Monday, December 20, 2010


Well, I have looked at the Calendar. As of right now, Christmas is 4 days away. Am I panicking?

I have almost all of my shopping done, just one small trip left for a few forgotten items.

The Tree is up and decorated.

Dinner is planned, I am not cooking, so no planning needed.

Gifts are all wrapped.

No panic yet!

We even had time to go out for some fun on Saturday. I took the kids back to the Empress to see the trees again and we discovered that there were even more trees downstairs that we missed last time! Then out for Chinese Food for lunch, after that, down to Market Square for the Farmers Market. The Market was not as good as I thought it would be, but they did have a Face Painter there! She did a great job on the kids faces.

The Snow Princess

A Gingerbread House

Next off to WannaWafel for a waffle treat. They are so good! Although maybe a bit much for our tummies after a big lunch. After we rolled out of WannaWafel we went and found the hop-on hop-off horse and carriage ride. We had to squish on, but it was fun! As we got off the Carriage, one of the horses was the best entertainment of the day. Every kid thought it was amazing that the horse peed.And peed. And peed.

Then, of home for all of us. We were tired and there was a round of naps for everyone.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Hectic Holidays

Ahhh, it almost feels like the holidays are over. I know this is a false sense of relaxation and at some point in the next few days I will look at the calendar.

The first half of December has been hectic. It has included quite a number of dinners and parties, as well as some live music, and a whole bunch of late nights. All of which were alot of fun.

Now it feels like the holidays are over and I can relax. Fortunately I am not going all out this year. When I finally look at that calendar, I will need to remember that, so the panic doesn't set in. I am really not ready for Christmas at all. Really.

We have had alot of fun not getting ready for Christmas.

I think her favorite tree is blue because there were no pink trees this year.

Anyone surprised that her favirite tree is purple? Nope, not me...

The kids and I went down to the Empress to see the trees that they have decorated in the lobby. They were great. I took the girls pictures in front of their favorite trees. Then we went to Bubby Rose's and the kids each had a Gingerbread Cookie, and then off home.
Our group enjoying the Truck Light Parade outside of Moxies

We have also had alot of fun watching for lights when we have been out in the car, sometimes we even take the long route to get around so that we can find the really good houses.

So with all of these festive activities behind me, I feel like the time has arrived to be thanful I have not gained any weight and I can relax and get ready to roll into the New Year. Only until I look at that calendar...

Monday, November 29, 2010

Christmas Trees and Latkes

What a great weekend.

The two oldest kids were here on Friday night and got our Christmas Tree decorated. Decorated their way.

It is the best tree I have ever seen. They had so much fun digging out the ornaments and getting them up on the tree. They are starting to get excited.

On Sunday I went over to S's. house, four of us made Latkes. Lots and lots of Latkes. We peeled and cut 20 pounds of potatoes and 4 pounds of onions, then added eggs and Matzo Meal and made squishy, delicious little potato pancakes.

A year ago S. had a party on the last night of Hanukka. The beginning of a great tradition.

Last year we thought we would be able to make Latkes at the beginning of the evening and then spend the rest of the night socializing. We ended up in the kitchen until 1:30am. We had fun cooking away, and decided that this year there would be a bit more planning ahead. A bit less cooking the night of, nad a bit more socializing.

Milo is feeling much better now.

Our planned start time of 1:30 turned into 4:30 when Milo needed an emergency Vet visit.

Once everyone arrived, we got down to business. The business of drinking tea, making Latkes, visiting and having a great time.

C. taking a potato peeling break.

Hours later when we called it a night, we had had a very productive evening.

S. and the first batch of Latkes.

We had trays of Latkes, lots of great conversation, a few new friendships and full tummies. And a perfectly decorated Christmas Tree.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Winter Wonderland

It never snows in Victoria.

Famous last words.

While I was out last night it started to snow. When I left town the lawns were white and the roads were a bit slushy. By the time I got halfway home I was slipping and sliding all over the place. Finally I stopped at a red light and put my truck into 4-wheel drive, from then on the drive home was not so slippy and slidy.

Thankfully it's the weekend and I don't have to go anywhere. It is nice to be able to stay home and enjoy the snow through the window. I did go out this morning and fill the bird feeders since they can't get to their regular food sources. I also like to watch them through the window, they are able to empty the feeder in just a few hours.

I also cooked up some hummingbird feeder 'juice' for our teeny tiny neighbours. The magic recipe is 1/4 cup of sugar to 1 cup of boiling water. Give it a stir to make sure the sugar is totally dissolved and then let it cool before pouring it into the feeder. No food colouring, it's not needed, and it's not good for them. These little guys live in one of the trees outside our living room.

The cows don't like the snow. The smartest cow is the newest little girl, Andy. She stayed in the barn today. Right now the cows are sharing their paddock. With half of our Chestnut Tree. At about 12:30am those of us that were still awake heard a noise and figured it was just a big pile of snow coming off the roof. Nope. It was the Chestnut Tree. With the weight of the snow the biggest branch came crashing down into the paddock. Fortunately all the cows were tucked into the barn for the night and were safe. After the snow melts, the chainsaw will come out.

The snow does amazing things. Just a few days ago the yard was a soggy, rainy, muddy mess. Now it's all clean and sparkly. Snow makes everything look so peaceful and pretty, and makes it so quiet outside.

Now that the birds are fed outside, and the cats and people are fed inside, it's time to curl up with a book and a cup of tea.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

What a Week! And it's only Tuesday

It's turning into an interesting week...

Cell phone stopped working.

Cell phone = alarm clock.

Woke up 2 hours late, confused, just as I should have been arriving at the office.

No time for a shower.

Crazy busy workday.

Noticed the cell phone was broken at lunchtime.

Forgot lunch at home.

Went to have the cell phone exchanged, they couldn't do it, the box was at home, they need the box.

Picked up dinner on the run, not on the 'approved' eating plan.

Slopped dinner on my shirt.

Upset tummy from dinner.

Had a late meeting, with a messy shirt.

No power at home from the windstorm. No power = no well = no water.

No hope of the power being back on anytime soon.

Went to stay at a friends. I am very thankful for my friends.

Went to bed too late after getting settled.

Up early. Borrowed a different alarm.

Forgot my toothbrush at home.

Into the office early, extra toothbrush stashed in my desk drawer.

Downstairs to shower at the gym.

Forgot my homework list at home.

Another silly busy workday.

Finally got the cell phone exchanged.

School after work, homework was not done.

Power was back on after school, 22 hours later. Yay!

Cats were really wierded out and attention seeking. So snuggles in the chair.

Drippy bathtub noise... drip... drip... drip...

The tub is not draining.

Actually, everything else is draining into the tub.

Blocked sewer line. Boo.

We are on septic. This could be really bad. 

Now we have well water, but can't do anything with it.

Off to bed way to late again tonight.

Lets hope that the rest of the week will run a bit more smoothly...

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Water, Water Everywhere

I have 2 cats.

They are not the best of friends.

One I have had for about 10 years, her name is Bob (yes, Bob is a girl). The other cat, Charlotte (also a girl), I have had since March of this year. I got Charlotte as Bob was painfully lonely after the sudden passing of her best friend, Rupi.

Bob and Rupi in January

I certainly didn't expect Bob and Charlotte to be immediate buddies, but I figured that the hissing and fighting would have stopped by now. I was so wrong.

I have found one thing they agree upon.

When we moved into this house I put out their water dishes and noticed that they never drank out of them. Weird. Cats need water to survive, I am sure of it.

It took a little while to figure out what was going on...

Bob in the tub and Charlotte on the tub

The bathtub faucet drips.

I guess the fresh drippy bathtub water is better than the fresh tap water I put out every day. Now, I don't even bother with water dishes.

It's nice to see that they are learning to get along. Or at least be in the same room without fighting.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Daily Lesson

Every time I get on my motorcycle I learn something.
Today's Lesson: When you think the ride home will be fine without longjohns, put them on anyways!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Downsizing and Organizing

Continuing on my theme of downsizing this year I have been sorting through some more bunches of 'stuff' I have and am working on fitting into a much smaller space. It's a work in progress, and is going to take some more time, but it is an interesting task. Everytime I come across something, I ask three questions.

1. Do I love it? Really love it. It has to make me smile when I look at it.
2. Do I use it? Regularly. Often. Like, I would have to replace it soon if I got rid of it, often.
3. Does it have a home? A permanent one. Where it can live forever.

If the answer to all 3 is NO, then it goes. It goes online if it's saleable, or in the donate pile if it's not. Either way, it's outa here. And soon.

My big item for today was my dining room table and it's 6 matching chairs, listed online, and I have had one offer already.

Big Ticket Item #1, on it's way out...
Tomorrow I think it will be my Golf Clubs. I golf once a year, maybe. I should just rent clubs.

While I am working on all this downsizing, I am also organizing all the stuff I am keeping. Today the organizing began in the Laundry Room. I emptied out the whole room, washed the floor, swept the cobwebs out of the corners and organized everything while I was putting it back. Now I walk in there and can find things and have room to think. Ahhhh...

Tomorrow will be paperwork organizing. I have piles of the stuff I need to go through. And I already know I don't love any of it.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Jury Duty

 It's my turn. 

We didn't check the mail on Friday as we like to let the girls do it. They love to jump out of the truck and run back down the road to the mailbox. But, the girls didn't come this week, and we finally remembered to check the mail today. And guess what was there waiting for me.

A summons.

For Jury Duty.

I know where I will be on Monday November 29. And it won't be at work.

I think that it's important to sit for Jury Duty. I think it's important for all the reasons that we all know make it important.

I am also not happy about this. For two reasons.

1. I can't afford it. I mean seriously. Who can afford to take time off work? Even one day makes a difference on the paycheque. One day is my bike insurance, two days, my bike payment, a week, rent. So no, I can't afford to take time off work and have them provide me with a stipend that will cover what I would be paying for parking each day. Thats just not going to work.

2. I have a holiday booked in March. A month long holiday. And I am not interested in having to try and rebook the time off and change all my plans. Since it can be a couple months before a trail starts, that could seriously effect my holiday. It would mean having to wait a year, then there is a real chance I won't get to go. And, this trip is being financed by a second job. It will really suck if I don't get to go.

For me, the first reason is the big one. Although, the holiday is pretty importand, if I can't pay my rent, I am going to have bigger problems...

I am all for Civic Duty, it's important. Very important. It's too bad that they don't take the cost of the time off work into account.

I will be there. Asking to be excused. I just can't afford it.

Sunday, October 24, 2010


Wash Truck, Motorcycle, Bike and Trailer

Read Eat, Pray, Love (for bookclub)

Clean out Coolers, put away 

Clean Laundry Room

Scoop (always a favorite)


Plant bulbs (100's of them)

Clean out family room

Get the girls bedroom finished 

List stuff online for sale

Make soup - vegetable barley

Friday, October 22, 2010

If you want something done, don't ask this busy person...

What an action packed couple of weeks.

There has been so much going on that I have just not kept up with blogging.

Now back at it. No more slacking off in the blog department.

I have had a few ah-hah! moments lately and am excited to see what happens going forward.

I have too many commitments. That's it. Time to cut back. I work full time, volunteer, have the kids overnight on Fridays, am co-chair of two committees at work, am on countless sub-committees through my volunteer work, have meetings left right and centre, am taking a course in November for work, take countless hours of training for my volunteer work, blogging, and am now looking at part time work to finance a big holiday next year, and sometimes I try to have a social life...

So, I have been working on cutting things out based on satisfaction level. My satisfaction.

First to go was one of the co-chair positions, resignation handed in for December 31. It's the most frustrating thing I do each month, and it is someone else's turn to step up.The other one I enjoy and will keep it for a while longer.

Next will be some of the sub-committees and training I attend through my volunteer group.

Then I will feel sane again. And probably enjoy what I am doing a lot more.

A friend of mine once said... 'If you want something done, ask a busy person'. It's true.

Stop asking. I don't want to be busy anymore.

A few years ago I ended up being off work for six months with an 'acute stress response'. It was no fun. Really, no fun. I was dealing with the impending death of my Grandfather and a really lame job. Apparently I was not dealing with it very well. So, my Doctor saw what was happening and put his foot down.

I learned a lot. I learned that I don't have to do it all. Even if it means that something doesn't get done. I learned that exercise is good for me both physically and mentally. Really good for me. I learned that I can recognize indicators of stress in myself and stop my stress level from escalating. Knowing is half the battle.

The last few weeks I have noticed that I have been recognizing more and more of my 'indicators' more often. Not a good sign.

In light of this I will be curtailing some of my activities, while still looking for part time work. I know it's a bit counter intuitive, but the option is to keep all my activities and the part time work. That would be dangerous...

I will be getting my butt back to the gym. I am going tomorrow to pick up a class schedule and book myself some me time.

Last but not least, a visit to the Doctor, the Naturopath and the Massage Therapist. I can't stop this on my own. That was the biggest lesson I learned the first time.

First stop, Massage Therapy

So, the next few weeks will be an adventure and I am looking forward to seeing how this all works out. I have some reading to do, a massage to attend and some appointments to keep.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Friday night dinner...

After work on Friday I picked up the kids and took them out for dinner.

Normally we would come home and I would make dinner, but this week I had a bunch of running around to do and I knew that if we didn't stop for dinner the kids would be beyond starving before we got home. That is never good.

So, I picked one of the kids favorites. Swiss Chalet. Certainly not my favorite, being vegetarian and all... I sent R. in to get a table while I searched for a parking spot. Surprisingly there was no lineup and he got us a table right away. He is such a smart kid, he had already checked out the menu and had a plan before I got in there with the girls.

We got settled and the girls started colouring while R. and I set to work with the menu. He suggested that we get a 'special' they had on, where you buy a rib dinner and they add a 1/4 chicken to the plate. then get 2 extra plates and the three of them could split this. Man he is smart! So, that's exactly what we did. And for myself, I ordered a baked potato. There is not much there that I can eat, but the baked potatoes are a safe bet. I also ordered a side of poutine for the kids to share as they all love it and it would fill them up in case there was not quite enough for them all.

Figuring out that the Ribs are good.

Now that's a happy eatin' face!
One trick I have learned when eating at Swiss Chalet, and one of the reasons I am willing to go there, is that they will de-bone the chicken for you! So, I made sure that when I ordered I requested that they do this. I can handle cutting the ribs apart, but I am not picking through chicken for bones.

So, after some colouring on the kids menus and chatting, our meals arrived. I got to work dividing up the ribs, chicken and fries between the kids and they dug in. R. got to work and enjoyed everything. The girls were not to sure about the ribs, eating with their fingers and getting all mucky sure did not come easy to them. Once they had a few bites they decided that getting mucky was OK, and they polished off the ribs in lightening speed. Then the chicken, which is never a problem for these kids, also disappeared quickly.

Then it was my turn to take care of that baked potato. As soon as I picked up the plate I was looking for our waitress. I think I ended up with the greasiest, fingerprint covered, plate in the kitchen. There was no way I was eating off that plate. So, I sent it back and asked for a potato not on the grossest plate in the kitchen. Our waitress was fast to replace this with another potato on a shiny clean plate. Then I got to dig in.

By the time we left the restaurant we were all full and ready to head off and get our running around done. We also had an order of poutine to take home as the rib & chicken dinner was more than enough for the three kids.

Those are some happy, full, tummies...

So how does Swiss Chalet rank on my list of restaurants? It's a good choice with the kids and they have baked potatoes. I wouldn't go there if it was not for the kids, but when I do go there, I don't get too upset about it. So, I guess it's a middle of the road, with the kids, restaurant.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

So Long Summer...

Well, Summer has come to an end.

There is an undeniable crispness in the air, the leaves are changing colour and there are far fewer hours of sunlight each day. And rain. Lots of rain.

Mom and Dad will be back in another week or so, at the beginning of October. They have been 'on the road' since June 29. It sounds like their retirement trip has been amazing. I am looking forward to hearing the stories and seeing all the pictures.

Once they are back we get to figure out how to live together again after almost 13 years. This will be interesting... We figured we would give this a try as we all had to move at the same time of year, and we all love this house. Sharing this house allows us to live in a great place and have a bit of extra money to do cool stuff, like travel, buy motorcycles, and other fun stuff... I guess we will have to see how this goes.

I have a few outside jobs left to get done before I hang up my gardening gloves for the winter...

My Truck and Motorcycle need washing and polishing.
I still have some plants to get into the ground and some others to get moved around.

It's also time to get a start on my 'inside' progects...

I am still working on the bedroom for the girls.
The house needs a super duper clean before Mom and Dad get back.
Get all our pictures scanned and sorted out.
List stuff for sale online.
Oh, and planning a little holiday...

I am thinking about 3 weeks in Europe in January or February. Yah, I said 3 weeks and Europe! While they have been away, Mom and Dad bought a time-share thing where you can stay at Hotels in Canada, the US or Europe. I don't really know how it works yet, but I get to use a week to go on a holiday. And I am going, darn it! So, yes, I am excited, and yes, I will be working on plans for this trip over the next little while. I am looking forward to it! I am thinking of splitting my time between London and... somewhere in Germany. Eek!

At this point, I think I will fly into London, then go to Germany by train, stay in Germany for a week and a half, then back to London for a week and a half, then fly home from London. Thats the tentative plan. I will have to see how it all works out, but I am going!

Before I go, I have to get all my stuff done. It's going to be a busy fall.

Sunday, September 19, 2010


Yes, Garfield.

That is what my parents called me every time they served Lasagna. Every time. It really is my favorite meal. Ever. I mean, I have different favorites at different times, like right now if you asked me what my favorite this to eat is, I would say Pizza. But really, my forever favorite is Lasagna.

I have been craving Lasagna for a few months now. Finally, I have made a pan of it. 

Isn't it beautiful?!
Here is what I used...

4 cans of diced tomatoes
Italian Seasoning
Seasoning Salt
1 bunch of Celery
4 medium Onions
750g Cottage Cheese
2 Eggs
2 cups Parmesan Cheese
Lasagna Noodles
Mozzarella Cheese
Cheddar Cheese

How did I do it?...

Saute the Onions and Celery, add to the tomatoes in a large Crock Pot. Add Italian Seasoning and Seasoning Salt to taste. Let this cook away for a few hours. 

Mix the Cottage Cheese, Eggs, and Parmesan Cheese in a bowl, set aside. Preferably in the fridge.

Once the sauce is ready, use a ladle to collect a bit of the 'juice' (no veggies) and put this in the bottom of the Lasagna Pan. This will prevent sticking. 
Then, lay down Noodles. Dry noodles. Don't boil them first, there is no need.
Then Sauce.
Then Noodles.
Then the Cottage Cheese mixture.
Then Noodles.
Then Sauce.
More Cheese!

Then, bake this beautiful masterpiece in a 350degree oven for about an hour. Until it's all bubbly and gooey and smells delicious. 

Bubbly Deliciousness.
I like to let this cool for a few minutes before I dig in. Mostly so I don't melt my mouth. It also lets the cheese on top settle and get all crispy. After it has had time to rest, I give it about 10 minutes, dig in!

Bedtime snack?!
I have managed to make this 'sugar free', which means I used Brown Rice Pasta instead of the typical wheat pasta. I have included the details of any 'special' ingredients in my Sugar Free in Victoria Page. I have not found a difference in the taste or texture with changing the pasta.

Now that I have had a dish of this, I will put it in the fridge overnight. This lets the juices 'soak in' to the pasta and it will firm up. Then I will portion it out into containers and freeze some for lunches.

Tonight the pan will actually make it to the fridge. I won't pick at it until it's gone.

Fortunately this Garfield has learned a little bit of restraint over the last few years.

Just a little bit.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Breakfast of Champions... or Breakfast for me.

Tonight I had to make some Steel Cut Oats for breakfast for the next few days. It is so yummy that I have been raving about it to everyone that will listen. 

I figured I would show you how it's done.

Start with a pot of boiling water, with Kosher Salt and a bit of Olive Oil. I add the oil as it breaks up the starch a bit more.

Once it is really boiling, add the Oats. Stir to make sure nothing sticks to the bottom.

 Keep stirring them occasionally. 

When the Oats start to thicken, turn them down so they are simmering, keep stirring occasionally. They may start to stick to the bottom as they thicken, this will take about 20 minutes.

Just before they are done, add the raisins, cranberries, pecans, cinnamon and vanilla. Give it a stir again.

The raisins and cranberries will start to plump up, this means they are getting yummy! When the whole house smells delicious, it's done!

Serve up into bowls and add a bit of Rice Milk. Or, divide into storage containers and keep in the fridge, or, if you like, you can leave the whole pot in the fridge for a few days and reheat it as you go.


Sunday, September 12, 2010

Meal Planning

After the Golf-a-Q on Friday night, and having a dinner that certainly was not sugar-free, I am back on the wagon. It's not hard. I like what I am eating and have found enough items to have variety and not be bored.

I do need to find some sort of pasta I can have though. This morning I was having breakfast and going through my list of blogs I like to follow and saw this... Lasagna - Lazagnuh posted on C.'s blog. I work with C. and she is an amazing cook and has a great blog. The problem with this post is that now I really, really want some Lazagna.

One thing I have added to my list of projects for next weekend is to make some Lasagna. Maybe a couple of them and freeze some for later. Then on a day when I don't have time to cook, I can just thaw one and pop it in the oven. I think the most important part of eating 'no sugar' will be the planning.

Planning, planning, planning.

Fortunately it's something I am good at. (That's why I helped S. with her wedding.) This week I will be searching for some pasta I can have and planning out some meals. Particularly Lasagna. Mmmm... 

Other meals to plan...

Lasagna, of course
Vegetable/Lentil Soup

I think that's a good start. I will need to find good recipes and make time to get these made. I think the girls will really like helping make Lasagna next weekend.

I can also make 'parts' of meals to freeze as well, like cook up brown rice in a big batch and freeze portions.

Once I get a few meals stockpiled in the freezer I think this will get a lot easier. Especially on school nights.

I can't wait to get started and get the freezer filled up.

Projects in Progress

Well, it's a rainy Sunday. I love rainy Sundays, they have a built in excuse to have a pajama day! I don't have to go out to the garden, so no need to get dressed...

It also means I can get going on some inside projects. A few weeks ago, in the post titled Projects, I discussed the room I am getting ready for the girls to use on the weekends. Last weekend, when the girls were here, we got a start on cleaning out the room, which basically involved moving most of the stuff to the Family Room. Also, lots of recycling and bagging  for donation.

Work in Progress...

Now that there is room to move in there, it will be easier to get the table sold, and get the rest of the work done. I think the girls will be getting bunkbeds so they have more floor space to play. That will come later.

There is still quite a list to get done...

Sell the table
Find curtains
Find bunkbeds
Clean, clean, clean
Weatherstrip the windows
Sort out the wireless internet located in this room
Find a home for the printer and scanner
Move the dresser to my room
Move the dresser from my closet to this room
Still got to put up that mirror
Set up the TV
Find places for all my assorted 'stuff' left in the room
And lots more...

It is coming. Today I have a few other projects first, but this room will get some time.

I will be measuring the windows today so Mom and Dad can look for curtains in the States, if they are cheaper. Then I will be vacuuming and listing the table and chairs online for sale. And maybe emailing about getting the chair reupholstered. I think that will be enough for today, after the other stuff I have to get done, like dishes and washing floors.

Well, off to get started...

Enjoy your Sunday projects!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Sugar Free and Me!

Well, it's been 10 days of sugar free eating.

I feel great! The first couple days I felt really tired. Now, I am good. Not bursting with energy, but just 'normal'.

Everyone keeps asking what I am able to eat, which I think is kind of funny. I mean, it's not really all that hard. I am not cutting out anything from my diet, I am just changing out some ingredients.

For example, Pizza. Pizza is my favorite. I *heart* pizza. So, instead of using a flour tortilla as the crust I buy Spelt Pizza Crust. It's a bit of a different texture, not bad, just different. So... See?... Easy! Eventualy I would like to make my own crust, but I need to make sure that I have my meals all sorted out first and then move on to making things like Pizza Crust.

Pizza, the 'old way'.

One thing that I was pretty firm on when I agreed to change my diet was that I was not willing to go hungry. And I haven't. I have enough choice and volume to make sure I am not feeling like I am starving. And, a nice side effect is that I have lost 4 pounds! That's pretty good for only 10 days!

I have managed to find Soya Sauce, Apple Sauce, Yogurt and many other things that are on the 'good list'. I have created a list called Sugar Free in Victoria of the items I have found, and checked with my Naturopath, that can be incorporated into this way of eating.

So far I am feeling good, losing weight and enjoying what I am eating. I don't see any reason not to keep this up.


Well, today was our annual 'Golf-a-Q' at work today. We went in to the office in the morning and then headed out to Prospect Lake Golf Course at about 1pm. It was a day of Golf, Dinner, Door Prizes and fun. 

Ready to Tee Off.
We were split into teams with others in the office that we didn't normally work with and sent out for a round of golf. This is done so that we get to know others in the office that we don't know. It works, and it's fun.

Co-Workers waiting their turn to tee off.
This is the third year I have gone to the Golf-a-Q and each year I have met some great people and had a good time. That's what it's all about. And a great dinner. And awesome Door Prizes...

The Golf Course is in a great setting. It is actually about 3km from my house. The company rents a bus to make sure that everyone gets to the Course, and then home safely, after drinking. Then everyone goes back to the office tomorrow to pick up their cars. Since I don't drink, I took my truck, full of prizes, and then was able to head home when I was ready. It was nice to be home within 5 minutes.

Beer Cart
While we are at the Course, some of our Social Committee Members commandeer Golf Carts to take orders and deliver 'beverages' to the golfers on the Course. They also drive around and have fun, take pictures and tease the golfers. 

This is a great day and an awesome way to get to know some of my co-workers.
And, this year, I cleaned up on Door Prizes! 

I am very thankful that I work for a Company that is willing and able to organize events like this.

I am also thankful that I am home and will be heading to bed shortly. All that fresh air, golfing, dinner and fun has worn me out.

I already can't wait till next year.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Pretty in Pink

Well, that's it. We are over. After such a long relationship, it has come to an end.

Sugar and I are over.

I have started seeing a Naturopath. During my appointment on Tuesday we were discussing diet and reviewing my one week Meal Record.

I don't recommend the Meal Record exercise the same week as a wedding, a barbeque and the busiest week of the year at work. Cake, brownies, bread, KD, it's all on the record...

Anyways, I am happy to go and see a Naturopath as long as they are not trying to supplement me all up and sell me all sorts of stuff. I would much rather make changes in my life than take a bunch of 'stuff'. And, I am not willing to starve.

So, since I would rather make changes in my life, I am now off of sugar. I am going into this with cautious optimism. Certainly sugar is not something I need to be ingesting copious amounts of. Cutting it out completely is still going to take some doing.

The rest of this week I will be finishing off the things in the house that I am cutting out and working on restocking the cupboards with things I should be eating. For me the hard part is not stocking the cupboards, it's putting in the prep time, planning my meals and packing enough to get me through the day, and night, when needed.

Today seemed to go well.

I had oatmeal with raisins, dried cranberries, sliced almonds, cinnamon, nutmeg and rice milk for breakfast. It was very good. I had three servings of oatmeal left, and then I will be switching to Steel Cut Oats instead. Steel Cut Oats are 'allowed' and oatmeal is not.

A morning snack of yogurt with mixed nuts and seeds was also great.

Lunch was veggies and hummus, lots of veggies. I love hummus. I could eat it with a spoon. Maybe I have, but I would never admit it...

I also packed an apple and peanut butter for an afternoon snack, but was not hungry, so I will have that tomorrow.

Once I got home, I made myself a veggie pizza on a flour tortilla with veggies, cheese and veggie pepperoni. The flour tortilla, cheese and veggie pepperoni are on the no-no list. The flour tortilla because it is processed flour, the cheese because of the ingredient Tartarazine and the veggie pepperoni as it is highly processed.

This is one of my favorites.
Later, as a snack, I made a smoothie. I am pretty sure it was the best thing I ate all day! I mixed a banana, frozen strawberries, vanilla yogurt and 1 Tbsp of Udo's Oil.

Pretty. Pink.

Udo's Oil is plant based and a source of Omega 3-6-9. I have not ever used this oil before, and was very concerned that it would be... well... gross. I have attempted to include other oils in my diet previously but have tossed them out as they have added an unwanted aftertaste. I tried a bit on my finger before adding it to my smoothie, and it has no taste. None. I think I will try it as a salad dressing next.

I don't want it to sound like all I am doing is cutting stuff out. I am cutting a lot of things out, true. A lot of crap I don't need to be eating.

Some things I will be changing, like cheese. I can still have cheese, just a different brand that does not have Tartarazine. There are also breads I can have; good whole grain breads. Pizza crust is also available, just not what I am using now. So it's really just changing some things for better options.

The Naturopath I am seeing has a list items to avoid, a list of items to stock up on, and most importantly, a list of where to find things locally. This is important. Don't tell me I can have 'A' or 'B' but then not tell me where I can actually get them. She also has meal suggestions so that I don't feel like I am lost in the woods on my own. I have enough to get started with.

So, this is the next adventure. The next challenge. I look forward to it.