TGIF

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It’s been a hell of a week.

I know some people will find that an offensive statement, and I’m sorry. But I am so tired.

I had quite an adventure this week. Not all adventures are planned…or pleasant.

Sometimes they start with a phone call and someone yelling at the other end. They require you to pull up your big girl panties, so you can go places you would never plan to go. Like the ICU of an hospital in the heart of a major city, where you hold vigil for a friend, in stunned silence, for an eternity. Like walking unfamiliar streets late at night, searching for a car in every lot and parking lot near the theater where your friend suffered a massive heart attack. Like sharing the story over and over again to complete strangers. Like stopping at a gas station and boldly knocking on the car window of a stranger (who was high), in a bad neighbourhood at midnight, for directions to the highway… so you could go home and lie awake.

And every morning since, waking up as tired as the night before, with a heaviness in your soul that no amount of chocolate could ever touch.

Oh, what a night! It’s a story worthy of pen and paper. One day. Even now I catch myself smiling when I think about some of the people we met, and just the utter ridiculousness of parts of it, until I remember why we were there in the first place, and my heart breaks again.

It’s been a hell of a week. I certainly hope yours was better.

Thank you to those who know and love my friend, and have been praying for her and her family. Have a blessed weekend.

Can Spring Be Far Behind

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O wind, if winter comes, can spring be far behind? – Percy Bysshe Shelley

As I’m writing this, the wind is howling around my parents’ home. As the sun rose this morning, it went from freezing rain, to snow…then from snow to a wet drizzle. Ice still covers the driveway. It’s the kind of gloomy day when it’s better to close the curtains and put on the kettle. Winter is trying to cling to its dominion over the landscape, but I know its hold is tenuous.

Yesterday, Mom and I went for a walk to the river, bundled against the chill of the air. But the snow was warm and small birds twittered in the branches overhead. Most of the river is still frozen and covered in a blanket of snow, but animal tracks of various sizes made paths in the snow. Spring…sunshine, birds, flowers and green grass. It’s coming…

Jackson and Gosling_ed

Ye Olde English, Grosvenor China, Jackson & Gosling, circa 1919

A hush is over everything, Silent as women wait for love;
The world is waiting for the spring. – Sara Teasdale

Cheers!

What’s In My Cup: Smooth Coconilla Oolong

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White beaches. Blue water. A floral whisper in the gentle breeze brushing your cheek. Peace. Tranquility. Rest. Sounds like paradise. But instead of waking in Shangri-La, I wake up to Canadian winter. I dislike winter. Last Sunday’s storm saw winds reach 110 km/hr. By Wednesday, we were buried under another 15 cm before temperatures dropped again into the -20s. I’ve already talked about the ice. I’m so over it!

“Winter, a lingering season, is a time to gather golden moments, embark upon a sentimental journey, and enjoy every idle hour.” – John Boswell

So instead of mourning the winter wonderland, I’m sipping something tropical.

coconilla_ed

This Oolong tea by Steeped Tea is blended with coconut chips, coconut flakes, pumpkin bits, lemongrass, pumpkin seeds, pink peppercorns, marigold and sunflower blossoms, and vanilla.

Pumpkin on its own provides some vitamin A and C, as well as fibre. It also aids the immune and digestive systems, and may help with the absorption of glucose. Marigold and sunflower blossoms are similar to calendula petals. Lemongrass is related to many Asian, African, Australian, and other tropical island plants in the grass family. It’s smell resembles lemons and it is commonly used in herbal teas.

Coconut was the predominant flavour in this tea. Because of its strong antioxidant properties and health benefits, coconut can help lower cholesterol, improve digestion, stabilize glucose levels, and boost the immune system.

I may not be able to fly away, but this coconilla oolong tea, with its bold coconut and fragrant vanilla flavour, is an easy and inexpensive compromise. The grassy notes from the lemongrass are subtle, which I appreciated since I’m not a huge fan. It also has a hint of heat from the pink peppercorns (reminiscent of a sultry night?). A little imagination paired with a great book, and I can almost hear the ocean!

You can’t get a cup of tea big enough or a book long enough to suit me. – C. S. Lewis

Hdppy Monday!

6th Annual Contest of Whatever

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Every year, Evil Squirrel hosts the Annual Contest of Whatever. It is a contest that requires mad artistic flair and…well, that’s pretty much it. And usually a requirement or two, which this year was this: “A squirrel walks into a bar”. Little Guy and I won the random draw for our entry 2 years ago. So without further ado, here is our entry for the 6th Annual Contest of Whatever

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One day….

Red Squirrel 2_ed

…a dyslexic squirrel…

Red Squirrel 3_ed

…walks into a bra….

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The End.

Happy Tuesday!

Disclaimer: No squirrel was harmed in the making of this unusual blog post. In fact, he was handsomely compensated for his acting debut. The only thing that was harmed was my frying pan, when I neglected it briefly, scorching dinner (which Hubby ate anyway). Hubby was compensated with homemade chocolate chip cookies.

What’s In My Cup: Lemon Cayenne


A tart, lemony sip with a gentle, warming kick!

Lemon Cayenne_ed (2)

This white tea includes apple, lime pieces and peel, carrot, rosehip peel, lemon peel, chili peppers, and sunflower blossoms. I assume the chili peppers are from a cayenne pepper.

Cayenne pepper is a hot chili pepper in the Capsicum family, closely related to jalapeño peppers and bell peppers. It does, however, rate hotter than jalapeño. While the skinny, red pepper has a mild smell, it has a fiery taste.  The active ingredient is capsaicin, which gives cayenne pepper its heat. It has pain-relieving properties for muscle and joint pain. It may also aid in digestion and boost your metabolism.

Big Guy likes spicy stuff, and has recently discovered the pleasure of loose leaf tea so I gave him a small package of this Lemon Cayenne Cleanse tea for his birthday. While I was a little reluctant to try something with the word “cleanse” in it, for personal reasons, I couldn’t pass up the chance. I sampled a very small cup.

This lightly coloured tea was surprisingly pleasant. The lemon flavour was tart but balanced by subtle floral notes, and the pepper was warming, making my throat and tongue tingle. It was lovely, and out of my comfort zone, but while some like it hot, I am no “hot-tea”, so I’ll leave the spicy to BIg Guy. Happy Wednesday!

Gastronomy is the greatest form of therapy anyone can be exposed to.
– Marco Pierre White

Falling For You


I think it’s my fault. On the weekend I made the inadvertent comment that LG was only family member not to wipe out on the ice. Murphy’s Law. Little Guy blames me.

In the past 3 weeks, experienced sunny days with blisteringly cold temperatures and windchills dipping into the -30sC, and days when the sun is hidden behind a veil of rain, freezing rain, or ice pellets. We’ve also had a fair number of all-out snow storms, complete with shifting snowdrifts, treacherous driving conditions, and heavy windrows. Last week, every local district closed the schools (except the district we are in), an unheard of thing in this city.

I have never been a fan of winter. Although I haven’t quite reached the usual saturation point in my “I hate winter” depression, as in other years, it’s definitely building. I’m getting tired of tripping over humongous boots, stepping on wet mittens, and cringing every time Hubby picks up his iPad. I know he’s going to check the weather and tell me what’s coming next, and I really just don’t want to know.

The wind, snow and cold haven’t been as constant as in former years, which has meant short burst of warm vs. frigid – a.k.a. thaw vs. freeze. Which means ice has been claiming many unsuspecting victims.

Big Guy works outdoors with trees and chainsaws, and therefore is at higher risk for wipeouts. This Mama sometimes worries that he’ll wipeout in front of a car or careen headfirst into a tree, and that’s without adding a chainsaw into the scenario. I haven’t really worried about the rest of us. But –

Two and a half weeks ago, Hubby popped down the street to clear out the gutter drain after heavy rain warnings. He came back soaked to the skin, and now he’s sporting a cast on his fractured thumb.

fonzie

It’s not as cool as Fonzie.

Almost two weeks ago, it was my turn. Hubby had parked next to a snowbank and it looked like I had room to get out. What I couldn’t see what that the ice was curved. I was pressed against the car, preparing to shuffle along, sacrificing my clean black coat, when Little Guy started crushing a foothold for me at the top of the knee-high bank. “If he can do it, I can do it,” I surmised. I planted my foot and grabbed his waiting hand to help hoist me up…I made it, but then I took one step forward. I landed on my back so fast, I didn’t even have time to yell.  It was less graceful than this:

penguin

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Fortunately just pretty colours in a few odd places, and the people down the road had a great laugh! And winter isn’t over yet!

Dear Winter,
I think it’s time I started seeing other seasons. Summer is way hotter!

Happy Weekend!