Friday, August 29, 2008

Whatcha eatin'?

Found at Cathy's Grace Notes:
This is fun, and everybody's doing it. This is the Omnivore's 100!! I believe that the list has been put together by a Brit, so may not contain some... North American must-haves!

How the Omnivore's 100 works:
1) Copy this list into your blog or journal, including these instructions.

2) Bold all the items you’ve eaten.

3) Cross out any items that you would never consider eating.

4) Optional: Post a comment at Very Good Taste, linking to your results. (Note - I'm not sure if the URL for Very Good Taste... Cathy, could you post it in the comments?)


1. Venison
2. Nettle tea
3. Huevos rancheros
4. Steak tartare
5. Crocodile (does alligator count?)
6. Black pudding
7. Cheese fondue
8. Carp
9. Borscht
10. Baba ghanoush
11. Calamari

12. Pho
13. PBJ sandwich
14. Aloo gobi
15. Hot dog from a street cart
16. Epoisses
17. Black truffle
18. Fruit wine made from something other than grapes
19. Steamed pork buns
20. Pistachio ice cream
21. Heirloom tomatoes
22. Fresh wild berries

23. Foie gras
24. Rice and beans
25. Brawn or head cheese

26. Raw Scotch Bonnet pepper
27. Dulce de leche
28. Oysters
29. Baklava

30. Bagna cauda
31. Wasabi peas
32. Clam chowder in a sourdough bowl
33. Salted lassi
34. Sauerkraut
35. Root beer float

36. Cognac with a fat cigar (no cigars, thanks)
37. Clotted Cream Tea
38. Vodka Jelly/Jell-O
39. Gumbo
40. Oxtail

41. Curried goat
42. Whole insects
43. Phaal
44. Goat's milk
45. Malt whisky from a bottle worth $120 or more
46. Fugu
47. Chicken tikka masala
48. Eel
49. Krispy Kreme original glazed doughnut
50. Sea urchin
51. Prickly pear (does PP jelly count?)
52. Umeboshi
53. Abalone
54. Paneer
55. McDonald’s Big Mac Meal
56. Spaetzle
57. Dirty gin martini
58. Beer above 8% ABV (huh?)
59. Poutine
60. Carob chips
61. S’mores

62. Sweetbreads (making sure readers know this is not BREAD)
63. kaolin - (as in Kaopectate)
64. Currywurst
65. Durian
66. Frogs’ legs
67. Beignets, churros, elephant ears or funnel cake
68. Haggis
69. Fried plantain
70. Chitterlings or andouillette
71. Gazpacho

72. Caviar and blini
73. Louche absinthe
74. Gjetost or brunost
75. Roadkill (I am sure I have, just knowing some of my friends)
76. Baijiu
77. Hostess Fruit Pie
78. Snail

79. Lapsang Souchong
80. Bellini
81. Tom Yum
82. Eggs Benedict
83. Pocky
84. 3 Michelin Star Tasting Menu
85. Kobe beef
86. Hare
87. Goulash
88. Flowers

89. Horse
90. Criollo chocolate
91. Spam
92. Soft shell crab

93. Rose harissa
94. Catfish
95. Mole poblano
96. Bagel and lox
97. Lobster Thermidor
98. Polenta
99. Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee
100. Snake

What about you?

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Who's Up and Who's Down

Who's Up? :)

The Canadian Olympic Team: It was looking tense there for the first week, but in the end, Canada had a very successful Olympic games with many fantastic story lines. If I had to identify three things I'll remember from these games, they'll be Simon Whitfield's silver medal in the triathlon (the one moment that actually caused me to yell at my television), Eric Lamaze's gold medal in show jumping, and all the Canadian athletes who broke Canadian records and set personal bests, though may not have medalled. GO CANADA!

2. Natalia Paderina and Nino Salukvadze: In my view, the most important story of the Beijing Games.

3. Vijay Singh and Sergio Garcia: The pair of them got the FedEx Cup Playoffs started in an exciting way, with matching 25-ft putts on the first sudden-death playoff hole at the Barclay's this week. Anybody who watched Sergio's gigantic grin and playful shove to his opponent after Vijay sunk his putt could tell that these two were having a little fun out there.

Who's Down? :(

1. Posted without comment:

2. The New York Yankees: Any opportunity to include them on this list... The Yankees are not looking like a playoff-bound team, and the Steinbrenner siblings can't seem to figure out how they feel about it, with one brother announcing that he's looking to next year and the other stating that the Yanks are still in it. Bums, the lot of them.

3. The LPGA: The Ladies Tour is desperate to stay alive, and didn't do itself any favours this week by releasing news that it will now require players on the tour to speak English. There are approximately 73 ways that the tour could have approached the issue of player-sponsor communication, and this was the worst of the options. That this will be a RULE, and that players will potentially be prevented from playing if they don't meet the tour's standards, reeks of discrimination, heavy-handedness, desperation and short-sightedness. Think of it this way... would the PGA ever tell Camillo Villegas that he couldn't play because his English isn't good? I don't think so...

Monday, August 25, 2008

A Proper Introduction

Our church has recently supported the arrival of a refugee family from Africa, a husband and wife and their three young children. The family arrived three or four months ago after a very long and difficult immigration experience made more complicated by the birth of their third child, which delayed the process by two years, and a hearing-related handicap in their eldest daughter. That aside, they've now arrived and are getting settled in, with the assistance of two or three dedicated parishioners.

I've sat close to the family at church on two or three occasions, and they are very nice people. The children seem to be adjusting to North American life with relative ease, and are very social and friendly.

I think that there has been some uncertainty about Sunday School, and whether the children will go or not. In the past, I've seen them find a quiet place with one of the parents to play during the service rather than go with the other children, but yesterday, they all trouped off with the group. When they reappeared at communion, I almost burst out laughing, because it was immediately clear to me that the children had received the absolutely quintessential proper introduction to Canadian Sunday School.

All three of them were COVERED from head to toe with glitter. The eldest had a gigantic swoosh of glittery glue across her forehead. Glitter rained down on their mother and their father and the woman from the church who was sitting with them.

And it was entirely GRAND.

Saturday, August 23, 2008


I was doing some work playing Word Twist this afternoon and couldn't get the six letter word.

I tried all the combinations of letters I thought were possible and still couldn't get it.

The answer was Bumbag.


Friday, August 22, 2008

Friday Five: All About DATES

From Songbird at the Revgals, we have a Friday Five all about dates:

It's Friday afternoon, Eastern Time, and this is your faithful Songbird with a calendar-related Friday Five. Due to some confusion with our dates, I'm stepping in today, although I am usually here only on the 5th Friday, when there is such a thing.

Here are five things to ponder about dates. I hope you'll play!

1) Datebooks--how do you keep track of your appointments? Electronically? On paper? Month at a glance? Week at a glance?

I have an Outlook calendar at work that keeps track of all the work stuff, and a big black daytimer that keeps track of both the work stuff and the home stuff, and my husband and I share a Google Calendar to keep track of each other!

2) When was the last time you forgot an important date?

Hmmm... I'm not sure about an IMPORTANT date, but I have forgotten a couple of meetings in the last little while. It's the downside of having such a particular system for keeping track of meetings... when the meetings don't make it into the system, they get forgotten!

3) When was the last time you went OUT on a date?

WH and I go out on dates quite a lot; just the other night, we had a Boston Pizza date night.

4) Name one accessory or item of clothing you love even though it is dated.

I used to have a gigantic pair of hoop earrings in the shape of peace signs, which I loved and wore long after they were en vogue. I eventually gave them to the church rummage sale, where they were purchased by a pre-teen girl in the congregation, who wore them the next Sunday! I was proud!

5) Dates--the fruit--can't live with 'em? Or can't live without 'em?


Thursday, August 21, 2008

Jacques Rogge on China

"We're not naive, nor blind," Rogge said. "We knew there would be criticism."

"I believe these games have opened up the country," he said. "On one hand, people will understand China better with all its challenges. They will remain critical on many issues, that is their right. On the other hand, the Chinese definitely have experienced that they cannot live in splendid isolation."

Taken from the Associated Press

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Tuesday's Meandering...

Tell me, would you be worried if, since the new mail guy started three months ago, you hadn't received any mail? Like... none? Not even the institution's monthly newspaper, which is sent to ALL staff? Note to self... introduce self to new mail guy... AGAIN.

Anyhoo, it was a big and busy weekend around The Little Wee House. WH was playing the organ for the finale Gala Concert for the National Music Festival on Saturday night, so in the morning, we headed to the hall so that he could set his registrations and get some rehearsal time in. He had a wedding to play in the afternoon too, so while he was busy with that, I got some grocery shopping and general putzing around done, and then we were off back to the hall for the concert itself. WH played beautifully, and I turned pages and pulled stops and tried my best to be supportive. It was fun!

On Sunday, we picked up WH's parents from the residence where they had been staying for the festival, and brought them back to our house to stay for a couple of nights. We had a fairly quiet afternoon and then went for dinner with other festival representatives on a boat that paddles back and forth down Prairie City's main river. While the evening was certainly fun, the boat trip itself was much shorter than we expected, and the dining room was overcrowded, which made the air conditioning completely useless. We sweltered. But the food was decent, and we got ourselves back up on deck in the breeze to enjoy drinks during the boat trip.

WH and his parents did some shopping while I was at work yesterday, and then we hosted some friends from church for dinner last night. We haven't seen this couple for quite a while, so it was wonderful to get reconnected and to see that they are doing well. Full of spirit and laughter, as always. We kept the meal pretty simple too, so the evening was low stress: three pork tenderloins done on the bbq, steamed asparagus, and a potato salad that I'd made the day before. And store-bought pie with ice cream.

WH is taking his parents to the airport this morning before getting a men's league round of golf in this afternoon. I'm always sad to see his parents go - we do laugh and laugh a great deal when they're around. It looks like they'll be back in November though, to see WH conduct Handel's Solomon. Hurray!

Monday, August 18, 2008

There's lots that I want to blog about today, but I just. do. not. have. the. time. So a LOLCat will have to do...

Friday, August 15, 2008

Friday Five: Fall Transformations

Today's Friday Five from the Revgals asks us to list five transformations that the coming fall will bring our way.

Let's see...

1. My evenings will transform from the relative quiet of summer to the hectic-ness of rehearsals and concerts and everything else that comes with September!

2. My home will transform to the place we are hoping to sell next summer, so work will be done to that end in the winter months.

3. My job will transform to permanent (maybe even as soon as next week!)

4. There will be changes in the contents of my trunk, as the golf clubs come out and go in to the garage for another season.

5. The cats will not transform at all, and will continue to be beacons of consistency in the cute and stoopid departments.

Bonus Question: Give us your favourite activity that is made possible by the arrival of fall.

I have two... Walking on crunchy leaves, and wearing turtlenecks.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Seems like an easy choice...

On Halibut

Doesn't he look like a pleasant fellow?

I really like halibut... I like the lightness of it, its gentle texture, and how well it takes on strong flavours around it. Even when I was a little girl, and DIDN'T EAT FISH, I liked halibut.

A couple of years ago, I found a recipe for Dijon-crusted halibut that is particularly tasty, and I recommend to anyone! I made this for WH last night, with some rice and corn on the cob. Though the plates looked a bit... pale, it all seemed to work well together!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Some thoughts about Moving...

WH and I are thinking about selling the Little Wee House next spring.

It's funny, how quickly one's mind slips into "house selling" mode... how to show the house, what repairs and improvements should be done to maximize the appeal of the house and the return on investment. And of course, how quickly the mind turns to thoughts of the new house, what the must-haves are, and what we're willing to compromise on. When we bought TLWH, it was a very quick process, and we didn't have a lot of time to think about what we wanted and didn't want and why. Not that we regret the purchase (we love our house), but there's a certain luxury in having a few months to give more thought to what we're hoping to find.

As I think I've written before, I'm not a good mover; I don't like the feeling of packing up my life into boxes, I don't like the disorganization, I don't like the chaos, I don't like the stress. But of the moves I've made in my lifetime, I'm most excited about this one. The new house we buy will probably be a place we live in for a long time and a place in which we raise children.

And that's a lovely thought.

Monday, August 11, 2008

On Sleeping

I really like to sleep. I LOVE to sleep. I have had discussions with some friends and acquaintances who don't like to sleep, who view sleeping as an inconvenient interruption of otherwise busy days, but not me. I LOVE TO SLEEP.

Thankfully, I have also been a really good sleeper for most of my life. I fall asleep easily, I sleep through the night without interruption, and I sleep through thunder storms, sirens, etc. It also takes very little to get me to fall asleep on the couch for a nice nap.

In the last couple of weeks, however, something seems to have interrupted the flow. While I'm still falling asleep pretty easily, I wake up several times a night (last night, every hour) at the slightest noise or movement. For the last few nights, the temperature has been very warm in Prairie City, so I've had difficulty getting a comfortably arranged with blankets, sheets, husband, cats etc. But I don't think that the heat is entirely to blame, as restlessness was starting to become a regular occurence even before the temperature spiked.

And to make matters worse, when I wake up during the night, WH also usually wakes up (he's a much lighter sleeper than I am normally), and then NEITHER of us can get back to sleep and we're both cranky in the morning. Thankfully, he slept through all my turns and shuffles and sighs last night.

I'm hoping that I can get back to my normal schedule before the end of the summer and before the busy-ness of rehearsal and concert season starts up again!

Friday, August 8, 2008

Just a quick post...

Just a quick post (#201) this afternoon to ask why "the other women" in high profile politicians' extramarital affairs always seem to be photographed by the media in such a way that they look just a tad wacko?

See Exhibit A.

Just a Friday afternoon thought.

This is...

...My 200th post!!

It seems that for this occasion I should write something profound, and wouldn't you know it, nothing comes to mind. Ha! So instead, I'll draw your attention to this article, which I thought was so cool.

The short form of the story is that the Vancouver H&M store recently told a woman who was breastfeeding that the company had a policy against allowing women to feed their babies in the store for fear that other patrons would be offended. The woman was escorted into a backroom. As a result, dozens of women and their children arrived at the store over the lunchhour on Thursday to feed their babies. To give credit where credit is due, the store seems to have handled the situation entirely positively, and I think that there was lots of good will involved.

I remember a conversation I had with two staff members when I was working at the students' association at Colourful U. These two girls, who were both about 21 or 22 (but were really young in a lot of ways) had come down to the office all a-flutter with offence because they had witnessed a woman breastfeeding in the cafeteria. To quote: "It's disgusting." My jaw just about hit the floor that the simple act of feeding one's baby had been viewed by these two people as some kind of act of vulgarity. Once they had a chance to get their outrage out of the way, I said, as even-handedly as I could manage, "You get to eat in public; why shouldn't her child?" To which the response was, "But we could see her B00B." So I gave up and walked away, but reading this article with the memory of that conversation has made me smile broadly this morning.

For all the offensive and vulgar and explicit and sexual and raw imagery that gets forced on us every day, I just can't understand how breastfeeding OFFENDS people in such dramatic ways.

Get over it.

Thursday, August 7, 2008


Saturday is my mum's birthday. She will be (mumble mumble) years old. Cool, eh?

I've wanted to write a post about my mother for a long time, but there are trickinesses involved. For one thing, she blogs too, and I have to be careful not to blurt out all the things that I think are interesting about her that she might not actually want to have "out there," as it were. I need to make sure I'm painting a picture of her that she, herself, would want painted. So with that in mind, here's just a few glimpses about her. If you get a chance to meet her though, you really should. She's truly nifty.
  • To her children, she has been, at one time or another, Mommy, Mom, Mum, Ma, MoTHER, Maternal Unit, Rev. Ma, and The Reverend Doctor Mother Father.
  • She came second in the Ontario Provincial Spelling Bee when she was 13 years old.
  • She's an Anglican priest in Prairie City, the result of a late vocation after a long career teaching university English.
  • She likes Steven Seagal movies... the more explosions, the better.
  • She can't listen to a Bach chorale without tearing up.
  • Games of Trivial Pursuit against my mum go one of two ways... if she's feeling cooperative and patient, the game can go on for quite some time. If she's tired and wants to go to bed, the game will be over in about 10 minutes. She's good.
  • Her hair is greying, and beautiful.
  • When we were in Florence, and we found the tomb of Beatrice Portinari, Dante's muse, we sat on the floor of the church and she told me their story with tears flowing down her cheeks.
  • One of her favourite expressions is CHRONE POWER!
  • She loves her children more than anything else, and will inflict serious and immediate pummeling on anybody who comes close to causing us distress.
  • She is smart, and funny, and very brave.
Happy Birthday Ma!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008


So, the eigth month of the year is upon us, the last full month of summer (sob), and it promises to be an interesting and fairly busy one for WH and me. Here's what's coming up this month:
  • The National Music Festival is in Prairie City this year, and WH and I are acting as hosts for incoming adjudicators, though WH will be doing most of the work while I'm at my day-job. But we get to go to a reception put on by the lieutenant governor, so that should be lovely!
  • WH's parents, who are very involved in their local music festival and their provincial music festival, will be coming to Prairie City in just a few days to take part in the festival and spend some time with us. We're having dinner on a boat!!
  • WH is playing the organ at the big gala concert in our Awesome Concert Hall on the last day of the festival.
  • I'll be taking another few voice lessons in order to prepare for singing the Mendelssohn "O for the Wings of a Dove" at church on Sunday, August 31st.
  • We both have choir preparation things to do: I have business manager stuff for Chamber Choir and music library stuff from Church Choir; WH has music planning stuff for all three choirs.
  • My position at Colourful U. should be posted, so there will be the application process for that and, hopefully, the final resolution of that whole situation.
  • Hopefully, we will get the final big house organization projects finished in the next few weeks so that there is nothing major left hanging before we get back to our usual crazy schedules in the fall. I think that this largely involves cleaning some not so nice bits of the house (like behind the washing machine... ick), putting together piles of stuff to go to the rummage sale at the church in the fall, and sorting through WH's thesis paperwork to see what needs to be kept.
Speaking of major projects, here's our new wine rack. Didn't WH do a lovely job?! I helped, usually by asking probing questions like, "Did you measure that?" and "Is that the way that's supposed to look?"

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Accomplishments this Weekend

  • Bought lumber for WH's wine rack project (I made peach cobbler earlier this week, for those of you who caught this post, so... you know... I WIN!)
  • Sang the psalm at church this morning
  • Got numbers assigned to all the church choir members so that I can number music and make sure that when we do pieces more than once, people get their old copy back... this is a very important thing to church choir members, for some reason
  • Started laundry
  • Started a wine journal, a present from MU (thank you!)
  • Watched Juno, again
  • Was hired by Chamber Choir to be their interim business manager until they find a new one (probably a couple of months)
  • Cleaned out our garage
  • Caught another mouse... bringing the total to 4
  • Sat on the couch with WH, both of us with baskets on our heads, to see who could last the longest without laughing
  • Watched three baseball games

And tomorrow's a day off too!

Friday, August 1, 2008

Friday Five: Lock me out, Lock me in!

From the Revgals today, a Friday Five about Locks and Blocks!

1) How do you amuse yourself when road construction blocks your travel?

I sing. Loudly. Or I talk to myself. Or I make judgements about the hairstyles of the people stuck in traffic around me.

2) Have you ever locked yourself out of your house? (And do you keep an extra key somewhere, just in case?)

Yes, definitely locked myself out of the house, and out of the car as well. MU and I were driving across the country one summer to go to Big Province in the East and we stopped so that MU could walk out onto a little bridge and take a picture. I stayed behind in the car, but got scared of being alone quite quickly, so, like a good little girl, locked all the doors and ran out to meet her.

Jump ahead half an hour, to me sitting on the side of the highway weeping while my mom tried to get the back door of the car unlocked using a stick and the tiniest of gaps at the top of one of the back windows. It was a grand scene altogether.

3) Have you ever cleared a hurdle? (And if you haven't flown over a material hurdle, feel free to take this one metaphorically.)

I did compete in high jump in high school!

4) What's your approach to a mental block?

Walk away, do something else, play Word Twist on Facebook, eat something, tickle the kittehs, watch TV, listen to music, play the piano, bug my husband, etc.

5) Suggest a caption for the picture above; there will be a prize for the funniest answer!

"We once caught a fish, THIIIIIIIIIIIIS big."