Of food, doggie and human

I never leaned how to cook at home. My mom, being a tiny, European woman with a huge personality, thought teaching us kids to cook was making us wash either the potatoes or the pots. As a result, every time she went into the kitchen, we hid. You can’t learn a lot about cooking from inside the inside of a closet.

Now that I’m older, I decided to rectify things….and went to You Tube. There, I could not only hear the recipe, I could see people actually making the dish. It was like having my own private little cooking chef teacher, for free.

The reasons I’m rambling about this is that the style of cooking I chose to learn is vegan. Having the entire world of recipes at my disposal, I wanted to try one with personality…and one that didn’t hurt animals. My husband, who’s got a heart to match his size, decided that was great and we’ve been mostly eating a plant-based diet.

Now, I’m not a good cook. The results I create are edible but they are far from tasty. Being a therapist, my husband is all about positive feed back and the last time I created a salad that was mostly raw garlic, all he said was: “Nothing had to die for us to be able to eat this.”

Nothing indeed.

My doggies, on the other hand, aren’t vegetarian at all. I don’t believe on forcing my beliefs on others and that includes them. After trying different foods, we’ve finally settled on the one we use today. It’s got lamb in it, which makes our fluff balls feel about as soft as satin, it’s approved by our vet. So, for us, it’s a winner. Most importantly, our doggies love to eat it.

Of course, they also eat dirt from our indoor plants.

Where I’m at war

I fight a war every week. I grab my weapons, a determined attitude and engage the enemy. Unfortunately, I seem to be losing the war.

My enemy isn’t smart and it certainly lacks in weapons. So, you might wonder how it is that it’s winning. The answer is sheer numbers. I’m one. They are many. And they multiply with the ferocity of rabbits.

That’s right. I fight a war against dust bunnies.

I clean the floor and I go behind every corner armed with brooms, swiffers and mops of different sizes and potency. However, nothing seems to make a difference. They fly around, swirling with laughter as soon as I approach.

If there were only one or two of them, I could pretend they didn’t exist but the truth is that there seems to be one in every corner, under every chair and behind every door.  They dance gleefully around as soon as someone moves. And I grab a broom, determined to end their joy.

They’re slippery little creatures. Since ours are made mostly of dog hair, they don’t weigh anything, so they’re incredibly hard to keep still on, say, the duster. They immediately fly away. Still, I don’t want them in my home. I’m a bit of a snob that way.

I’ve tried a vacuum cleaner, but the noise terrifies our two ferocious pooches. So, the war against dust bunnies continues with varying degrees of success. I’ll keep chasing these hairy things while my doggies stare at me from their beds silently producing more enemies for me to battle.



The first snow fall

The first snow fall always catches me unaware. Ridiculous, I know. I mean, we get snow every blessed year. I should be used to it by now.

I never am.

The first snow fall usually comes with a nasty, cutting wind and this year was no exception. It’s the type of wind that makes you realize all others were just jokes. This one means business. It cuts into your cheeks and ears with sharp little teeth until you don’t care one iota what the hair is going to look like, you put on the hat. It slides, biting into your fingers while you fumble for keys and numbs all exposed surfaces instantly.

Was the wind always this cold? This year, the wind was flying by at 50km/h. At that speed, it was cold enough to suck the breath right out of you and leave you gasping in seconds. Trying to see is pretty futile. Not only are your eyes watering like mad to keep away frostbite, but it’s pitch black in the morning.

And was driving in the stuff always this tricky? Did my hands always hurt like this? Were mittens this useless? When is summer coming back? This is going to be a long winter.

My dogs too are in shock. They run around the white stuff as if they’ve never seen it before. They drive into drifts and roll around in mounds of the stuff. They stick their heads into it and sniff, trying to find scents, then they run around delighted.

I can see that they too have forgotten what snow is like but for very different reasons than mine. Was the snow always this soft? Did we always roll around on it and jump around? Was it really this much fun? How long is this going to last? This is going to be a long winter.




If we were having coffee…

If we were having coffee I’d tell you that my hubby is away for the weekend at a therapists’ conference. They’re doing something like psychodrama…I think. Whatever it is, he’s delighted to go and I’m alone with our two fluffy pooches this weekend.

I’d share that post-election around here, in Canada, we’re still pretty stunned at the results and continue to watch our TV’s in disbelief. I’m hoping that the new President, no matter how surprising his election, will help the US prosper and the world get to a better place. He’s certainly making changes already.

I’d tell you that I’m suddenly cooking. It’s something very new to me and it has surprised everyone who knows me…including myself. I’m trying vegan dishes and so far, have done a couple that taste awesome. I’d probably share a recipe that works really well for mashed potatoes and cauliflower…but you’d probably get up to get a coffee refill just to avoid that subject.

Finally, I’d drink my coffee. With a cup in hand, I can handle just about anything.

(credit: wikimedia)

(credit: wikimedia)

Note: #weekendcoffeeshare is a meme from Part-Time Monster.

Late Post – Review: Friction by Sandra Brown

Friction is another nail-biter from Sandra Brown. From the very first paragraph, to the last sentence, I was caught by the story and could not put the book down. Every time I got to the end of a chapter, something monumental would be revealed and I had to keep reading. A roller coaster of a book, this one is a definite keeper.

Friction is the story of Holly, a judge and Crawford, a Texas Ranger who’s trying to get his daughter back. They meet inside the courtroom where Holly is ruling on his custody plea. Before she can try and do that, there’s a commotion and a gunman enters the courtroom shooting.

I hadn’t read much about the back, I just started on the book and it pays to not know what is going to happen, because each turn and twist left me gasping, staring at the book in disbelief–and there are a lot of turns and twists.

I loved that Holly was a professional woman in a job that’s not usually reserved for the heroine. I liked that she had a job in law enforcement. And Holly takes that responsibility very seriously, further endearing her to me.

Crawford, on the other hand, has had a few too many punches from life and is a little cynical. He doesn’t care who understands him or who hates him. When he’s trying to help Holly out, his attitude sometimes backfires and causes more difficulties. He’s still hard to resist. Under all that tough bravado, he’s got a heart of gold and will give everything in his power to help out someone in distress. That’s hard not to like.

This one is a well-written, powerfully addictive book. One that I loved reading during the hot summer days and will enjoy again and again. If you haven’t tried Sandra Brown, check this one out and, if you’re a fan, don’t miss out. This one is a keeper.



Note: click on cover to go to site.

US election day

It’s Election day in the US. We, Canadians, have been watching the race for the last year and a bit and now, finally, it’s going to be over. It has been a roller coaster with many ups and downs. Watching, from this side of the border, it’s been something else. Now, the day, it seems that tensions are as high as they have ever been and the polls say it could go either way.

(credit: bjstlh.com)

(credit: bjstlh.com)

I am no political expert and my little blog has no place sticking its nose into this business, so my message has be short.

My hope is that this election, no matter who is elected, brings prosperity and peace for the US.





Sneak Review: The Girl on the Train

I have to admit, the book is not romance and not on my list of books to read this year or even on my radar when I saw it. I shouldn’t have read it. I’m a romance fan and I should have integrity…but a friend lent it to me if I wanted to give it a try. It was free and in my hands. I just couldn’t resist.

The Girl on the Train is a thriller. It’s the story of Rachel, who travels back and forth on the train every day to London and, one day witnesses something on one of the houses nearby that makes her a witness to a tragedy.

Because it’s a thriller, I don’t want to reveal what happens, not even a little bit. You can go on line and find those spoilers there for you, but I don’t want to harm the reading experience of those potential readers by disclosing too much. Instead, I’ll ramble on about what I liked about this book and what I thought of it.

For one, the tone. It’s written in the first person and, when done right, that’s captivating. My impression of Rachel was both powerful and personal. I knew her inside out within a couple of chapters.

The other thing that’s done really well is the pace. It grew slowly and picked up speed gently, almost without letting me realize it, I was suddenly flipping pages and things were going nuts. I stopped doing anything else and ignored my husband because I had to finish this book.

Since it’s set in London, the tone and expressions of every character is very British. I loved that. It was so accurate that I could practically hear the accent. I particularly loved the setting and the tea references. So UK.

It was realistic. That was something else I appreciated about it immensely. It didn’t have a radical, extraordinary ending that threw everything else I had read into question. No, the ending actually answered questions and fit like a beautiful final piece into the rest of the story.

Now, if you’d like to try this book, I think you can already tell that I would definitely recommend it, it’s written by Paula Hawkins and it’s her first book. It’s a bestseller, so there are definitely a lot of people out there who’d recommend it but, since it’s her first book, there aren’t any more to read until she comes out with the next one. I have a solution to that dilemma. If you like this book, I’d recommend Sandra Brown. I know she writes romance but it’s thriller romance and absolutely a page-turner. If you like this one, you’ll also love Sandra Brown.






Review: Too Good to be True

Too Good to be True is another book by Kristan Higgins. I seem to eat her books like candy and can’t stop reading them. Isn’t it lovely when you find an author that you adore? I did with Kristan Higgins and I can’t thank her enough for her books.

This one is the story of Grace and Callahan another hilarious and wonderful couple. Grace has curly, crazy hair. “Must remember to call exorcist to see if I could have the evil demons cast out of my hair, which had been known to snap combs in half and eat hairbrushes.” I simply love that sentence. What a great way to describe her hair. Grace is also a bit of a soft hearted person. She reads to the elderly, thinks her insane family is charming and will do anything for her younger sister.

This last bit is what gets her in trouble, because her younger sister is going out with non other than her ex-fiance. Grace, being who she is, she encourages the match, then goes and makes up a fake boyfriend so her sister won’t feel badly about going out with her ex. The imaginary boyfriend becomes something of a legend and Grace goes to all sorts of hilarious extremes to keep him alive and her sister from finding out.

Meanwhile, she spies a burglar trying to get into the house next door to hers and whacks him on the head with her hockey stick. The ‘burglar’ is of course, Callahan who doesn’t find her antics as funny as I did. He absolutely hates her and things don’t get better when she hits him again with a rake and her little dog bites him. I, however, was laughing out loud by this point.

One of the things I liked best about this book, and Kristan Higgins’ books in general, are her secondary characters. Though they’re always different, they’re always funny in a cute, quirky way. This book had that in spades. From the elderly, grumpy grandmother, to the artsy mother, the smaller characters were amazing and made me laugh out loud.

Finally, there was a wonderful love story. I was definitely rooting for Grace and Callahan and couldn’t turn the pages quickly enough to get to their happy ending. When it did come, it was wonderful and worthy of every sigh of delight I uttered.

I really want to recommend Kristan Higgins. I can’t believe I waited this long to find her and she’s definitely going on my automatic-buy list. If you haven’t tried her before, take it from me and don’t miss out. She’s fantastic. Too Good to be True, winner of the RITA award, is yet another of her delicious creations one I’m keeping for good.

(credit: goodreads.com)

(credit: goodreads.com)

Note: to go to site, click on cover.

And now…

We’re back to our regularly scheduled program here at this humble little blog…or what passes for a program. So, expect a regular post on Tuesday, just like always.

However, this does give me the opportunity to ask…is there something you’d like to see more of? Or less of? Something you’re sick of? A topic that, if you see one more time, you’ll stick your head into a toilet and flush? Something you miss or would like to see? Maybe less questions in posts?

Let me know! I’d love to hear it and make you a little happier.

Of success and computers: update

Finally, after two weeks of agony and waiting endlessly, my beloved machine is back. There are still a few glitches because for some reason some programs aren’t working and some are but it’s back. Having a keyboard in front of me fills me with glee.

All I wanted to do this weekend was reacquaint myself with my beloved machine. My hubby, on the other hand decided this was the weekend to find him a new car. So, off we went. Him, eager, me, grouchy.

My husband is a lovely man, with many talents and abilities. Decisiveness is not one of those. After visiting more than 8 different car dealerships on Saturday and searching all day on Sunday online, he’s changed his mind and now wants to stay with his car.

Does anyone know how to start a voodoo doll?