Saturday, October 8, 2011

Stacey Crocker

I like to bake. I hate to cook but I love to bake. My first real job was a baking job. From time to time I get into a mega baking mood and go a little crazy baking a whole mess of stuff all at once.

This weekend is the Canadian Thanksgiving and my Mother in Law asked me to bring a cheesecake for dessert for her Thanksgiving dinner. No problem at all. The only thing I like better than cheesecake is MY cheesecake. I don't like to brag...well yes, actually I cheesecake it THE s-@*#! I figured while I was making a cheesecake for that dinner I might as well make one for when I go to my parents for dinner. I usually make a traditional fruit topped cheesecake to go to either house. Then I found an easy chocolate cheesecake recipe on (my latest addiction). I'm not a big chocolate fan but lots of people are and I wanted to try out the recipe so I added that to my baking list. Then, while eating a pumpkin spice muffin from Tim Hortons I wondered if I could find a pumpkin cheesecake recipe that I had all the ingredients for. I found a recipe and then during my search I came across a recipe for pumpkin cookies and added both to my baking list. My parents really like peanut butter cookies so I added a small batch of them to the list as well.

I spent most of the night last night making cheesecakes and then got up this morning and baked cookies. My Nana would be so proud. Just call me Stacey Crocker! I'm not sure who is going to eat all this crap but they definitely have options. The pumpkin cookie recipe yielded over 100 cookies so I hope somebody besides me like them or I'm going to be another 25 pounds heavier. The pumpkin cheese cake filling it so scrumptious I could have eaten it 2 minutes after is was finished.

Now that all the baking is done I am trying to resist the urge to google more recipes as I really need to get moving with my day. I'm sure the rest of my day is going to be spent praying the boys don't find out there are 4 cheesecakes in the downstairs fridge and cookies locked in the pantry so I will actually have goodies to take to dinner.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and cheers to eating enough turkey to have to move to the next notch in your belt!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

A Chance to Make a New Friend!

It is amazing what a difference 1 number can make. For me this morning, it was the difference between qualifying to win $25,000 and making a new friend.

Every morning I wake up to the sound of our local radio station and this morning was no exception. This morning they were talking about a contest they were holding where you had to text your first and last name to a specific number in order to qualify for a chance to win $25,000 or a new car.

Sounded easy enough so I thought, what the heck, I'll enter. Apparently I mixed up a number when I sent my text.... Now I have Tom from Waterloo, who claims to be a Sales Engineer texting me. "Sales Engineer" huh? Fancy name for cashier at Walmart? Drug dealer? When asked what I do to make a living a million possibilities came to mind. Queen of Canada. Surgeon General of Stinkburg. After all Tom didn't know who that text came from. I could be just about anyone even a big hairy dude driving a truck. Stacey is a unisex name right? I was going to go with Domestic Goddess but settled with just telling him I raise 3 kids. I don't really MAKE a living as much as spend a living doing that but it is how I pass the time (I should probably add that I of course love every minute of it).

He asked who I was trying to reach. I told him about the radio station contest and how I had mixed up a number. He asked if I at least won? Ummmmmm, how could I win if I text..texted (what is the past tense of text?) him instead of the radio station? I would have expected a "Sales Engineer" to be a little quicker than that.

Then he told me "well you kinda did". I assume he meant because I had the great fortune to end up exchanging texts with the likes of him. I responded that I think Papa Bear would have probably rather I won a chance to win $25,000 than make a new friend.

Up until this point I thought he was hitting on me. That was until he asked "so what is your hubby thinking about having a date with another man? haha". I've known Papa Bear for a pretty long time and I don't think I ever recall him mentioning that he has ever considered dating a man. I'll be sure to ask him though and see if he wants my new friend, Tom the "Sales Engineer"'s number.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Wordless Wednesday...3 Little Monkeys Jumping

Monday, September 19, 2011

Time Again For a Little Catch Up

I have become a terrible blogger. My posts have become far and few between. I get emails in my inbox from time to time from random readers telling me to get my butt in gear and post more often. You would think from the lack of activity on the blog that my life must be so boring lately that I haven't had anything to blog about. That is not the case, although what I wouldn't give for some boredom from time to time. So here is a recap of what we've been up to around here:

My super fun home party business job was really slow after Christmas (and into the spring) so I decided to apply for a job with Statistics Canada and from late April until early August I was a government employee. While it wasn't the most glamourous job it was definitely interesting. I'm bound by an oath that prevents me from talking about much of the experience but I will just say this: Think about what you are wearing (or not wearing) when you answer your front door before you open that door.

It was somewhere in the late spring that I bought a new weight scale that hates me and I found that I had gained about 25lbs in the last year and was apparently oblivious. This new revelation brought a pop detox, a iced capp cut back and more attention to my portion sizes and listening to my brain when it says "WHOA, you've had enough. I know you like the taste of it but step away fat ass". I'm not sure that cutting back on my iced capp consumption right before school let out for summer was the best idea.

June brought the end of school and the beginning of the end for what was left of my sanity. For some insane reason I thought it would be a good idea to enrol the boys in daily swimming lessons in a different town at 10 o'clock in the morning for 2 weeks. The thought behind that was it would force us to get up, get dressed and get moving everyday. I forgot that I am not a morning person -not even a little bit.

Little Bear went to sleep away camp for the first time ever the second week in July. I was so nervous about this I couldn't drop him off and I couldn't sleep for the first couple days. It didn't help that X told me that Little Bear cried when he left him there. However, when I went to pick him up at the end of the week he was crying again but this time because he didn't want to leave. While Little Bear was away Papa Bear decided this would be a good time to (finally) tear out the old panelled walls and drywall in Fuzzy's room and Fuzzy could sleep in Little Bear's room. Half way through this project which ended up much bigger with the closet falling down and having to be rebuilt and the floor also being replaced, the wheat in the fields was ready to be harvested. I would just like to point out that I KNEW this was going to happen and the whole reason I choose the second week in July for Little Bear to go to camp was because that is the week week we are typically in wheat harvest. The result was the 2 boys bunking up for a little over a week to Little Bear's disdain. In the end Fuzzy's room turned out fantastic and well worth the wait.

At the end of July and into the beginning of August the Bear Family took our summer vacation again in Niagara Falls. We visited the Niagara Zoo and stayed at a hotel with it's own water park. The boys had a blast and while they will likely outgrow that particular hotel water park I think that I wouldn't mind staying at a similar place with a larger scale park. The boys were having so much fun that I almost didn't care that I had to squeeze my squishy (25lbs heavier) body into a bathing suit in front of strangers.

In August the boys did round 2 of daily swimming lessons since I obviously hadn't learned my lesson the first round and am a sucker for punishment. The fact that 2 out of the 3 boys passed their swimming levels validates driving with 1 eye still shut every morning. There likely would have been a third round of swimming lessons if I had been able to foresee that X was going to renege on his promise to the boys that they could come to his house for a full week. How I didn't see that coming I don't know.

Towards the end of August the boys really started to get sick of each other and resorted to non stop fighting that started as soon as 2 of them had their eyes open until the last 2 fell asleep at the end of the day. The result was an my increased dose of Extra Strength Advil and really focusing on the number of days left until school went back in.

The end of August also brought one of the biggest storms we have had since I have lived on the farm. I still swear a tornado touched down in our back yard. Papa Bear says it was a down burst of wind or some crap but that doesn't seem a big enough deal to completely take out our pear tree, throw our trampoline (which was anchored down with cement blocks) across our back field to rest in a mangled heap in the trees on the river bank, push a grain wagon hitch first across the field, take out the other half of the large tree that got struck by lightning a few years ago, break of a huge branch of another tree that would get tangled in and snap the hydro line that runs from the house to the drive shed, break off another branch that would hit and dent Papa Bear's truck, leave the boys' climber in need of repair and split a huge crack in probably they biggest and most mature of our trees so that it had to be cut down because of the danger it posed to splitting completely and falling. It was probably the scariest weather I have encountered.

At the beginning of September Little Bear went off to start Grade 3 and Fuzzy to S/K. As much as I was looking forward to them going back I must admit that once they were gone I missed them. Not enough to wish another 2 months of them being home but I do miss them when they are at school. September also brings the busiest season for work which I am so looking forward to. I love my job and the busier I am the longer I can put off having to look for a P/T job.

That about brings us up to date. Sorry this post is so extremely long but there was a lot of stuff to catch up on. I'm hoping to get my groove back and not leave my readers with such large gaps between posts. I'm also hoping to bring back the occasional "Wordless Wednesday". I miss blogging regularly and I miss reading comments from my readers.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Auto Corrected

Auto correct is usually a great tool on your cell phone to make typing quicker and easier...and also so you don't look like an idiot when you don't know how to spell. Occasionally though it works in the reverse and instead makes you look like a complete idiot when it changes to something completely different than what you were originally trying to communicate. There is an entire website dedicated to this misfortune, . This particular site has caused me to laugh until I cried at the poor saps that have fallen victim to the auto correct curse.

Today I found myself victim to the curse. I'm just glad it was Chesty McBreasty on the receiving end and not someone else. There are so many more fantastic examples on the site but here is my flub:

...and yes, she is absolutely programmed into my contacts as "Chesty McBreasty". :)

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Jump For Joy

I think every kid has a list in their head of the coolest toys they wish they could have. For me that list consisted of a Power Wheels, a tree house, a cool bike, Moon Shoes and a trampoline. My parents did eventually grant my wish for a cool bike which was so cool in all it's purply shininess that I rode it right into adulthood and never passed it down to either of my brothers like all of my previous bikes.

Now that I am a Mama I can live vicariously through my kids and so my boys have Power Wheels which have provided countless hours of enjoyment, a climber with a sort of tree house, very cool John Deere bikes and just recently, a trampoline. - Moon Shoes just don't seem as great now as they did then and I'm not completely sure they even make them anymore.

I have wanted a trampoline since I was about 5 and a traveling group called the Tramp Champs visited my public school and put on a performance of high flying acrobatics completed on a series of giant trampolines assembled in our gymnasium. Since then I have rarely passed up a chance to jump on a trampoline when the opportunity has presented itself. Now 20 years later (give or take a few years ;)) my boys are getting to the age where a trampoline is appropriate for me...I mean them. The other day I purchased a 12' trampoline with net enclosure (safety first!).

It wasn't they easiest thing to assemble but I persisted and made Papa Bear help me because I was just to excited and wanted to have it together by the time the boys got home from their visit with X. I couldn't wait to get on it and hurl myself into the air over and over again. My first bounce on the completed trampoline was just as I hoped it would be. That was until I realized that jumping on a trampoline after a certain (unmentionable) age and having 3 babies posses some problem. That problem being that your bladder doesn't really hold tight like it did before...and I may have peed a little.

Little Bear was in awe. "AAAWWEEESSOOMMEEE" was the first think out of his mouth. Wee One also loved the trampoline from his first bounce. Fuzzy was terrified. 2 out of 3 isn't bad. After a few times of watching his brothers having a blast jumping, Fuzzy too warmed up to the idea and it wasn't long before I got a call while working from him to tell me he jumped all by himself and loved it. He has been on the trampoline several times a day since.

It may have taken several years and 3 kids to use as an excuse to buy the items from my wish list but my kids have got every bit as much enjoyment out of them as I imaged I would have. Now when my kids ask me for some sort of lavish toy I can say with confidence, "when you grow up and get a job you can buy a _________ yourself" just like my parents told me.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Tr@$hless Tue$d@y

Trashless Tuesday is something devised by the environmental group at my sons' school. The idea is for all students to bring a completely trashless lunch every Tuesday. I'm all for doing what I can to help the planet but Trashless Tuesday makes for Manic Mental Meltdown Monday Night.

I make school lunches the night before to save myself the time and stress of packing them in the midst of our fairly smooth morning routine. I can not imagine packing a Trashless Tuesday lunch Tuesday morning while trying to get Little Bear up and ready for school and keeping him from hearing some of the choice words that come out of my mouth while trying to get the trashless lunch to fit in the lunch bag.

The typical children's lunch bag is not designed to hold dozens of tupperware containers. It is meant to hold prepackaged apple sauces, granola bars and yogurt containers. The producers of these products have likely done research on how their product should fit in a lunch bag. I don't think Tupperware does the same amount of research.

I do consider the environment when packing my kids' lunches. We use tupperware reusable drink containers in place of milk cartons or juice boxes, sandwich containers in place of sandwich baggies and containers for many fresh fruits, veggies and dips. There is a point however where no more containers will fit in the lunch bag and baggies are necessary in order to get everything in there. There are also those occasions where there just aren't enough clean small containers to complete the lunch packing process.

If the Trashless Tuesday mission is not completed then a very disappointed child has a big "X" placed beside his name on the Trashless Tuesday tracking sheet and I am bound to hear about how Little Johnny doesn't have an Xs on the sheet because his mom is a super duper tupperware packer...or Johnny starves. To avoid these situations I try my darnest to accomplish the task. Sometimes it is necessary to go to great lengths to evade that dread X even if that means emptying a yogurt cup into a container or peeling open a cheese stick just to stick it in its own bulky container which totally voids the purpose of Trashless Tuesday.

This year I only have 1 lunch to make on Tuesdays. Next year I will have 2. If the environmental group decides Trashless Tuesday will be a good way to torture parents...I mean help the planet I think I will have to invest in tackle boxes in place of lunch pails so I don't have to stress about how I'm going to fit all that Tupperware. I guess the silver lining is there are only 4 more Trashless Tuesdays left this school year.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Good Advice

"Eat bacon whenever you can, always have dessert, don't worry about the small stuff and never, ever exercise." This was Johanna Quints answer when asked, on her 100th birthday, what is the secret of a long life? That is some GOOD advice or at least I like to think it is. I worry a bit too much but I'm doing a pretty good job of following the rest of Ms. Quint's recommendations so I think I'm on my way to living to be 90ish. I also think Ms. Quint would have been a pretty cool lady.

Eat bacon whenever you can - ABSOLUTELY! No problem there...except when trying to fit into last year's summer clothes.

Always have dessert - Don't mind if I do and I don't have a problem skipping a meal to make room for ice cream or cupcakes either.

Don't worry about the small stuff - If I could avoid it I would. There are lots of times when an off switch for my brain would come in handy.

Never, ever exercise - Other than the most inescapable physical activities associated with being a Mom like bike riding with the kids, walking around an animal farm and some Wii game workouts I try very hard to never, ever exercise.

Thank you so much Jay Leno and the Tonight Show staff for including Johanna Quint's good advice in Thursday nights addition of Headlines (also my favourite feature on the show). Her words might just be my new motto. Thank you for instilling confidence that my life is likely to be a lengthy one and I should never give up loving bacon.

RIP Johanna Quint April 1, 1911 - May 9, 2011

Wednesday, May 11, 2011


Today is supposed to be my birthday. However, due to the ugly truth this day brings I have decided that my birthday is cancelled this year. This year I was to turn 30. 30 is old so in order to preserve my youth I am just not going to have any more birthdays. Really I think turning a year older 29 times is more than enough. There are plenty of things that if done 29 times would be considered excessive - like getting married 29 times. Having 29 babies. Having 29 one night stands. I think I have had enough birthdays.

When I was little I thought that teenagers were cool. People in their 20s were sophisticated. People in their 30s were old and anyone older than that was a granny. I don't want to be old. I don't want to look in the mirror and see a wrinkly old 30 year old staring back. When someone tells me to "act my age" I don't want that to mean I have to learn to golf or apply denture cream. I want to stay young and hip - OK so I never really was hip but now my chance to be has passed. I want to wear my hair in pigtails and look cute.

I don't think I have ever been so depressed about a birthday in my life. The things that people say to try to make you feel better about turning 30 don't help either. "30 is the new 20!" - No, no its not. 20 is 20 and 30 is old. "You're only as old as you feel" - being 30 makes me feel like 80 is just around the corner. Seriously just shut up. 30 sucks. The End.

Friday, March 4, 2011

I Don't Do Mornings

I don't do mornings. Well I do mornings. What I have to do anyway but I don't do mornings.....gracefully. I get up and get my boys dressed, fed and wait for the bus with them (which I do in my jammies, uggs and a hooded sweatshirt). Then I drag my butt back into the house to get Wee One ready for the day. I am in a fog until probably 10ish and do very little besides check emails and facebook and maybe tidy up the kitchen a bit. All the while looking like I just rolled out of bed after a late night bender. mornings that I take Fuzzy and Wee One to playgroup the morning routine is accelerated a bit with the goal of getting to group (that starts at 9:30) by 10....ish. It wasn't much better when I worked mornings at the Donut Shack but I got up really early for work so that the whole morning process was on a little earlier timetable.

I never invite any sort of company during the morning adjustment period. NEVER. I don't think I am a very vain woman but I do like to look my best when having contact with anyone from the outside world. It is in their own best interest for their eyesight if they don't stop by before 10ish for a surprise visit. Anytime before that and they are setting themselves up for a fright. I don't even go to Walmart without getting dressed, doing something with my hair and putting on the little bit of make up I wear on a
daily basis (trust me it makes a huge difference). There is nothing worse than running into that mean girl from highschool looking less than fantastic.

Lots of people will say why bother I'm not supposed to be trying to impress anyone anyway. Seriously? I mean no, I'm not looking for a date but I am most definitely out to impress. Your local grocery store is filled with potential employers, customers, fellow parents from your childrens' school, former flames, former school mates that you haven't seen since you were an awkward teenager. Also, while I'm not on the hunt for a man because I have a great one at home, it is nice to be noticed and for some guy to think "wow, that Papa Bear is a lucky man". I'm not dead after all. It makes me feel better to look nice. With that god awful birthday coming it seems all that more important to put the effort forward.

Sorry, I got a little off track. I was talking about mornings and my lack of participation in them. This morning I had one of those pre-10ish surprise visits which prompted this rant...I mean blog entry. A guy that used to be my neighbour when X and I lived in town bought from my boys' school fundraiser. I offered to drop off his order but being an avid fisherman he has been busy catching and cleaning with his buddies and so wouldn't be around. He wanted to come pick it up this morning. Last night I told him I would message him when it was a good time to come out, likely around 10ish (when morningness had worn off). That would give me time to brush my hair and teeth, get dressed and look presentable to anyone outside my family. He showed up on his own an hour early.....

If I had seen him pull in I probably wouldn't have even answered the door. My hair was not brushed (I had a nice little rooster tail thing going on in the back even) or my teeth, I was dressed - in my jammies which consist of silly penguin polar fleece pj pants and a very thin but very comfortable t-shirt that leaves nothing to the imagination....including the fact I was not wearing a bra. Nipply just freaking nipply - I mean nice. Poor guy probably had to go home to scrub his eyeballs with steel wool to remove the image he was just presented with. Instead of thinking "wow, that Papa Bear is a lucky man" I'm sure he was thinking something more along the lines of "Good lord man, better you than me!". I bet he will call before he shows up like that on someones doorstep like that again. If nothing else he learned a hard lesson - I DON'T DO MORNINGS.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Winter Weight

It is my belief that we all need a little extra padding in the winter. Okay, maybe not my belief but my reality since I seem to acquire a little extra padding (specifically in the tummy and rear end regions) during the colder months. This year seems to be worse. I don't know if it is because that really ugly birthday (that I'm not having) is creeping up on me or because my job has slowed down considerably since Christmas. I'm going to pray its the latter giving hope to the chance it will disappear with little more than a pick up in schedule. I'm am very sure it has nothing to do with my addiction to Iced Capp made with (extra) cream, my love for chips or my hatred for exercise or the dreaded D word -diet.

This winter 10 pounds seems to have settled on my body. 10 pounds that makes the difference between getting the pants done up and....not. 10 pounds means the difference between curvy and lumpy. 10 pounds is enough for me to look in the mirror and say "okay Stacey, it is time to do something about this before 10 turns to 20 and 20 turns to 40 and I end up on the next season of The Biggest Loser and someone else sits on their couch eating ice cream and chip while watching me sweat off hundreds of pounds on national TV".

Since the only time I have to do any sort of actual work out is when my boys are in bed I do not plan on going for a run in the country and meeting all our furry woodland creatures that lurk out here. With work being slow I can't afford a gym membership and really don't have the desire for others to see me attempt something I have never done before. I don't own a treadmill or any exercise equipment but I do own a Wii and Wii Fit. I felt this was a good place to start so the other night after I finished my jar of gourmet jelly beans and soda I decided to pull the ol Wii Fit out from under the layer of dust. I don't pretend the Wii is as good as those other methods but that's what I've got.

The first thing the game asks you to do is a body test where it weighs you and checks your balance and asks how much your clothes weigh (mine are always extremely heavy even if I am only wearing shorts and a tshirt) to determine your "Wii Fit age". After it completed it's series of "tests" the first thing the piece of s@#* told me was that I was overweight. That alone was enough for me to want to through the controller through the front of Papa Bear's new TV and find another jar of jelly beans. I don't think I am suffering from any serious bouts of denial but when I see my reflection, even with the extra 10 pounds, I do not see an "overweight" person. Screw you Wii Fit! The next thing it told me was that my "Wii Fit age" is 43..... Awesome.....

Next I flipped through the game selections. The Wii already told me I had decent balance so no need to waste my time on balance building activities. Strength exercises seemed pointless too. Who needs to be strong as long as they can be skinny? As for Yoga-let's leave that till I run out of steam. I decided to go with the aerobic activities.

I round of virtual hula hooping was enough for me. Hip circles and thrusts are better used for other purposes ;). The basic step aerobic activity I found to be quite enjoyable though. Maybe exercising can be a bit fun. After a couple of times through the basic step game I collected enough time to open the advanced version which is way more fun, way more high speed and way more sweat inducing. I pushed myself through 45 minutes of step aerobics. I should have stopped after about 10-15 minutes but no pain, no gain right? Boy did I gain some pain the next much that I had to take the night off but limited myself to half a jar of jelly beans.

On day 3 of my "exercise plan" I went back at it after catching crap from the Wii for skipping a day. I even had to explain my absence - to a cartoon version of the step.. I pushed myself through another 45 minute "work out" before showering up and heading to bed.

The next day I came down with a nasty, nasty stomach bug that kept my head in the toilet for almost 6 hours straight. That combined with the pain I gained from feeling the burn was a rough, rough combination. My legs, butt and arms hurt from the work outs and my guts and back hurt from the toilet marathon. My head pounded and my eyes hurt. I was a mess which I blame half on the exercise. It took a couple of days to bounce back from that mess and now that I'm feeling great I afraid to get back on the Wii Fit to have the rathe of the Wii Fit board come down on me for taking too many days off. I am on the other hand curious to see how many pounds I puked up. I would just jump on a bathroom scale like many people keep in their bathrooms but mine is in the drive shed being used to weigh out corn.

Tonight was drinks with Chesty McBreasty. Tomorrow can be the return of the very loose exercise program. I did download (shhh) some Zumba videos so maybe I'll give that a whirl. I hear people saying it is fun and not just those people that get their kicks running marathons and "tone" in their spare time. Might be something to try after I make sure the blinds are shut tight so I don't scare my in laws across the road. Or maybe I'll cut down on my Iced Capps with (extra) cream - nah, who am I kidding? That is my fuel.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Handheld Hell

I am usually one to embrace modern technology. I like all the fancy gadgets available that are supposed to simplify our lives and the ones that are just kinda cool. There are several new fangled gizmo's that I use through out my day but there is one that I believe to be the workings of the devil himself. Papa Bears high tech universal remote and I DO NOT get along.

It is a lovely looking little contraption. It is the perfect size and shape to comfortably hold in your hand. It has a screen that allows you to load a picture or image as a background to personalize your remote. On that same screen is your list of activities the remote has been programmed to control. It first glance it seems completely harmless.

According to the directions and Papa Bears instructions, you are supposed to be able to touch just one single button to turn on everything you need to watch or listen to a specified component with the TV. Just one single button. Just one. This NEVER happens... OK, I guess I shouldn't say never. Let's say 99% of the time this doesn't happen. There is that 1% surprise that randomly pops up. Those are the times I should be buying lottery tickets because it just seems to be dumb luck when the Devil's Wand actually performs as it should.

Just once I would like the repetitive request of "Mama, Handy Manny. Handy Manny, Mama. Mama, Handy Manny" to be granted with just 1 button. This Never happens... I have tried...several times... After shaking the sh..-heck out of the stupid thing just to get it to power up (the battery doesn't fit properly in its slot and the piece of cardboard helping to hold it in place sometimes shifts) I push the "Watch Shaw Direct" and the TV comes on proceeded by several beeps and lights but alas, no Handy Manny. Now the simple thing to do would be push power and start again or just turn on the things that didn't turn on manually but no. Papa Bear says that when I do that it screws it up. Take a look man! It already IS screwed up! Its just one little screwy screwball of screwed up crap!

To avoid "screwing it up" I have to push the "Help" button. Really? Help turning on the TV? And this is supposed to be more convenient than turning everything on manually? I wouldn't require "help" with that. Pushing the "Help" button now sends me to what seems like a never ending list of questions I must answer. I'm not so good with quizzes at 7:30 in the freaking morning but that is what I must do. "Is the TV on?"
I press "yes".
"Did this fix the problem?"
"Is the Shaw Direct on?"
"Did this fix the problem?"
"No". "Is the DVD/CD on?"
"Did this fix the problem?"
"Is the Audio/Video on?"
"Did this fix the problem?"
" Is the TV tuned to Component 2?"
....and then it goes through asking if each of those items are tuned to their required settings. Ughhhhhhhhhh. I just want Handy freaking Manny - preferably before it is over!

Papa Bear thinks it is just me that can't work the POS (piece of stuff) but the truth is HE is the only one that CAN work it. My friend, Sketch babysat once and had to go through the list of "help". Sketch is quite electronically literate and had trouble with it. My Dad, who also enjoys gadgets made it work but not without a few kinks. It is definitely not just me. Little Bear tries and seems to have more luck than me but not even half the time he attempts.

I am seriously starting to think Papa Bear has placed that Handheld Hell in my living room to drive me further insane than I am already. I don't know how much more I can take before I drop kick the Dastardly Demon remote through the front of Papa Bear's beloved TV.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

For The Love of Bacon

Bacon, bacon, bacon. I love it! I have always loved it and I will likely love it until I'm dead - hopefully not from a bacon induced heart attack.

Apparently my good pal, Chesty McBreasty thinks my love for bacon is unhealthy which is evident by her eye rolls when she asks what I had for lunch and she already knows the answer. According to her it is not normal to have bacon for lunch -just the whole pound. I know its not a great health choice but I love it. If I balance a lunch of bacon with a dinner of veggie filled salad I should be just fine...or at least that's what I tell myself. I would never allow my children to make a meal out of bacon but for me I think it is just fine.

When at a restaurant, if the waitress rhymes off the specials and even one of them includes some form of bacon I'm sold. I like bacon in my salad, in my soup, in my sandwiches, in my wraps, on the side, just about anyway besides beverages and ice cream. I love it!

I'm not prejudice either. I like all kinds of bacon. I'm not a huge fan of things like Maple Bacon and weird stuff like that which I will eat if not given another bacon choice but I like my regular strip bacon and pemeal bacon or "Canadian bacon" the best. While I'm not picky about what kind of bacon I eat I am very picky about how I like it cooked. I don't want any of that floppy limp crap (but I WILL eat it). I want the s*it cooked out it. I want it just a hint before burnt. I want so that if you were to drop it, it would shatter. X's sister used to run a restaurant and would drop my bacon in the deep frier...OMG...the BEST bacon you will ever have!

For Christmas I received a jar of "bacon salt" so I might turn less traditional items into bacony goodness like popcorn or tuna sandwiches or tacos or pasta or just a piece of toast. I'm not above sprinkling bacon salt over my fruits and veggies either. I have to say bacon flavoured cuccumbers or cauliflower sounds pretty damn good to me. The possibilities are endless.

Sorry this is such a short posting but I need to stop writing about bacon. I am suddenly having a hankering for some deep fried, bacon salted, greasy, bacon with a side of bacon.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Stupid Smart Meters

So the Ontario government has come up with a plan to "create a culture of energy conservation in the province" by attaching this wretched little metal box know as a "Smart Meter" to the side of our houses which tracks our energy usage. Basically this means if you don't want to pay through the nose for your hydro you have to put off using energy sucking appliances until after 9pm on weekdays or on weekends. While I appreciate their mission I do not appreciate their "off-peak" times.

Currently I do laundry almost all day most days and if I miss a few days then non-stop all day everyday. My dishwasher runs at twice a day most days and if I actually cook a big meal which produces more dishes than usual it could run more than that. With all day to do these things I rarely make it to bed before 1am and never before midnight. When I work I leave before the "off-peak" time starts and don't get home until 10 or 11 at night. If I'm not supposed to do my household chores through the day to avoid high rates then I'm going to have to start at 10 or 11 and instead of going to bed at 1am I'm looking at more like 4am by the time I'm done what needs doing during "off-peak" periods.

I know, lots of people run their dishwashers and washing machines while they are in bed sleeping. Knowing people who have had monstrous flooding and other issues while doing so has made me a bit leery. I have rotten luck to start with, there is no need to tempt fate.

I'm sure I will get used to the lack of sleep eventually. Nobody likes change and needs time to adjust orrrrrr maybe I will just stop doing the laundry and dishes and with the money I'll be saving by not using "on-peak" energy I can just buy my family new clothes and paper plates.

From what I have read about these meters they are attached to the sides of all residential homes and small businesses. How is that fair? They should be attached to the sides of office buildings and department stores. They are the one sucking all the in demand "on-peak" energy so they too should be forced to conserve or pay for it like the rest of us. Maybe I can take my laundry and dishes to be done during the day to Sears since they don't have to pay extra for the "on-peak" energy and I could serve as part of their demonstration team. I think it would increase sales for customers to be able to see the appliances in action, no?

If you want my opinion (if you are reading my blog than you must), it is just stupid to make only some of us smart about our energy usage. What's good for the goose is good for the gander or shove your stupid Smart Meters up your....nose!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Time For Some Catch Up

Last week some dude from some web company sent me an email asking if they could advertise on my blog. I responding that I didn't think my blog was a good fit to advertise his site and that the blog has been dormant for almost 5 months. 5 months? 5 freaking months? That's the longest I have gone without blogging since I started this almost 2 years ago. I think its time for a little catch up. Be warned this may be a little unorganized and a whole bit scattered but here is the update:

We have been spending a lot of time (and money) on the never ending addition renovation to our house that started in June. It is still not complete and I am beginning to wonder if Papa Bear is trying to extend this project so that our first grandchild can have a hand in the construction. Our bedroom is done, the family room is done and the office is done. The bathroom is 1/2 done and the basement has miles to go. We also have half a roof to finish and almost the entire old part of the house to finish residing. I love the parts that are done and I hate the parts that are not.

Since I quit my day job last summer i was finally able to do something I have wanted to do since Little Bear started school and that was to volunteer and spend time in the boys' school. I'm just helping make snacks on Wednesday mornings but its been great. If I had known what a big smile it would put on my kids' faces to see their mama in the hallway at school I think I would have figured out a way to make it happen before now. I also got to go on my first field trip which I almost had to opt out of because both Little Bear's and Fuzzy's classes were going on the same field trip on the same day putting me in a position where I had to choose which boy to go with. The boys and I made a deal that I would go with whichever classes was more in need of volunteers. It turned out Little Bear's class had lots of parents and Fuzzy's had hardly any which put me on the trip with the Junior Kindergartens. It was a fun day.

I worked a ton before Christmas. Actually I worked a ton from May until before Christmas and now, like my blog, business has been pretty dormant. This time of year is a slow time for the home party business but this is getting a bit much. I went from working 15-20 days out of a month to working 1-2 nights a month. That is putting a huge dent in my spending budget and I'm getting a bit of cabin fever. Even my Magic Pumpkin is trying to tell me I need to get out of the house more when it decides not to start after sitting without being started for 3 days. I know most people are thinking 3 days is not a long time to be home bound but for me it is unheard of. From the day I got my licence about 12 years ago, I haven't spent 3 consecutive days at home without being sick with the flu or some other debilitating illness. It doesn't help when my few close friends are really busy and I am not.

My little bears have been sick a bit this winter. Mostly with just colds and coughs and a quick but mighty bout of the flu. Basically I have bought more than my quota of tissue and Tylenol. I'm also getting used to checking the shoulder of my sweater for Wee One's snot wipes before going out and washing my hands until there isn't any skin left on them. Little Bear actually missed 2 days of school due to illness this year and that is unusual for him.

Most recently we have had a decent amount of snow dumped on us. Most people bellyache about winter and snow but I love it. If I didn't already love living in the country, winter in the country would do it. More snow and less shovelling. Its great to stand at the window with the boys and watch Grandpa push the snow out of the driveways with the tractor from the warmth of the house. Until this week I had forgotten we even had a shovel. Since we live in the country my boys take a bus to school - Snow = fun, Too much snow = Snow day...not so much fun (for me anyway).

There hasn't really been too much else going on here. I got glasses - just another reminder that I'm getting older and closer to that terrible birthday that is creeping up on me. I had top sales at my job for 4 months in a row. That was pretty cool. I learned to geocache (to me a form of treasure hunting) with my baby brother. I did a home party fundraiser for someone I wasn't sure I wanted to do one for which turned out really great both from a business and a personal prospective. I didn't make a New Year's resolution that I was going to break anyway.

That's about it. That's the last almost 5 months in a nut shell. I guess you can see now that my lack of material is the reason for my absence. Hopefully something exciting and blog worthy comes up soon so I can get back into the grove. For now consider yourself caught up.