine that no longer celebrates Jesus.

I found this video on the web that really speaks to me right now. I thought I would share it with you:



I don't know what my future holds but I'm ashamed to say that I made the decision five years ago between being passionate about my faith or being Presbyterian. I chose being Presbyterian. But now I see I can have both. I can be joyful in Jesus and still be Presbyterian. I honestly didn't think it was possible to be both.

On a different note:

It started off as a bit of a chaotic night but its calmed down quite a bit. I had one completely belligerent guy who figured he could tell the drivers how to do their job, and me as well. Seriously a jerk. I treated him with the respect he wasn't giving me but in the end I had to tell him to call someone else.

I've been working lots and its going well. We're starting Rotation with the RCMP tomorrow at midnight so things will get busy again. I'm thankful for the extra hours I've been getting. I ended up having to buy a new computer so I owe mom and dad for that... the extra hours help pay for that! And they also pay for the new lenses in my glasses. Will call the Ministry (gov't) to see if they can help me out, too.

I should go find some supper and settle in for a night. I hope its quiet.

Moving forward with Joy!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Hello folks!

Happy September. Gosh, it feels good to say that. September is my favourite month by far! It means that the weather is cooling off, the leaves are starting to change and it means that we're getting back into a routine I can count on.

Things here are moderately okay. I've got the phones for the third night in a row. I'm pretty tired but after the pay cheque I got this week for the last pay period (where I also worked four straight nights), I'm thankful for the extra work! More work = More money. Its good to put some away for Christmas and I'm also able to pay mom and dad more money towards my new computer. I have a little extra money left over after my contribution to the grocery fund and my savings fund so I'm going to buy a dock for my iPod so I don't have to keep hauling my computer speakers around my house!

I had a doctor's appointment last week that was frustrating. I went to get the results of some blood work and she told me that I'm pre-diabetic. This is honestly no great surprise but that doesn't make the news that my diet is changing drastically once again any easier. I really don't want to be full-blown type 2 diabetic by the time I'm 30 so I'll definitely be behaving. My doctor said that my status as a pre-diabetic is due, in part, to some of the medication I'm on (Zyprexa). We're going to look at getting me off this drug... I'll be seeing one of my specialists this fall to discuss my options. My doctor has also written me a referral to a dietitian who can hopefully help me balance a diabetic diet with my many food allergies.

Hope you're all enjoying the beginning of Fall. Its a really blessed time of year!

Moving Forward with Joy!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Good Morning!

Things here are pretty dandy. I worked last night... I still have the work phones, but only for another half hour. It was a quiet night. Much more quiet then last week Monday! Last week we were still 'on rotation' with the RCMP and we were the tow company for that big wreck on the #1 where the semi went over the rail into the Vedder Canal. It was a busy day for us following an equally busy night. I got about an hour and a half's sleep that night but I was pleased with how I managed that call. There were moments of doubt but we came through just fine. And I was doubly pleased that I didn't have to call my boss for help at 5am!

An article about the crash with some pics of the damaged bridge: http://www.vancouverite.com/2010/08/19/driver-killed-as-truck-plunges-from-vedder-canal-bridge/

Having survived that night shift, I'm feeling more confident. There are still huge holes in my understanding of towing, though, and I feel like I'm always pestering the guys with questions. They're generally pretty good about it, thankfully (just not at 6:30am when I've rudely interrupted their sleep!).

I had the weekend off and went to church with some old friends who have left my church. They go to a PCA (Presbyterian Church in America) church plant in Agassiz that was a gust of fresh air. It was the best parts of being Presbyterian mixed with all the right parts of a contemporary service. The music was entirely contemporary, people even raised their hands in worship. They sang a few hymns but had made them peppy - there were no hymn books! The sermon was unmistakably Presbyterian - based entirely from scripture. And they don't meet in a church either - they rent a community centre for Sunday morning. I loved it. My friends have invited me back with them next Sunday. I'm going to have a hard time balancing this with my commitments to my home congregation, 'cause the temptation is to just leave Cooke's for what seems like the greener grass on the other side of the fence.

Moving Forward with Joy!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Hello!

Its been a good day here.

Church this morning was pretty decent. The hymns were great and we sang one that always makes me smile "Guide me, O thou Great Redeemer/Jehovah". Michelle and I made up inappropriate lyrics for it a few weeks ago and I can't help but giggle when I hear it played or we sing it in church. All I can think of are the awful words we came up with! The sermon was good - it was about how Jesus challenged the fishermen to cast their nets out into deeper water and how they were blessed with enough fish to sink the boats! He said the same can be true for us - even though our congregation is struggling right now he feels that we can be blessed if we throw our nets out into deeper water. I agree, though I'm not sure what that will look like.

Jill and our our mutual friend Jess are coming over at 5:30. We're going to pick up some subway and then head back here to watch a movie. Not sure what we'll watch but it'll be nice to hang out with them - they both make me laugh!

I work tomorrow thru Thursday night... it'll be a long haul but will be more money in my pocket, so I'm ok with that. Plus our main dispatcher is exhausted. The weekends take a lot out of her - which I totally get. I worked one weekend and ended up sleeping for 18 hours after I handed back the phones. No small wonder she's tired!

I wrote this next bit earlier today:

I've just taken my first galette out of the oven. I've never eaten one before but I saw a picture and recipe for one online and thought "YUM!" so I picked up all the various ingredients that I don't normally have on hand (Ricotta, sour cream, Parmesan) and then life got really busy so didn't have time to make it. In the meantime the sour cream went bad and the Ricotta was questionable so last night when Jill and I went to superstore to pick up a few things I bought more sour cream and ricotta. I put my first Galette together today! A galette is basically a free-form pastry filled with whatever kind of delightful filling you can imagine. You can make them sweet - like with fruit or pie filling but today's is a chedder, ricotta, parmesan and garlic base topped with Zucchini, mushrooms and some cheddar.

And I have to be very honest here - that was the most satisfying thing I've ever eaten! Yum. The pastry was flaky and the filling was rich but not too rich - just perfect. I highly recommend it even though the whole thing takes about three hours to make. (You have to chill the flour then make the dough, then chill the dough, and the vegetables have to 'drain' on paper towel for half an hour - which I did at the same time the dough was in the fridge - and then it bakes for 35 minutes).

The recipe is here: http://smittenkitchen.com/2010/06/zucchini-and-ricotta-galette/

Mine isn't as pretty as her's but here's a pic just so you can see what yours is bound to look like!



I made a few changes - I used white vinegar instead of lemon juice. I used cheddar instead of mozzarella and I added five large mushrooms to make up for one of my zucchinis that went mouldy while waiting to be used. I topped it with cheddar cheese instead of basil and added a little salt to the ricotta mixture.

It was certainly worth the work. Delicious!

Enjoy!

Moving Forward with Joy

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Good Evening!

Hope this finds all of you well.

Things here are pretty good. I've got the phones again tonight - its been quiet so far but my boss just called to say that there's a big wreck on the #1 (highway) that we might be responding to shortly. Should be busy. Am saying a prayer for everyone's safety.

'Rotation' has been a real learning curve. I've learned how to fill out the dispatch sheet better, what important questions to ask the RCMP when they call for a tow, where the different kinds of calls go (stolen and recovered vehicles go to the Ident bay, burnt out vehicles go to the yard, etc). I feel like my brain isn't big enough to learn everything I need to know! Its a challenge but I love every minute of it.

The diapers I made for my friend were a real hit. I gave them to her yesterday and we sewed one together so she knew how to make them herself from here on out. Including the one we made together yesterday, there were 10 diapers (and they're all so stinkin' cute!).

A pic of my friend's baby in one of his new diapers. So cute!


Froggie Bum!

Its been a glorious couple of days here, weather-wise. I think Fall is just around the corner, thankfully! We've had overcast skies and rain... totally welcome for all the people fighting forest fires and also welcome for me - I don't do well with all the sun, light and heat. I'm definitely a Fall/Winter girl! I was cheered yesterday while riding my bike in the rain when I saw the first of the leaves falling from the trees. Not a lot, but certain species of trees are loosing their leaves. Hip Hip Horray!

I've decided what I'm getting mom for her birthday. It was a hard choice but I've made up my mind and will pick it up after I get paid on the 15th. Can't tell you, though, because she sometimes reads my blog!

Next week I've got a long haul, I'll be working Monday through Thursday nights. I'll be exhausted but it'll do good things to my bank account!

Hope you all have a good evening. I'm going to go find some supper.

Moving Forward with Joy.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Hello!

Things here continue to move along at great speeds. I've been busy baking oatmeal molasses cookies (my ultimate favourite cookie - will post the recipe at a later date) for my pals at work and have finished four more diapers for a grand total of nine. I can't wait to show my friend, who is coming over tomorrow. I've still got more flannel for her and will give her a quick how-to so she can make the remaining diapers.

A pic of all nine pretty diapers:


In an effort to be as cost-effective as possible, the green and light blue diapers are made of old (but barely used) bedsheets from the thrift store. All the inserts are made from scraps - either scraps from the diapers themselves or scraps from old quilts. There's four layers of flannel in each insert and there are two inserts that go with each diaper. I have a feeling she may need to triple up on the inserts, though. Heaven knows there's enough fabric left over to do that!

I'm so pleased with my latest sewing project! We're getting together in the afternoon and I can hardly wait!

I work tomorrow night which should be interesting. It'll be my first ever Monday shift. I don't know if it'll vary greatly from any other weekday night. We'll find out shortly!

Time for bed. This is one tired pumpkin.

Moving Forward with Joy.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Hello!

If there's one downside to working nights its that it completely up-ends my sleeping schedule. Its 3am and I'm wide awake. I thought I would do some sewing earlier (midnight to 1am) figuring that would tire me out... no such luck. I crashed shortly before 2am thinking I would drop off no problem but here it is 3:10 and I'm not anywhere close to sleep.

So... while I'm awake I'll bring you up on whats going on in my life!

Work is going fantastic. There's still so much to learn. I have one serious short coming and that is that even though I've lived in this town my whole life (26 years) I don't have a clue how to group jobs together so that we're not wasting gas and time. The map of my town is muddled in my head, unfortunately. I took some constructive criticism from one of our drivers after I sent him back to the same area of town twice to do a service call when I could have lumped it together with a tow he was doing there an hour earlier. A big whoops on my part! Its just something to work on and I hope to do better next time.

My two shifts on 'rotation' went reasonably well. It was busy, particularly the second night, but still wasn't unmanageable. I managed to even get a few hours sleep in (a total bonus!). I asked one of our office gals (the one who delivers and retrieves the phones from me each night that I'm working) if what I experienced was typical of a weeknight on rotation and she told me yes, that it was average. I was relieved. I had all sorts of situations imagined that I would be up to my ears and unable to cope but those terrors never materialized. I hear that the weekends on rotations can be every bit as horrible as I imagine but since I work week nights, I don't think I'll be experiencing that any time soon (I hope!).

I went to a friend's bridal shower earlier this evening. I'm so happy for her and her fiance. Its awesome to see them this happy! The shower was good. I only stayed for the first bit so that they could take plenty of pictures of all her gifts. While I was there I was chatting with our other good friend who was telling me that she was switching from disposables to cloth diapers for her 10 month old. Nothing thrills me more!!! She's picked up some at the thrift store just to give it a whirl but she wants to make more so that she's not washing diapers every day just to keep up (I think she only has 8 or 10). I came home inspired. I've made lots of diapers for other girlfriends but haven't made any in a while 'cause everyone already has their stashes made! I'm SO excited to help my friend make her stash. I used the Rita Rump Pocket (RRP) pattern from this site: http://handmadebyrita.blogspot.com/2007/10/classic-rrp-ritas-rump-pocket-pattern.html Total time from printing out the pattern to two finished diapers with two inserts each was 1 hour and 10 minutes! I was impressed with myself. I can't wait to make more. I've got tonnes of left over flannel from rag quilts that I've offered up... I can't wait to sew more for her! Here's a pic of the finished products:


I'll make more tomorrow (I can't contain myself when it comes to cloth diapers!).

I'm off to A's tomorrow to hang out with her. I got her camp pics printed so we're going to put them in an album and I got a few enlarged so we can frame them. She got a lot of great pics!

I need to get some sleep or I won't be able to function tomorrow. Morning comes soon!

Moving Forward with Joy!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Hello folks!

Things here continue to roll along. I'm working tonight, my second RCMP rotation shift... and its going well. We've been up to our ears in other tows but I haven't received one from the police yet. That'll be later tonight. Last night wasn't too busy but it was steady pretty much all night. I caught about two or three hours sleep total... I survived and was thankful for a shower and sleep after I handed back the phones.

I worked late last week, too, and had the weekend off. Not much got accomplished but I went to Michelle's church (United Church in Canada) and heard her preach. It was a wonderful sermon about being authentic - being who God created us to be. It was really great to hear her preach and lead a full service! Totally fantastic!

Dad and I are going to work together in the shop this weekend I hope. We're going to make a wooden attachment thingy so I can hook up my A/C to my patio window. It currently takes up waaaay too much space in my dinette. It'll be nice to have it out of the way.

Sorry my recent posts have been so short. There hasn't been much new going on.

Moving Forward with Joy!

Friday, July 30, 2010

This is just going to be another short post.

I worked last night and the night before. It went well, no major problems. I'm exhausted though, and am heading to bed.

I opened up my birthday parcel from Jenny and am in love with everything.

I bawled my eyes out when I opened up this rag quilt. I know how much work these darn things are - I've made five! That she took time out of her hectic life to make me this just reduced me to tears. I love it. Mom said I'm crying because I'm overtired... I disagree. I'm crying because I love it!

She took at trip to PEI and while she was there she bought me the most delicious blueberry tea. Its like drinking blueberries, I swear! So good. And the Anne of Green Gables mug and coaster are so nice, too. She knows me well - Anne of Green Gables is easily my favourite books and movies of all time.

Bed is calling me, though, so I should go 'surrender'.

Hope this finds you all well.

Moving Forward with Joy!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Hope you're all well.

Just finished updating the look of my blog. I got a note that said my cutestblogontheblock.com background was going to expire and that I should do something about it. I opted for one of the fancy-dancy new backgrounds being offered by Google... I hope its easy to read/navigate.

Its been a wonderfully cool day today. It was almost chilly this morning while I sat on my patio, waiting for the gal who picks up the work phones. That could also be because I climbed out of a nice warm bed shortly before (just long enough before to get dressed!).

Work is going well. I enjoy it! Its a quiet night so far. Am going to go scare up some supper and wait for the phone to ring.

Moving forward with Joy!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Vegan Perogies

Hello!

Hope you guys are all doing good.

Its been a great day in my life - I saw A earlier today and we hung out. Mom and dad smoked some salmon to give as gifts so they gave me a good-sized chunk for her. Dad and I vacuum-sealed all of it so it'll freeze better. Pretty darn tasty! I came home and made a double recipe of my tomato soup for Rebecca and her fiance Ben. It was so awesome to meet him! He's a really great guy and I'm so happy they've found each other. The soup was a hit. I have one bowl left that will make a great snack either tonight or tomorrow. While they were here I put them to work peeling and chopping potatoes for tomorrow's perogy-a-thon! Michelle and her friend are coming over at 1:30 and we'll make perogies til the cows come home. I'm making two batches - one vegan, one regular. The vegan one is onion and vegan-cream cheese (plus vegan mozzerella). The other is baccon and cheddar. Mmmm!

I just finished perfecting the vegan filling. Claire came over tonight for a movie and ice cream but I made a batch of dough so we tried out the vegan filling... it needed a little zip so I grated and friend some onion as well as some minced garlic and added them to the potatoes with a little salt. Michelle is bringing over her vegan Mozzarella so we'll add a bit of that to the perogies and then we'll be good to go!

I tasted the regular filling and its pretty yummy. I'll add some salt tomorrow before we start rolling the dough. All the dough is vegan. Michelle and I are both allergic to egg so I got Claire to pick up some tofu on her way over. I wisked the life out of it with a little water to make a paste and it has held up really great. You couldn't tell the difference when we made our tester perogies - they taste just like regular pergoy dough. Mmmm!

Surprisingly, making everything was less work then I thought it was going to be. It helped that Rebecca and Ben helped me peel and chop 14 pounds of potatoes!!! I guess I'm so used to spending oodles of time in the kitchen that this just didn't seem like hard work. It also was great that I could make the dough in my kitchen aid mixer... it kneaded it for me. (I'm spoiled, I know! Thanks mom and dad!). So really, some Ukrainian woman is cursing me for taking the easy road and for ruining her recipe with tofu!

Here's the recipe:

Vegan Perogies

Dough:
In your handy-dandy kitchen aid mixer, put 1 cup water, 3 cups flour, 2 tbsp oil, blended tofu (2 large tbsps tofu plus 1 tbsp water), and 1 tsp salt. Mix until well blended. Take it out, make a nice ball and let stand 10 minutes before working with it.

Filling:
6lbs potato, peeled, chopped and boiled til they fall apart
2 onions, peeled, grated and fried with 2 cloves minced garlic in 1 tbsp oil til golden-ish colour
1/2 of a small tofutti cream cheese container (about five tbsp)
5 large tbsp vegan margarine
3 tsp salt, 1 tsp pepper (to taste)
1 cup vegan mozzarella cheese (optional)

Mix it all together with an electric mixer til really mushy.

Find a circular shape that you like (a glass, can or jar) use it to make your circles. Put about 1 tsp of filling (or more depending on the size of your circle). Pinch close or use a fork.

We're going to try using actual perogy makers... I was given a dozen or so of different sizes. Pic of one: http://www.polandbymail.com/item.asp?n=435820&pcc=%23FFFFFF&tc=%237E7E7E&tfc=%23FFFFFF&t=Pierogi+Dumplings+Molds+Set+of+3&showbig=1

Well. I think that's it for now. I've got an eye doctor appt tomorrow and then Michelle and her friend are coming over. I'm SO excited except that I have dishes coming out my ears! Will do those in the morning.

Moving Forward with Joy!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Hello folks!

Hope you're all doing well.

Things here have been good. I've been thankful for the cool weather! It got a bit warm today but wasn't unbearable. Its supposed to be much warmer this weekend but still not scorching. That will come, no doubt.

Last week I gave my BBQ away. I've never been a BBQ kinda gal. Mom and dad cook all their meat that way but while it tastes good, I've never been one to light it up and cook it that way. I gave it to some family friends but not before dad gave it a once-over with the pressure washer and diagnosed that it needs a new burner. Still, its a good BBQ and I'm happy it went to great people. In its place mom and dad gave me their small patio table. Its adorable and I've been enjoying sitting out there with iced tea in the mornings and evenings (until the mosquitoes and ants start eating me!). There's some really awful astro turf on my deck that I was told when I moved in I could rip it up. I plan to do just that one evening. Maybe early next week?

I'm excited for Tuesday. My dear friend is vegan and I'm always trying to think up interesting and tasty recipes that are vegan-friendly. My next project is vegan perogies. I've got a recipe and I've dreamed up some tasty options. Monday night I'm going to cook it all up and then Tuesday afternoon my vegan friend is bringing one of her other friends with her and we're going to make perogies til the cows come home. I'm also going to make a non-vegan variety for me and my vegan friend's friend. It'll be great! I have two perogy makers but was just given about a dozen more from one of mom's friends who makes them like they're going out of style. I guess she just had extra? Who knows. I'm thankful for them at any rate.

I've been busy crocheting monkey toques, too. I put a pic of this one on Facebook and I've now got 7 orders. People are actually paying me for them. It always baffles me that people would want to pay me for the stuff I make. I learned how to crochet just so I would have something to do in the evenings. As I got better at it, I figured out that I could save a lot of money by making my own gifts. But people obviously like this toque. I can also make it on a boy version with red instead of pink and a tassel instead of a flower. I gotta get crackin' on these orders. Three are for Christmas but two of them are for next weekend. I'm charging $10 for them but my Aunt Bev saw them at a funky store on the Island for $25! I guess I'm under pricing but at the same time, I don't have a store-front to pay for so it just makes sense that I charge less.



Work is going well. I have the phones tonight. I'm going to go dream up some supper and then I think it'll be time to hunker in for the night and see how many documentaries I can watch between now and 1am! Its a very educational way to spend the evening.

Have a great evening! Enjoy the cool weather while it lasts. :o)

Moving Forward with Joy!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Hello!

Its been a busy couple of days here.

Dad and I worked great-guns on my buffet and got a lot done. Dad did the finishing touches and then, the night before last, he and mom delivered it to my humble apartment. I'm SO excited about it and have been enjoying reorganizing things in my kitchen... I'm going to make this my baking station so will move all my bake ware, mixers, etc over. It'll make so much more room on my kitchen counters! Yay!

The drawers are HUGE... each bottom drawer can fit a 25lbs bag of flour and sugar laying down. I've got more storage space then I know what to do with! (Its a good problem to have.)


This was our first experience with tile and I think we did a good job! I love how it turned out. My job for today is to seal the grout. You can't see it in the pictures but my entire kitchen and dinette match now. That was totally unplanned. I prefer things to not coordinate - gives it a more organic look - but I must admit that it is kind of cool to have things go together (my kitchen chairs are white and my table is the same rusty-salmon as the tile and the darker trim goes well with my kitchen cabinets).

I've had the phones all night. It was steady until about 1:30am and then was quiet til 6:50 when some total hoser called and wanted us to tow his neighbour's car. Not likely to happen, buddy. He used some choice language with me and I cut the conversation off. How charming. I work again tonight.

I should get a move on... one of the office gals should be here shortly to pick up the phones.

Moving forward with Joy!

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Hello folks!

Sorry its been so long since my last post. It feels like there are never enough hours in the day! I'm sure you all share that sentiment!

I got busy spring cleaning my apartment yesterday... My kitchen and living room got an overhaul. I have tons of stuff for charity plus stuff that belongs to other people. It'll be good to get rid of all of it. The bathroom is next on my to-do list. So far today I've had tea with my cousin Mark and then cleaned up my patio and planted my 'garden'. Because I live in an apartment I have oodles of planters on my patio. I took before and after pics just for you guys!

Before:
The weeds had taken over and I had oodles of broken pots and a random assortment of loaned pots that needed to be give back.



After:
I cleaned up all those weeds and used up the dirt that was in the bags. I'm giving back all the pots that don't belong to me... less is more, I think!

I planted two planters each of beans and carrots and a one planter of dill and garlic, and one planter of green onions. I didn't plant any potatoes this year yet. When I go to the greenhouse later today I'll see if they have any on sale. I just need a few for the blue planters.



So things are more orderly. Its nice to look out there and not be overwhelmed... and really, its such a little job anyway. Now I just need to remember to water them every day! They get the sun steady all day long so the dirt dries up really fast! I managed to kill my carrots last year because I didn't water them enough during our heat waves in August when it got up to 40 degrees. Yick. I decided to stay inside my air conditioned apartment. It was very neglectful of me!!

It was my birthday last Friday. It was great to see/hang out with Cor - a real treat to have her here on my birthday! I worked a bit with A in the morning - she was having her teacher over for supper that night so she and I put together a chicken and rice casserole to impress her teacher with. I'm sure it worked - its a fail-proof recipe. Yum. Mom picked me up from there and we went out for supper, the four of us plus Cor. A good time was had by all. Mom and dad got me a beautiful wallet and Jill bought me a new pair of really nice sneakers. I was totally spoiled!


Tonight is my family birthday party with all my aunts and uncles and cousins. Its a ritual we do every time one of us has a birthday (and there's quite a few of us!!). I love getting together with everyone. My cousin Mark came over with a gift this morning - he has to work tonight and can't make it to the party. We had a cuppa tea and chocolate Amish bread. I sent him home with the rest of the loaf.

Well, I should get a move on and clean my bathroom.

Moving forward with Joy!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Hello!

Oh my gosh, its been quite a weekend.

I had the work phones from Friday at 5pm til this morning (Monday) at 9. It was a long haul but I'm so pleased to report that when it came time to sink or swim, I swam! I was a bit of an anxiety case on Saturday - there were far more phone calls than I've ever taken... but the drivers were all incredible and answered all my "newbie" questions graciously. I learned a hell of a lot, that's for sure! It was sometime in the evening on Saturday that I prayed for peace (not sure why it took me so long to ask!!). My stomach was a knot - I was afraid that I'd fail and make the company look bad but I was so thankful for the peace God gave me. I realized that yes, the phone will ring and I have the capacity and resources to deal with everything the caller throws at me. Sunday was quiet in the morning but got busy in the afternoon/evening. I didn't stress at all on Sunday. There were a few moments where I wasn't sure what direction to take but the drivers helped me out - it was a case of who should do which tow - and the drivers know their stuff and provided much needed direction.

So, I learned how to manage multiple calls and multiple trucks... and how to manage it all without throwing up from anxiety! I'm thankful to my boss and the other gals who work dispatch for giving me the chance to work a weekend as preparation for some of our busier nights with the RCMP. I won't be working this rotation with the RCMP (because, even with this weekend under my belt, I'm still pretty green)... but in six weeks when we work with the police again, I'll be better prepared.

Everything else is good. I slept a bit this morning and then went to work with Jill while she did three trims up Ryder Lake. We got lunch and did a little shopping (dollar store and staples). Wednesday, Jill and I are going to buy me new sneakers. Mine are two years old and have are almost worn right out - holes along the stitching, no tread left, etc. I'm looking forward to a new pair. I also house sit this weekend for my aunt and cousin... plus Cor is coming down for a visit - haven't seen her in a dog's age. She's spending Friday night with me at my aunt's 'cause its my birthday. It'll be a good time!!

Well, I should go. I'm pretty tired and will be hitting the hay after a shower.

Moving forward with incredible Joy!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

I've been creating again!

This time, its crocheting.

First up is a bunny friend for my bff Jenny's youngest daughter. Rowan turned one last week and I've been busily working on this. I started a few months ago - bought the yarn and got about three quarters finished but stopped short of completion for a variety of reasons. I'm pleased to say its done. There are two things I want to change - one is the ears, the other is the whiskers.

As you can see, Rowan's bunny is modeled after a much older, well-loved bunny of my own. 'Bugs' was a gift to me from my Great-Grandma Nowlin (mom's mom's mom)... mine is made of acrylic scraps and was packed away in my mom and dad's attic until a few months ago when I cleaned out a bunch of stuff. I decided that Bugs needed to come home with me to my apartment. I can guarantee that my Great-Grandma didn't think she was making an age-less keepsake when she fashioned him for me! He's made of scraps of different yarn (the backs of the legs are pink, the fronts are yellow, etc) but now that I can crochet, I look at everything my Great-Grandma did with new eyes and appreciation.

I know that Jenny and Rowan will both love this as-yet-to-be-named bunny. She's made of 100% wool with clean carded wool batting as stuffing - totally crunchy and hippie (that's the way Jenny's rolls!).

I've got ideas for gifts for Jenny's other two kids... I want to crochet a dump truck for Eli and either a horse for Shea or else a dress. She actually asked me for a dress so I'm inclined to make that for her for her birthday. We shall see. Might make the dress for Christmas instead... who knows since that's a ways off yet.


My other creation has been three headbands. I was on my favourite site ever the other day www.craftster.com and saw a post a gal did with similar headbands and I totally fell in love. I made this one and wore it to church this morning. Its a little quirky but then again, so am I! I've since made two more!


Mom and dad went to the wedding yesterday and had a hoot. They loved being there to witness Nathan and Jill's big day and said they took tons of pictures. Mom and dad are visiting Aunt Sharron and Uncle Tim (dad's sister and husband) for the next couple days and will then move on to various other extended family members. They said they'll be back for my birthday at the end of the month.

We have a big church meeting tomorrow. Presbytery has come to a few decisions about our congregation after consulting with us, the Session, our Minister and all offended parties. Not sure what those decisions will be but there was definitely a level of tension at church this morning. Still, we had 10 kids in Sunday School. Thank goodness Marg offered to help me out. I would have borrowed one of the Minister's teenage sons to help me if she hadn't offered... it was more like containing the chaos than teaching a lesson (the days of creation) but still, we got quite a bit accomplished and I think the kids had a good time! I don't know what the future of Cooke's Presbyterian is but I can only pray that the Presbytery has been open to the Holy Spirit. I hope we can all accept the Presbytery's decisions with a modicum of grace.

Bed time is come!

Moving Forward with Joy.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Hello folks!

Things here continue to truck along.

I'm on the phones tonight... there's a tow in progress and that's it. Hopefully its a quiet night although its nice when its busy, too.

Mom and dad left this morning for Alberta. My cousin Nathan is marrying his long-term girlfriend Jill on Saturday. We're all really happy for them! Mom and dad are driving straight there and will visit with family in Edmonton before they head to Calgary later this week for the wedding. I'm bummed I'm missing out on seeing those relatives but I have a job now that keeps me home (and that's a good thing!!).

Ooooh. I just downloaded some Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir and are they ever good. Kinda gospel-ish but fun to listen to as I *groove to the music*.

Yesterday was a full day. I house sat for my aunt and cousin all weekend and was finished yesterday morning. I took mom out to lunch afterwards - chefs salad at Homers (Mmmm!) - and then we headed to Penningtons to meet Jill and pick out an outfit for mom to wear to this wedding. Then Jill and I went and picked up Michelle and we took her out to the 'farm'. She got to hang out with the horses and Jill did an amazing and rare thing - she saddled Brandy and Michelle got to ride. When they were tired of that, dad suggested that Michelle and I rip around the property on the quad, and we did! Gosh that was fun!

Today has been good, too. I ran errands on my bike... it felt great to get out riding again even if the busier roads still scare me. I dropped off some eggs at Nancy's and then hit up Liquidation World to pick up some Ocean Spray juice that they had on sale for $2.50 a jug. Picked up a few other things and then headed home (they had a deal on canned diced tomatoes, too). After I got home, Janet and Aunt Aileen (who I was house sitting for) popped over to pay me and drop off a gift - beautiful seashell beads. That was very nice of them!

Dad and I didn't get around to grouting my buffet top so we'll do that after they get back. By the time they're home the handles we ordered from Lee Valley will be ready for pick up. They're just plain oak handles that I'm not sure if I'll stain it the same colour as the trim or if I'll paint it the same white as the buffet. Its a hard decision. I'm leaning towards staining them, honestly. Dad wanted to have my buffet in my house before they left for Alberta but it just didn't work out that way - he hurt his finger really badly while loading a TV for a friend who lives in Alberta. An "incomplete amputation" It cut the flesh away to the bone. Poor guy. The doctor has stitched it together and *hopefully* it'll heal fine.

I should get going...

Moving forward with joy!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Hey there folks!

I'm at mom and dad's right now. Dad and I have been busy making my buffet. Its coming along really well! We just finished our very first tiling adventure and I think we succeeded! Well, so far anyway. We mixed the thin-set and set the tile. At first we didn't get the spacing right but we quickly fixed that.

A pic of me, dad and our tile challenge.


There are twelve drawers in this unit... and we'll put a nice trim around the tile. Dad said he'd cut the trim down to size tonight. We're putting drawer pulls on at a later date (mom and dad are going away on holidays on Tuesday for two weeks so it'll have to wait til they get back.


The nearly-finished project. Its on wheels to make cleaning behind it easier.

We've got a few good ideas for the hutch. The more I look at Welsh huts, the more I love them. I found one that's kind of mennonite/amish inspired. Dad said its totally old school. Here's a link to the one we're planning to copy. http://liwfurniture.com/images/pine_slant_hutch.JPG My buffet counter top is higher then this one but I like the basic design of this one. We're going to trim it in the same stained fir that we're using to trim the buffet.

I'll take more pics when the handles are on and the trim is finished/tile is grouted... and of course when the hutch is built.

Hope you like it - I know I love it!

Moving Forward with Joy.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Hello!

Well, my third night shift has just gotten under way. I'm waiting for one truck to 'clear' (take the vehicles off his truck) and gave another driver more work for the morning. Fortunately one of the office gals was able to help me with the logistics of the morning dispatch. Everyone has been super great about helping me out... I couldn't ask for better people to work with.

So, as promised, I took some pics of my latest creations.

First, a baby car seat blanket. It was a lot of fun to make... so much fun that I actually have another one half done. I have a pregnant friend coming over next week so I think I'll give it to her. She's actually the gal who taught me to crochet.
'
And here we have the first of two skirts that I put together. This blue jean one I made while housesitting for Missy and her family ( http://missy-memories.blogspot.com/ ). Its uber comfortable and one of the more flattering skirts I've made.

This second skirt is one I put together this afternoon while I couldn't sleep. One of mom's friends gave me the beige denim. It was already cut out into the worst/ugliest pair of plus-size pants... I took the pant pieces and cut out the skirt pieces. The two back skirt panels were a bit too short so I did some fancy sewing-work and made them a bit longer. I won't wear this skirt to church but it's good enough to do regular life-stuff in.


Well, that's all for now. Hope you're all well.

Moving Forward with Joy!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Hey there folks.

Its been a while since I wrote!!

I've been very busy - in a good way.

I'm currently housesitting for some friends... they were only supposed to be gone for a few days, just Friday til Tuesday but the transmission in their truck blew on their way to 100 Mile House. They should be home some time tomorrow (Friday) with a new transmission. Its been an extended holiday for them at the ranch they're visiting. Sounds like they're having a good time despite being stranded!

Me, I'm looking forward to going back to my little apartment. Big houses are lonely when I'm alone. Still, I'm glad I could help my friends out!

I've also had my first shift as a dispatcher last night and I have another shift tonight and tomorrow night. I managed pretty ok. Had to call my boss twice but she's super good about it and is really helpful and patient. I hope tonight goes well, too.

I've got supper in the oven, I'll wait to eat it til after the phones quiet down tonight but its good to have it cooked - broccoli, cauliflower and chicken drum sticks. Mmmm!

As far as crafts go, I'm in the process of making a blue and white baby blanket. Lots of friends are pregnant so I stock-pile blankets in all sorts of colours. Shhh, don't tell anyone that I make them ahead of time! I made a yellow and white one last week, too.

I also went to Fabricland and picked up some denium and sewed a really rad skirt. It was a bit too big when I made it so I made 'er a little smaller and it fits pretty darn good!

I'll take pics of all of this and post it early next week.

Moving Forward with Joy!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Hello folks!

Hope you're all doing good.

Things here have been pretty good. I spent some more time at the office, taking calls for the tow truck company. There was one call in the three hours I was there today... it was uber quiet. It would almost be nice if it would rain so there would be a few accidents and therefore more calls for me to practice on! (But that would be a horrible thing to hope for so I won't wish for that!)

In the meantime I've done some bead and wire work. A necklace and three pairs of earrings. One pair is currently adorning my sister's ears.

I was given a whole bunch of rainbow coloured beads, all different shapes and sizes. There is a pattern - Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Purple. Its wire wrapped which takes forever and is hard on the thumbs. I think I'll wear it to church on Sunday.


I saw a pair of similar earrings on a friend and decided that I could most definitely make some myself. I rooted through my box of beads/supplies and put these together. I also made a pale blue pair... I'll get them back from Jill at some point and will take a pic of them. The white ones are fresh water pearls and the bright blue ones are just plain glass beads. The pale blue ones I made that Jill is wearing are made from shell.

I also did a major over-haul of my living room. It just wasn't working the way it was so the pieces that I could move, got moved (my arm chair and ottoman, my bookcase and my sewing table). I think the living room flows much better! I'm going to do a little bit of a dinette switcheroo in a bit... my air conditioner is moving into the living room (I made room for it by moving my sewing desk)... which will free up more space behind the kitchen table! Yay for space and simplifying things.

Jill and I are going out in a bit so I should go get ready.

Moving Forward with Joy!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Hello!

Its been an industrious afternoon here.

Auntie Gloria and I put our heads together earlier this week and I've spent the last few days tackling Vegan Amish bread... and I think I won! The recipe for you vegan-folk will follow this post. I made a traditional sourdough starter that uses water instead of the Amish Bread starter that requires milk. I substituted tofu for the egg and then used coconut milk for the milk that the recipe calls for. The final product tastes a bit tart... a little more sour than regular Amish Bread but its still delicious! I'm so glad that this is something my vegan friend and I can enjoy together!

Church this morning was good. Thank goodness people were so good about leaving me be about my seizure. I had a few words with our minister who swore that cameras would 'be as far as the east is from the west' from me from now on. Its a good thing to hear, lets hope its true. Sunday school was good. We had two kids and did a great Mother's Day card craft while we talked about all the rad mothers in the bible.

Jill and I just got back from taking mom a nice, big white chrysanthemum at work. She was surprised and tickled pink. She loves 'mums! I told her that every mom needs a mum and she agreed!

I'm on my way to bed.

Moving Forward with Joy!

-----------------------------

Vegan Amish Bread

Mix well:
1 cup warm water
1 Tbsp sugar
1 cup flour

Add:
1 Tbsp yeast

Let sit two days, stir once every twelve hours to prevent a crust from forming. (I didn't stir it often enough and ended up with a crust so I just peeled it off and threw it away. No harm, no foul)

Will smell tangy, watch for bubbles and foam

After two days, stir down (mine was pretty flat by this point), and add:
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup warm water
1/2 tsp sugar

Let sit twelve hours

Stir down and add 1/3 cup white sugar

Let sit for 20 minutes, then

Whip:
3/4 cup tofu plus 2 tbsp water until all lumps disappear (I found I still had little itty bitty lumps but over all, just make sure the water and tofu are well blended)

Add:
Yeast mixture
1/2 cup oil
1/2 cup applesauce (I'm allergic to apples so I used another 1/2 cup oil)
1/2 cup coconut milk (make sure to stir the milk before adding it to the mixture)
1 cup white sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla
2 tsp baking soda
2 cups flour
1 large box vegan instant vanilla pudding (I found that the Jello brand vanilla pudding is vegan, so I used that).

Mix well

Prepare two loaf pans with either vegan cooking spray or vegan margarine (I used margarine).
Mix 1/2 cup white sugar with 1 tsp cinnamon and coat bottom and sides of loaf pans with it.

Pour batter into loaf pans, coating the tops with remaining sugar/cinnamon mixture

Bake at 325*F for 1 hour

Friday, May 7, 2010

Hello folks.

Had a great day today.

Jill and I got together to fill up mom's planters on the back patio and the front porch. We had SO much fun and I think the final product looks pretty good, too. Today was the only day it would work for Jill and I to get together to put together her Mother's Day gift... and I think it was worth the effort.

I just got a call from mom. She got home late (10pm) from a meeting and wanted to tell me how much she loves all her new plants! I'm so glad she likes 'em!

We did these three huge planters...


Plus four hanging baskets...

Plus two smaller planters and two of Jill's old boots and finally the "coffee's not my cup of tea" mug. (We had a few extra plants... thankfully Jill had an old pair of boots that were worn through and then we found the broken mug!)


If I'm already going over to mom and dad's then I often take my laundry over, too, because its cheaper then doing it in the communal laundry room in my building. Today was such a beautiful day that I dried almost two full loads of laundry on their line. My clothes smell like sunshine and manure!! Such a good scent!

That's all for now. Bed is calling.

Moving Forward with Joy!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Hello!

Its late, late, late right now (3am). I made the mistake of taking a nap this afternoon and now, by gum, I can't sleep. *grumble* Its my own fault, though.

Things here are good. I took a walk down memory lane earlier today. I bought some yogourt that tasted exactly like the kind mom used to buy when we were kids. She'd buy plain yogourt and we'd flavour it with vanilla extract and a bit of sugar. This tastes much like that but is pre-mixed. I've been on the hunt for some good yogourt that isn't full of chemicals and gelatine. I'm not vegetarian or anything and I don't oppose gelatine on a moral level... I just don't want it in my yogourt! Its one thing to eat it in stuff like marshmallows, 5cent candies and Jello, but I don't think it belongs anywhere near something that's supposed to be healthy!

I asked a few of my crunchy friends where a yogourt without gelatine might exist and they directed me to the Olympia brand or Balkan-style... and gosh, does it ever make a difference. Now, these yogourts aren't exactly low-fat! But for the little yogourt I eat, its nice to know that I'm not eating something thickened with gelatine!

Oh, and I just discovered that my medication capsules are actually made of gelatine. How delicious. Oh well... c'est la vie.

I had my last morning in the AJ Towing office today. It went well but was really quiet. I took two calls. One call was for a tow and the other was a question about a car that was in impound. I dispatched the truck but gave the secretary the call about the car in impound since that's not something I'll deal with while on night shift. I'm going to meet their night dispatcher on Saturday (she covers the weekends) and have coffee with her at her house and hope that the lines are busy. They said they won't have me work during 'rotation', thankfully. Rotation is when the RCMP uses us for all their tow jobs and lasts two weeks out of every six. Apparently its pretty nuts during that time!

Worship practice tonight went well, too. Everyone was super good about not harassing me about Sunday and my siesta con the church floor. They were overly interested in my new job but that's a million times better then having to re-hash my seizure from each point of view. I don't know if one of them reads this blog or if they're just experienced enough to know I'm a bigger fan of just 'moving on'... at any rate, hello to which ever one of you is reading my blog! teehee.

Frig. I'm not the least bit tired. Time to do some dishes. Maybe chores will make me sleepy! Here's hoping!

Moving forward with Joy!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Hello again!

Its been a busy couple of days.

I did two half-days, yesterday and today, learning how to be a dispatcher. Its going really well and I answered my first call today. It was a steep learning curve but I managed it with loads of help from Megan (their day-time dispatcher). I'll go back tomorrow morning and will try again. I know I can do this, its just a matter of practicing.

I'm 100% recovered from my flop on the church floor on Sunday. I have a little scratch on my left index finger from the floor tile that'll take a while to heal but seriously, if that's my biggest problem then really, what do I have to complain about?

I've had a bunch of calls from people at church, wanting to be sure I'm ok and pleading with me to forgive our minister for his mistake. It makes me wonder seriously how much of a hard-hearted bitch people take me for! Of course I'll forgive him. Gosh, if I was angry at everyone who ever triggered a seizure, I'd be a really miserable person. I don't have room in my life for that kind of baggage! Jeepers, people.

I've spoken to our minister a couple times and sent him an email, just to stress how much I don't blame him. Sure, he made a less-than-wise move by bringing a camera to church but like I said in my last post, people who are in my daily life still make the same mistake. It takes a lot more than a camera flash to make me hate someone! He's incredibly remorseful and I can tell he still feels bad. I suppose that's natural but I don't like adding to people's guilt.

The part I hate the most, even more than waking up on the floor, is having to deal with a group of people for the first time post-seizure. All they want to do is tell me about my seizure and how they either helped, didn't help, were shocked, dismayed or horrified. I have to re-live the seizure through their eyes about a dozen times and it just makes me mad at myself for putting these amazing people through the trials of a seizure. So I listen to them tell me all of this and then they usually finish by telling me how much they admire me. Its very sweet of them to tell me that they admire and respect me but I can't help but wonder why I can't just have the respect without them having to see me at my absolute worst. *sigh*

Well, onward and upward. There's no sense wallowing in any of this. Its helpful to get it off my chest, though!

I think I'm heading to mom and dad's so dad and I can work on my buffet and hutch with dad. Its really coming together! I can't wait til its finished and I can post pics! First I need to call Jenny, though. Gotta catch up with her.

Moving forward with joy!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Hey there folks.

Hope you're all doing great.

Had a bit of an incident at church today. The minister forgot the 'no camera' rule in the sanctuary and took a picture of the Sunday School kids during children's time. I was at the back of the church and didn't see the camera but boy did I see the flash. I was out like a light bulb and woke up post-seizure to Ali rubbing my back telling me I'd had a seizure and she'd take me home after I'd recovered enough to walk. Joy of joys.

Just got a call from our Minister who apologized profusely and swears it'll never happen again. I can tell he feels pretty crappy about it... and I'm not about to make him feel any worse.

I know he said it'll never happen again, and its nice of him to say that, but I know that it isn't true. It might not be him next time, but it'll be someone else. Its just a reality of my life. Everyone tries their best to remember me and my photo sensitivity but people will always forget. Unless you're close to me, its easy to forget about seizures and all that related drama. And even people who ARE close to me forget from time to time.

The reality is that I see our minister once a week and we don't generally have a lot to say to each other - he stands up and preaches and then that's it. If I have a pressing concern that I need him to be aware of, I'll email him. But that's it. So I don't fault him for forgetting that I have seizures (even though there's about a dozen "no camera" signs posted everywhere in our church). There's a lot of stuff on a minister's plate and he's generally pretty good about remembering but it slipped his mind this time.

I only have a hard time with forgiveness when its someone who I have just directly explained the camera rule to, who then goes and takes a picture anyway. I still forgive but it takes work in those instances.

The only part I ever get upset over is that the count-down for my drivers license starts at zero again. I was five months seizure-free this time! A good number, but no where close to the 18 to 24 months I need for the doctor to give it back to me. I'll get it back one day.

Life goes on, though. I'm going to go lay down again.

Hope you're all well.

Moving forward with Joy.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Hello!!

I've got some exciting news-

I got a job!

Yay!

Its a part-time gig as a night dispatcher for a tow-truck company. I know that's totally random but we have connections through one of mom's friends. I start training on Monday. There's going to be a lot to learn as I'm not too savvy about cars and trucks... but I can learn! And I will! I'm really looking forward to the challenge and the extra money each month. I've got a few things I'm saving for - a flight to Halifax, a new computer and then I just want to have some money in savings for once. What a novel concept, eh? This is definitely a step in the right direction towards coming off of disability altogether. One foot in front of the other!

I think my trip to Halifax last month was a real turning point for me. I decided while I was there that it was time for me to get a job, even if its just a small one like the one I got. I also made decisions about how to restructure several relationships in my life... and I came to the conclusion that God's got his own plans for romance in my life and I should just take my time and focus on Him while I'm waiting. Not that I've been unhappy with the lack of romantic stuff in my life but sometimes I think it would be nice!

Oooh, I picked up some tofu yesterday for the first time. I'm going egg-free (ever worsening allergies) so I plan to experiment with tofu in baking. My vegan friend and I want to do some baking but its quite the chore to accommodate both of our dietary restrictions. I think we'll bake some vegan brownies... seems safe enough! I'll let you know how it goes! Will pick up some vegan margarine tonight.

I need to go practice guitar and get ready for my lesson tonight. Jill and I are going out for supper before hand (*so excited*) and then we'll pick up a few groceries afterwards. I'm house sitting for the next four days and it'll be nice for there to be food in the house that I can actually eat.

Hope you're all well.

Moving forward with Joy!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Hello folks.

Well, I'm gettin' ready for Christmas! I know, I know, how sick is that? I don't even like Christmas! I mean, I like the whole 'baby Jesus in a manger, the Saviour of the World' bit but not the mass consumerism and the pressure to buy things. What I mean is that I've figured out what my 'mass produced' gift will be. I have about a dozen or so friends that I love dearly who buy me a gift each year and while I'd love to buy them each something original, I simply can't afford it. And even if I could, I'd be buying into that consumerism garbage I was just railing against. So I look for something that's relatively easy to make, that's affordable, that's worth making and that I think people will either love or will say "oh, there she goes again, trying to suck into her tree-huggin' cult". This last Christmas I made flannel cozies for bricks... you heat the bricks up in the oven, tuck them into their cozies and then put them at the foot of your bed to keep you warm all night. I got a lot of strange looks from people this year but everyone who tried it has reported back to me that they love it. I know that flannel itself is NOT a green earth-friendly fibre and bricks are made using all kinds of chemicals but that's not the point, people! But ya know, I saved a lot of electricity this year, I didn't have to have my bedroom heater on at all this winter!

So my I think my project this year is going to be these: http://www.snacktaxi.com/ They're really quite adorable and can be used in boxed lunches to carry anything from loose snacks like cereal or chips to cookies to sandwiches, etc. Fortunately for me, the Snack Taxi website gives really clear descriptions of each item (including measurements and fabric choices). I've made a couple of them out of just plain cotton but the real-deal is lined with PUL (a plastic-y type of durable cloth used in diaper covers). I have some of it at home that I'll bust out. I'm going to borrow mom's serger to spare the poor zig-zag function on my sewing machine and I'll continue to experiment. Just think, I could have all of these little gems finished for Christmas in a month or two from now. Ah yes, the sweet smell of pre-planning.

I'm off to mom and dad's shortly for supper. We were hoping to have aunt Bev join us but she's still driving from Jasper and won't be with us til much later tonight... then I think she's headed back to the island tomorrow. Bummer.

Moving forward with Joy.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Hello folks.

Its been a busy few weeks here.

Spring cleaning has been my most pressing concern. I attacked my bedroom today with vigour and brought it back to order. Its really a dumping ground for the rest of my apartment and easily gets overwhelmed with stuff (mostly yarn, fabric and laundry!). I'm pleased to report that I won't be tripping over anything in the middle of the night and I have another box of stuff for the Salvation Army thrift store. Always makes me feel good to get rid of stuff.

You guys know I love all things green. I found this blog a few days ago and keep meaning to post a link to it: http://givegreenatry.wordpress.com/

I frequent the Mothering.com message boards (even though I'm not married and have no children) and found this gal there in the "buy nothing challenge" boards. Its quite the challenge - to buy nothing but absolute necessities for an entire month. I'm already pretty good at not exceeding my budget for stuff but it might be a rewarding dare to myself. Maybe for May? Reading what these ladies are saying about simplifying things and coming to terms with North American overspending on stuff that ultimately doesn't make us happy... its really thought-provoking.

I hope you're all doing well.

Moving forward with Joy.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Well hello!

Things here are goin' pretty good.

Auntie Gloria came over for tea this morning and we gabbed away!

I'm just thinking about heading over to Liquidation World - Auntie Gloria was just there and found a lot of awesome stuff. Michelle said they've got "method" brand hand soap on sale... I've been looking for a scent-free liquid hand soap that isn't anti-bacterial. Pretty hard to find, apparently! Michelle said that Method soap is pretty good for that. Will see what I can find.

I also got some nice pictures developed from my trip so I framed a few of them in my bathroom and I have a nice one of me at Peggy's Cove with the lighthouse that I'm framing for mom and dad. I also got a copy of it for me. I'm really looking forward to hanging it in my bathroom. A strange place for pictures of lighthouses, maybe, but I find I can hang random pictures in there and it won't disturb the rest of the decor/mood of my house. Will see if Liquidation World has picture frames, too.

Dad and I are making uber progress on my buffet and hutch. We're trying to figure out what we want the hutch to look like. I'm taking suggestions - let me know if there's a hutch design that you like! Dad's done a ton of work on it and I'm so excited to be helping (at his direction!).

My date with the dentist yesterday was fantastic, in the most sarcastic sense. I had a cavity to be filled but when they ground it away (kinda reminds me of the smell of burnt horse hoof) they found a second cavity. Shame on me! I forgot completely about those gigantic needles they use to freeze your mouth/face with. Yikes. I'm glad I forgot!! Lets hope it'll be another five years before I get another cavity.

Should get a move on.

Moving Forward with Joy

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Hello!

Just got home from church. It was a very uplifting service. There's still a lot of missing people but I continue to listen, pray, not get involved in the craziness and am following Willem. Its a plan that seems to be working! I helped with Sunday School, we had two kids. The lesson was on the 10 commandments and we did some activities and crafts. All told, a good morning.

Mom, dad and Jill are coming over tonight for supper. I'm going to give them their little gifts and spend quality time together. I'm making homemade tomato soup - I found the recipe online that calls for canned tomatoes (the kind I can actually eat!) and its quite delicious (so long as I remember to take out the bay leaf and not accidentally mince it in the soup! whoops!). I've got some cleaning to do and then I'll start the soup. Its a quick one, takes about an hour to make, all told.

I've had quite a hard time adjusting to the new time zone plus catching up on sleep after my 26 hour day on Wednesday/Thursday. That was more than I could bear plus the plugged ears and sinus infection. I'm glad to be doing better. Thanks to Dr. Fitzpatrick at the Chilliwack Emerg for medicating me!

Moving forward with Joy

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Hello!!

I'm so pleased to report that my trip to Nova Scotia and back have been seizure-free. Thank you to all of you who prayed for me and my safety and for 'traveling mercies'.

The trip home was painful and exhausting. I've managed to acquire a sinus infection that blocked my ears in the most painful manner. After we dropped Jen off, mom and dad took me to Emerg so I could get something for the pain and for some antibiotics. The trip was very long... we didn't leave Halifax until 3:40pm local time... and we arrived in Chilliwack at 11pm local time. Which was closer to 3am for Jen and I. We were both completely done and could have sat down and cried. Well, I could have. Jen was stoic and did get little bits of sleep. I was unable - my ears were screaming at me.

Mom and dad surprised me with a few additions to my house - cleaned carpets (did you know that I have light blue rugs?! I thought they were a medium grey!). Mom cleaned all my windows and dad built me the most fantastic over-the-toilet storage cabinet. I love it! Dad also fixed my bi-fold closet doors, built me brand new fantastic shelves for my storage closet and a set of shelves for my coat closet. And he fixed my cutlery drawer so it won't fall out when you go to grab a fork! All told, pretty freakin' fantastic! It was better than Christmas!

I'm doing some computer 'house keeping' and then I plan to reorganize my bathroom with what little energy I have left. It'll be early to bed for me.

Again, thanks for the prayers and thoughts. You guys all had a hand in making this trip a success. I can't wait to go again... will have to save my pennies!

Moving forward with Joy.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010


Hello!

Well, I'm all packed here, my suitcases are in the van. I'm ready to go. We don't leave for a couple of hours which is great - I plan to relax.

Its been a really wonderful and memorable trip. Being the 'auntie tree' for the kids to climb all over and bruise, colouring with Shea, tickling Eli, smothering Rowan with kisses. Sharing tea with my two 'Jenny-poo's', making meals together... doing dishes at super sonic speeds while Jenny isn't there to stop me! Getting the kids ready for bed so mom can read 'em stories and tuck 'em in. Being woken up at inhuman hours by two blurry faces (just til I get my glasses on!) and having them pester me into playing duplo or cars or horses. Josh's fantastic sense of humour!!! And Jenny's laugh. Aww, I'll miss that laugh.

Yesterday was the icing on the cake, Peggy's Cove. It was pouring rain, stiff freezing winds. It was perfect! The lighthouse was deserted - we were the only ones there, dressed in our winter woolies. I took a bunch of pictures... including the one at the top of this post.
I should get a move on. See if I can be helpful.

I'll be seein' some of you pretty soon! I get in late, late tonight.
Moving forward with Joy.