Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Can She bake a cherry pie... maybe but not a fricking cake...

The crew and I decided to go egg free when the man in the basement became a permanent fixture in our lives. Despite the fact that he used to cook everyone else eggs in his previous life(before us) , the mere thought that we could somehow kill him through some weird cross contamination was too much too bear. If you think about it, eggs naturally has hormones and most likely contains antibiotics from the chicken feed. We haven't died from not eating eggs and the man has stayed alive from abstaining from the ovum.
An egg allergy is deadly.
The man in the basement is the type of guy who would be typecast as the absent minded professor if he still acted ( yes , you can see him on the silver screen in a couple of international films that were shot here in the 1980's). If and when we go out to eat, I'm usually quizzing the restaurant staff about the ingredients and how the food is prepared while the man sits there and states , " I'm sure it will be okay". Yes, I turn into Kate, from Jon and Kate plus eight, warning the staff of dire consequences if their verbal assurances go bad.
I hate being a biatch so we usually go out to the usual trusted spots , eschewing the unknown.
The allergy also means , no commercial pies, cakes , anything gooooood .
Birthdays are celebrated with ice cream cakes which are on the whole good but not the same thing.
For Valentines Day, I thought I would experiment and make him an egg free cake from I read the recipe, mixed the ingredients , and voila, the cake was a flop, it fell. It did taste good with icecream but was not a visual success. If anyone has any suggestions, I'm willing to give it the old school try. I'm going to try the recipe again with a few modifications tomorrow and if that fails , I'll give up baking for life !

Monday, February 11, 2008


Is a great idea.... who needs -18 c frigid weather ?
As a energy cheapskate I hate having my thermostat above 20 , I would rather spend that extra dough on a sweater. However..... I gave in and turned the usually set heat up two whole notches.
It was so cold that the school called it an indoor recess day and the teenager was home within 15 minutes post dismissal time.

I can't believe we're descended from hardy empire loyalist stock......

Sunday, February 10, 2008

We love Grandma Hardcore

I love Sunday mornings simply for the ability to be able to sleep in and wake up to the smell of freshly brewed coffee and bacon. The man in the basement makes the most decadent sandwich for Sunday brunch, the bacon ,onion and grilled cheese.
I'm such a lucky girl.
My children are old enough to fend for themselves so I can sleep in and I'm spoiled to have a man who not only loves me but feeds me and my crew decadent delights.
What does this have to do with a senior citizen who can kick my ass and yours each and every time on every gaming console ?
Not much ... but bear with me on this.

The girls lack the kind of grandparents who are fun,kind,understanding or civil. It's a complicated situation and I'm not delving into it but they have serious grandparent envy.
They both moan on about how their friends Grandparents take them places,don't play weird mindgames, are never critical and have a mutual admiration fan club with each other.

We always comment on and envy cool Grandparents.
Grandma hardcore is the ultimate awesome grandparent, not just for her wicked gaming skills but for her great relationship with her grandson Tim and even the other grandson who wipes out her memory card ( also know as Josh)
You can read and watch Grandma Hardcore @

We are a gaming family due to the man in the basements career choice. The girls rip into a game and the man coaches. Katie and the man sit there for hours while he guides her through each level and shows her her every hidden easter egg. He is truly a Jedi warrior and makes great grilled cheese.
What more can a girl ask for ?

Saturday, February 9, 2008

I don't recycle .... wait let me paraphrase that

We don't use the bluebox system.
My past business experience in the recycling world has taught me that only recyclers get rich off of selling the commodity ... the planet really doesn't win through this pseudo green gesture.
Lets say that you wash out all of your cans , tie up your newspapers , fold your cardboard ,sort your paper, clean out the plastic containers. How much time does it take for you to bluebox in the specified manner ?
What you don't know is this, the paper, cardboard , metal and plastic is taken back to the recycling plant and dumped and sorted. The company doesn't care if you have cleaned it out or doesn't matter. Each type is baled and graded before reselling it to a company , usually based in China or India. How much pollution is generated sending tonnes of recyclables to the far east ? Take a look for yourself at
If a commodity such as newspaper is a loss leader.... that is the recycling company can't sell it... guess where it goes .... the landfill.
Many recycling companys own landfills , GreenLane , a local company sold their landfill to the City of Toronto for millions of dollars ensuring a convoy of inefficient diesal trucks transporting Toronto's trash 24/7.

I'm not saying that waste diversion is evil or that a business shouldn't make a dollar off of our waste.
Recycling in this manner only encourages the consumer to generate more garbage.... that big screen box just has to be folded and tied , before being tossed beside the cans for recycling.It's all lipservice to saving the environment.

Our family went through mass change in the last four years and part of the reorganization and team building included evaluating every facet of our household organization.
We decided to simplify ,declutter and find solutions to ensuring that we stopped generating four bags of garbage plus recycling a week.

We no longer....

Buy newspapers .... we read online
Any magazines are sent off to the local medical clinic for homegrown recycling and I only buy one magazine a month down from 5.
I use cloth bags at the grocery store and usually buy all locally produced "food" from the local market .
We refuse to take home any product that comes in a large box. I'll buy the item if the retailer keeps the box.
We reduced our dependence on packaged food by 80% thereby saving not only the world but hopefully our health. That means no softdrinks,junkfood,hamburger helper.... you get the gist.
We evaluate all consumer purchases carefully and refuse to give into impulse buying in order to avoid junking that same product into the garbage in future years.

On a side note, my reorganization included a complete "purge" of all of our family goods prior to moving . I sent off unwanted furniture to an auction house, gave clothes,household items and books to local charities in order to downsize and cleanse before our move. Each child participated in the same exercise and gave away old clothes,old and unused toys.
It was similar to cleaning out your parents house as part of the closure of an estate. Every piece of "treasure" ends up in the garbage,your attic or as part of the junk seen at any auction house.
Our precious items do not consist of of plastic,glass or paper . It's in the spoken word , gesture or touch to the people we love.
That was the truth which we discovered.
Take that Oprah.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Holy S#%^t !
What did I do last night.
I wasn't even sipping a glass of Wolf Blass.... no excuses.
I started BLOGGING.... yep I'm now officially insane... will post pics and restraining orders later today.

The youngest critter ( age 10 and will be taller than her older sister) bounced down the stairs at 8.00 a.m. dressed in what I would call casual/christmas.
Gap turtleneck with plaid shiny xmas like paper mini skirt. No , the outfit wasn't sycronized.
I looked over at her while she was slurping down a healthy breakfast of vanilla Rice Crispies and juice and commented ,"Your Mother dress you "?
Katie replied ," No... I like this , it reflects my Scottish heritage". (we're not Scottish)
I have given up on forcing her to change her clothes before she goes to school or for that fact anywhere. Last year she insisted on going for a neighbourhood walk with me wearing her white bike helmet.
Shrug, yes I let her wear it. It took a quarter of a mile of weird looks and laughter for her to turn to me and say, " This looks stupid , can I take it off" ?
I did make her carry it for the rest of the walk . I decided long ago , if it's not dangerous , a little community shaming can't hurt.
Besides, add the slip on the indoor school pirate shoes and she might just start some weird grade five girl trend ...or be scarred for life.