Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Crappy appliance

Today, I've been doing this. In case it's not clear from the photo, that is my microwave taped up with newspaper on the kitchen table.

For two weeks now we've been living without a microwave.

We don't really cook with microwaves. And it hasn't been THAT much of an adjustment.

But I have to say I miss it. When Ben wants milk, he likes his bottle slightly warm. So instead of placing his bottle into the mike for 20 seconds, I place it into a bowl of hot water for 2 minutes.

It's not the end of the world.

Sometimes, I miss not being able to defrost something quickly. I don't normally plan meals, I just cook on a whim, and since we try to keep our freezer stocked with good organic meat, I can usually choose to cook whatever I feel like eating that day.


I have to plan the night before and place the frozen food in the fridge for defrosting.

Like I said, it's not the end of the world. But I miss the convenience of spontaneity.

Anyway. The reason the mike isn't working is because there is a little bit of paint chipped off the bottom edge on the inside of the door. We noticed a burn mark because underneath the paint there is metal. And like most of us know, you can't have metal inside the microwave. It'll short out.

So we finally bought the heat resistant spray paint. Cheaper than buying a new microwave.

I'm spray painting today. I hope to be done by tonight (it needs a couple of thin coats) so I can use the flippin' mike again tomorrow morning.

Figures that this thing, a Kenmore from Sears, decides to chip its paint one year after purchase. Warranty doesn't apply anymore.

Crappy appliance.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Chicken with fettucine

Made this for supper the other night. With fresh pasta!!

Go to my Quick Slow Food blog for details.

Good things

No, I'm not trying to imitate Martha Steward. But lots has been happening lately, most of it good, and I just haven't had time to write about it!

But I will.

Just not now.

No time.

Saturday, February 24, 2007


This is what I instant-messengered to my friend in Germany today. It pretty much sums up my current mood:

I have decided that I hate this house
Everywhere I look there's chipped paint, cracks, stuff falling apart
It looks like shit
Then there's dust
and dirt from winterboots
there is no closet space
no place to put towels for 3 people, much less for 4
and no place to store anything
there is paper clutter everywhere
the floors are being bleached as we speak but I may have to go over them again
How can I concentrate on doing the stuff that is important when this crap is preventing me from doing it?
I can't concentrate when everything around me is falling apart

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Annoyed continued

Canada Post is trying to help me out here. They really are. But frankly, I'm getting tired of them contacting me to provide them with more information.

If I knew the exact address of the postal outlet that provided the insufficient postage, I would have indicated it on their online form. Instead, I gave them the name of the Drug Store and the street it's located on. Also the name of my pre-algamated neighbourhood of Toronto called New Toronto. New Toronto is nestled between Mimico to the east and Long Branch to the west. It's not big. It's walking distance for crying out loud. AND, there are only two Shoppers Drug Marts on Lakeshore in my neighbourhood. And only one of them has a postal outlet.

But they are "very sorry" that they do not have the correct address including postal code. Until I provide them with this information they can't proceed with their investigation.

Look. The chick gave me insufficient postage. It's not the end of the world, just an inconvenience. The digital scale at the postal outlet and the high-and-mighty-one at the main post office don't match each other. Big Whoop. Welcome to the electronic's age.

But now, they want ME to pull out the Yellow Pages, or call the Drug Store, to get them information they have access to at their fingertips. Ever heard of Google Maps? If you don't like Google, you can go to Yahoo Maps. Or contact Bell or something.

But no. They want ME to do it.

After I've been inconvenienced already.

(I do realize that the time it took me to write this post I could have done their job and researched the exact address and postal code, pulled up the online form, emailed them the information, and hoped for the best. But then I would have wanted a paycheck from this Crown Corporation for doing someone else's job. One that would have never come. And besides, I prefer ranting about this than researching an address.)

And since I am rating...

There was a guy in a little sidewalk snowplow/salter thing speeding down my street today at about the same time I was getting ready to take the child and the dog out for a walk. He was salting the sidewalk.

Of course, the sidewalk was completely clear of snow, ice or any other debris. All the snow from this morning had melted and washed away. The sidewalk was however littered with recycling boxes which the recycling guys carelessly tossed every which way. Into the street, onto the sidewalks, into flowerbeds (ok, there's only snow there, but still), and into driveways. My next door neighbour was just trying to access her driveway when she realized she had to leave the car sitting in the middle of the street, get out, move the boxes aside, get back into the car, and drive into her driveway. People walking their babies in strollers, they were walking on the street. No room on the sidewalks.

Anyway, my maniac guy in the salter was driving over my green bin. This greenbin is a City of Toronto thing where we can compost food waste.

The jerk drove over it right in front of me, and when I started yelling, he glanced at me and continued speeding down the road. He was in some kind of hurry to melt the nonexistant ice and snow on the sidewalk.

He cracked the lid on my green bin.

Which means that now, if I put the food items in there, it will attract wildlife.

I had wildlife in my garage twice this past year. Cute, fat racoon families. They like the green bin. I'm not particularly happy about having racoons take up residence on my property.

As I'm yelling at the guy to stop speeding, in front of my child and my dog, I see him turn around and cross the street toward the other side. He proceeds to speed northbound now, dragging along my neighbour's greenbin up at least three or four houses. I continue yelling at the guy to STOP before he causes some real damage, but he just sped off.


When the neigbour from across the street came out a little later, she asked me if I saw the recycling guys damage her greenbin. She found her bin up the street but it had it's lid missing.

I told her it was only partially the recycling people's fault.

To make myself feel better I wrote a very professional email titled "monumental waste of taxpayer's money" addressed to the greenbin people, my councillor, the mayor, and to the recycling people. I wanted to know why they were spraying salt on clean, dry sidewalks, why their driver was a maniac, why the recycling people can't get it together with the empty bins, and why they were wasting my money.
If I get a response I may post it.


Wednesday, February 21, 2007


Considering I'm so tired these days, I'm letting little issues fester and annoy me more than usual.

For example, I'm more than a little annoyed at a what I would otherwise see as a stupid mistake made by someone at a postal outlet in a drug store.

But I'm tired and want to blame my bad mood on something. So I may as well blame my bad mood on Canada Post.

Last week, I specifically went there to mail a letter to Italy, with some photos in it, because I was too lazy to take our own digital scale out and weigh the letter myself, then affix the appropriate amount of postage that I have in the house.

I figured, it gets us out of the house and provides us with a change of scenery during this long deep-freeze we've been having. We're all a little sick with cabin fever.


Today I get the above mentioned letter delivered back to my house. Insufficient postage.


I mean, the lady there at the postal office had a digital scale, and she weighted it in front of me...she had a Canada Post uniform on....

I hate idiots. Especially incompetent ones.

Now I have to go back and re-mail it.

Later. Canada Post responded to my complaint via email. This is what they said:

Thank you for your message to Canada Post.

I have opened an inquiry, which will be sent to the Local Area Manager
that is responsible for this postal outlet so that they can look into
this concern and ensure that the employees are properly trained. Your
customer number is XXXXX and your case number for this inquiry is

I apologize for the inconvenience caused.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Burning calories

You ever wonder how many calories you burn when you're trying to dress/undress a squirmy toddler?

I actually had to lock him in between my legs and apply pressure with my upper thighs to finish getting him dressed. That must count for squats or something.

Note to self: perhaps it's time to teach offspring to undress himself.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Kibble and poop

The first time I came across the idea that baby poop wasn't always squishy was while 8 months pregnant and reading Ann Lamott's Operating Instructions.

At one point she recounts how she chased after the little pebbles of poop (or whatever she called them) because they rolled out of the diaper and onto the floor.

I found this fascinating, horrifying and very weird.

Tonight, I was tidying up random toys and clothes just before bedtime when I came across a dog kibble on the dresser/change table.

I remember wondering how the it got up there. Yes, Benjamin helps to feed the dog, but he can't reach that far up yet.

Did he throw it up there?

I picked it up and realized that it feels too soft for dog kibble.

It's a piece of poop.

Which rolled out of the diaper earlier when hubby changed him.

Hubby is killing himself laughing at my disgust but then chases me to the bathroom with the liquid soap. God forbit I would touch the regular soap with my poopy hands.

Traffic in -30° C Windchill

The weather this morning was beautiful, sunny, crip, and very, very cold. There is TONNES of snow everywhere.

Because of all the snow, slush, salt and debris everywhere, the streetcars were getting stuck on the tracks all over the place. The same thing was happening yesterday while it was snowing, and at one point there were several streetcars sitting empty at a major crosswalk by a community college, waiting for buses to take over.

Considering this was happening already yesterday, I wonder why they didn't automatically switch to buses today.

The drive to Benjamin's daycare takes, on average, 7 minutes.

Today, the way back took over 20 minutes. Abandoned streetcars, idling cars, and moutains of snowbanks really hampered the smooth flow of traffic.

Stupid chick yapping on cellphone nearly smashed into me in her frustration to cut across two lanes.

Another idiot (woman in SUV) ran a stop sign and dared to honk at me when she almost smashed into me. Didn't see if she was yapping on a phone too, but I would bet she was.

Morons shouldn't be allowed to drive at all.

Black line on map is the regular route home.
Orange line the route I had to take today.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Valentine's stuff (the good, the bad and the ugly)

So Benjamin had his toddler Valentine's day party today. He handed out his home-made potato-stamp cards to his teachers and friends, and in turn got a goody bag similar to what he got for Halloween and Christmas. This is what it looks like:

Quite a bit of candy, but also some other neat things. That straw we tried out at lunch and he loved it! The rest of it....we'll see. So far he's not addicted to sugary stuff like me. Yet.

His teacher also gave us some art to take home. I got these magnetic strips at IKEA and finally put them up on a long, empty wall that was otherwise useless, and displayed the artwork there:

Snow AKA never stop shoveling

There is SNOW everywhere! It snowed overnight and it's still snowing. And we haven't hit lunchtime yet.

Had to shovel prior to dropoff at daycare.
Had to shovel after coming back from dropoff at daycare.
Had to shovel to get the second car free for hubby so he can go to work.
Had to shovel the neighbour's driveway and walkway (well, didn't HAVE to but she's 86).
Had to shovel before taking the dog for a SHORT spin.
Had to shovel when I got back from taking the dog for a spin.
Had to shovel the back porch so I can let the dog out without taking him for another spin.
Then I had to start all over again.


Saturday, February 10, 2007

My new friend: yeast

Yeast and I are developing a relationship. Didn't have one before.

Been baking bread, and fairly successfully at that.

Made pizza with my own yeast dough today. Details here.


My little cutie, who has been so miserable for the past few days (weeks?), can sing.

It just swells my heart when I'm up to my elbows in laundry, dishes, or some such chore, when I hear a little voice singing not completely out of tune Twinkle Twinkle Little Star or Happy Birthday To You with almost all the words intact and mostly pronounced correctly. Kind of.

It's just so cute.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Valentine's day card-exchange

My toddler has his first Valentine's Day party at his Montessori school next week. At the party, they are invited to exchange cards with their classmates.

Although I don't have anything against Valentine's Day in particular, the whole commercialization aspect of it does kind of tick me off. I keep thinking about landfill sites for some reason....

Anyway, I thought about not participating in this card exchange at all but then figured Benjamin may have his own opinion about that, even subconsciously. I mean, he's only 22 months old, but still. His head teacher there is an absolute sweetheart, and I know she'll make a big effort to make the whole experience fun, and educational too.

So, I decided to attempt making our own cards, or more precisely, have Ben make his own cards. They're his classmates and friends after all.

Besides, I needed a diversion anyway to keep him busy and occupied indoors during this never-ending deep freeze of late.

But remember, he is a toddler. This means that a) his attention span to make these cards wasn't long (but longer than I thought it would be) which b) required several days of potato-stamping in order to complete enough cards for all the kids in his class and c) did make a bit of a mess resulting in d) somewhat imperfectly shaped hearts which are however e) rather charming.

Of course, mommy was there to lend a hand occasionally...

So here's the proof: Benjamin made potato stamp cards to exchange with his classmates at the Valentine's Day party:

Wednesday, February 07, 2007


This is what he looks like when he's NOT


I keep telling myself that


Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Toddler crisis

Everything was a crisis today.

Getting dressed to go out - I placed the wrong hat on him.

WANT TYLER HAT! (Tyler is a kid in his daycare. His hat is the same colour, but that's where the resemblence ends. Don't ask.)

Putting his boots on his feet - I made him sit on the floor when he prefers a different place.


Placing the hood on his head - it was -13°C outside for crying out loud.


Trying to get him to sit or stand out of the way so I can get my boots and jacket on...


Letting him out the door to go down the steps toward the stroller ...


As I'm carrying him...

NUGGI BELLO!!! (that would be the pacifier and his stuffed dog)

The entire afternoon went like this. A similar scene played out on the way back from the library which was supposed to relax him since he just wouldn't nap. Going there was fine, coming back went from bad to worse. Let's just say that three hours later, when daddy came home, all our wet clothes and boots were still piled on the floor in front of the door.

I did managed to give him his bath prior to dinner. And he did eat some dinner while I was still cooking the remaining dinner. Usually he eats with us, but the whining was getting on my nerves fast so I placed a few goldfish crackers, a few cherry tomatos and some leftover spaghetti in front of him, which he mostly ate.

He finally fell asleep in front of a video (WANNA WATCH A VIDEOOOO!) at 6:30 pm.

Whine, sick, whine

Everyone is sick. And some people are really whiny. And clingy.

A new habit is forming. It's called (mimic extra whiny-ness):

wanna watch a videoooooo

I taped a bunch of stuff to avoid having him glued to Treehouse all day. I was concerned about this before. Like Mighty Machines, and Thomas the Tank Engine. Today, on TVO, we accidentally saw Peep, this animated little show of a bird and a grumpy blue duck. I like the grumpy duck. Ben actually laughed out loud a few times during that show. May make him a tape of that too.

He doesn't ask for videos much when he's feeling good. He plays, and quite well by himself too, with toy cars and lego, trains and even books. But when he's not quite himself, he just wants to veg out in front of the tv.

Not sure how I feel about that. Interacting with him when he's miserable like that is no joy for me either.

Let's hope he's feeling good enough to go to his school tomorrow.

Monday, February 05, 2007

The new normal

30 some years ago I didn't know what a computer was. Once I moved to Canada and later entered high school, I was told that a calculator was considered a computer.

Then I took a computer course in BASIC or something. I liked it but didn't do well in it.

In University, my then boyfriend bought a computer and we played around with WordPerfect. I was astonished how easy it was to type lengthy papers for my various literature courses.

Looking back today, I just shake my head. Easy using F keys? Or, Shift F keys?

Although come to think of it, since there was no Internet there were no viruses and the constant need to update various protection to keep hackers and spam and who knows what else from invading your personal affairs.

Now we have a small child. A child who sees this picture, and considers it completely normal:

Not one, but two computers running at the same time. Not counting my laptop upstairs....

Bread - attempt number 3

Well, I made more bread. This time it was whole wheat, and this time I didn't follow the recipe completely exactly. I cheated a bit here and there, and went more with "how it feels" than "what the book says".

The loaf looks good....not sure how dense it is considering I used an organic whole wheat flour...

Before rising...

After first and second rising....

Final product!

Visit my Quick Slow Food blog for recipes, food commentaries and cookbook suggestions.