Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Highly Recommend...

Last night I went here, with these lovely ladies...

It was a memorable evening. We went to celebrate birthday girl, Nola's birthday. [Happy birthday friend!] The burgers were amazing, and it wasn't ridiculously expensive.

When faced with eating a burger, one of the best sides is, let's face it... FRIES! Gotta have some of that deep fried comfort food. At first, Stephanie and I decided one of us would order fries, the other salad, then we'd split both. Good thinking we thought... And then this grandiose idea began to f0rm... WHAT IF each of us ordered a different burger, then we all cut our burgers into 4 and shared them... BINGO!

So that's what we did. [And let's be honest, you can ONLY do this with a bunch of girls] We ordered the following burgers: Portabella Mushroom Burger, Lamb Burger, Bison Burger and the Shrimp Burger. (I listed them the way I rated them) Once the burgers came, we quartered them, passed, shared and ooohed and ahhhed over our scrumptious meal. It was delish, and totally fun. (And I can't go on enough, about how yummy that portabella burger was.... Mmmm) I really wish we'd taken pictures of the food... Isn't that crazy? Next time!

[Oh, and the fries thing got sorted out too. We all had salad with our meal, and ordered an appetizer of fries...]

I think we'll end up going back and trying 4 more burgers to share! Thanks for the awesome night ladies...

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Long Weekend

We're smack dab in the middle of the Victoria Day long weekend. What that means, for those of you who aren't native Calgarians, is a drastic temperature decrease. This week the decrease was approximately 18°. Last Monday & Tuesday we stood watching the kids soccer games thinking "Are we ever lucky". By Wednesday, the arctic wind blew in. The arctic wind has been with us ever since.

We don't camp any more. So as I watched the mass exodus of tent trailers, 5th wheels and motor coaches leaving the city starting on Thursday afternoon, my only thought was poor you. Having said that, all those 'rigs' have a furnace in them, talk about luxury. When we camped, we really roughed it, we tented. And that was a long time ago. A life time ago in fact... And I don't know that I could be talked into camping in a tent again. Not now. Nope. I'm too old. If there isn't a mattress, I'm likely not going to be there. I feel pretty strongly about a furnace too. I HATE being cold.

It hasn't rained all weekend, which the earlier forecasts indicated it might do. We got to the zoo early on Saturday morning (Barry and Mason had actually had a sleep-over, as the wind up for Beaver's) So we met them first thing, and had the zoo to ourselves for the first 2 hours. It was terrific. We also got to see the dinosaur park, that has the interactive, moving and sound making dinosaurs. It's pretty cool. We got a BBQ in w/friends and the kids played outside on a brand new trampoline. They had a blast. And why is it, the cold just doesn't affect them the way it does us? We had all day today, Barry got the yards tidied up, and now, if it just gets warm, it'll be lovely to spend time out there. We still have tonight ahead of us, and the LONG AWAITED season and show Finale of LOST...

As a couple of die-hard "Losties" we've been watching this show since September of 2004. We've pondered, concluded, read message boards, hypothesized, tried to figured out characters motives, we've done good vs. evil. We've thought about purgatory, heaven, hell. But tonight, after 6 years in the making, we're going to have all our questions answered... [yeah, right] I don't expect to have questions answered, but I am very excited to be watching the very last show together. I'll miss our LOST nights.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

For Today - May 20th, 2010

Outside my window... It's cloudy and overcast, not a great forecast for the first long weekend of the season.

I am thinking... Madelyn got up WAY too early this morning, and has melted down 3 times already at 9:33 am. Not a great forecast for the day...

I am thankful for...a 4 day long weekend

I am wearing...Capri sweats and tank and a zip up hoodie.

I am remembering... A salad that my Grama used to make, with chopped up tomato's and green onions, possibly Miracle Whip? I don't think I could duplicate it. I wish I could ask her about it.

I am going... to the mall today, to mooch around with the girl. It's our only free day.

I am currently reading...Secrets of Eden by Chris Bohjalian

I am hoping...that I can figure out how to be more patient, instead of sitting here guilt ridden, wishing I'd acted more patiently with Madelyn.

On my mind... I have to get out and weed my garden, because after a few warm days, the weeds are totally overtaking the stuff that's supposed to be growing.

Noticing that...Creating Keepsakes magazine has seemingly gone from a monthly issue to a by-monthly issue. Not happy about that.

Pondering these words... Learning to trust in the powers greater than me. To know that both the good and the bad are placed in my path for a reason. Knowing each day I am given the opportunity to grow. To believe that I can choose to be great. To appreciate that I am right where I should be.

From the kitchen... Got a request for Macaroni and Cheese for supper tonight. [Though when I make my 'home made' macaroni and cheese, I know they'll say what they wanted was Kraft Dinner]

Around the house... Everything is nice and tidy. I have to sort out my scrapbook room. Looks rather scary in there.

One of my favorite things: Getting mail.

From my picture journal...

This is a picture of one of the baby Great Horned Owls. So far they're doing well. The Daddy owl has taken over and is teaching them now to fly and hunt for themselves. They cause quite a ruckus at sundown. I took a picture of this little guy from our back yard.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Last Night's Dinner Conversation...

Last night, as we sat around the dinner table, we had this conversation. We bought a ticket recently to one of the lotto homes in Calgary, and we were talking about what would happen if we actually WON the house... Barry is convinced we'd sell it right away, I'm convinced we'll move right in and never look back. Then a little voice interjected and said this:

Mason: "I KNOW what we can do! I have the perfect idea!"

Me: "What's your perfect idea?"

Mason: "This boy in my class, his Mum has her own house and his Dad has a house too! We can take turns living in the house!"

Said with such enthusiasm, having no idea at all WHY each of his parents have their own house. At nearly 8 years old, having NO concept at all [Thank God] why a Mum & Dad wouldn't live together... But thinking to himself, "Wow... He's got 2 houses to live at!"

And to be honest, the idea has some merit!! Just kidding honey! You'll have to move into the 'new' house with us! You won't be sorry. We can visit the neighbors. LOL.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

I Forgot...

About the smell of May Day tree blooms.

Seriously... when those quiz-type things go around asking all sorts of questions, you know the ones.. What's your favourite food; What's your favourite drink; What's your ideal get-away? Those ones. And then it asks: What's your favourite smell? I think, and I think, I hum and I haa... I usually put down answers like fresh baked cookies, or banana bread, or clean laundry. Don't get me wrong, I do like those smells, but as I was out walking this morning, I realized I do have another favourite smell. The smell of the blossoms on the May Day tree. It's absolutely intoxicating to me, that smell. It reminds me of spring. It reminds me of warmer days. The smell just plain makes me happy.

In our old house, we had a gigantic 40+ year old May Day tree on our front lawn. When the windows were open, the whole house smelled of that sweet fragrance. The biggest problem of course, is the blooms are so very fleeting. The smell is prevalent for only a few days at best. And if you get any type of wind a few days after they've bloomed, all the petals blow off. (And this is Calgary, or should I say, the windy city)

[Here's a picture of the May Day tree in front of our old house]

We were lucky though. When we moved, the house next door to us has a May Day tree in the backyard. It's right at our kitchen window. Right now, it's just on the verge of blooming. So within a week, I can have that smell once again wafting through the house.

When you get to enjoy something for such a short time (literally days) it's easy to see why you'd forget that it's one of your favourite smells. Another reason spring is my best season. The blooming trees. It's so beautiful. And if we can have a few nice days, we can even enjoy the blooms for a few days!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Yummy Lunch Ideas!

I made these for my kids a few weekends ago. Muffin Tin lunches. I wasn't totally sure what the reaction would be... Wasn't sure if my nearly 8 year old would be 'too old' for a fun, muffin tin lunch. [As it turned out, I didn't need to worry] I came across a blog, some time ago, featuring Muffin Tin Mondays, check it out here.

[He assured me he was DEFINITELY NOT too old, and enjoyed it very much. Can you tell by the look on his face?]

Even little Miss Thing was more excited about food than usual, which is a good thing.

My problem with "Muffin Tin Monday" is this: I have one child in school full time, and one at home. I didn't think it would be fair to leave Mason out of the fun. Therefore, we can't call it Muffin Tin Monday... As he's in school most Monday's (oh the fun we'll have this summer!) I debated on calling Sunday's Muffin Tin Sunday, which sounds pretty good, (and it rhymes) which of course I like. I just don't want to HAVE to do it on a Sunday, I wanted it to be a bit more flexible. So, we decided to do Muffin Tin Weekends. I tried to tell the kids it won't happen on BOTH days, but I may have inadvertently created a monster... Why you ask. Well, Barry wanted to take us out for lunch, this past weekend, but both kids insisted on going home for a muffin tin lunch. Let's face it, I'm the one who truly benefits from a lunch out... Gives me a bit of a break. And now they're INSISTING on eating at home. Which is kind of funny.

The other funny thing, is that both of them ate EVERY. SINGLE. THING. in their respective muffin tins. Everything. It made it fun and exciting, and it's all they can talk about it. So I'm pleased that I tried it, and I'm pleased that I found a fun way to feed them 1-2 days a week. And to be honest, they were fun to do. It wasn't that much of a hardship to come home and feed them lunch. Though if I have to choose again between dining out and a muffin tin lunch, I'm taking dining out!

Monday, May 10, 2010

10 on the 10th - May 2010

1. I can't for the life of me figure out why children would rather disobey and deal with the consequences they KNOW are coming. It's called the 'follow through'. It's one thing we've agreed on, and hold true to, in our quest of parenting. And right now, Madelyn has locked herself in the bathroom and is refusing to open the door for Barry. Eeks...

2. I am remembering EXACTLY why I wasn't too keen on signing the kids up in soccer this year... Right now the sky is cloudy, the temperature is hovering near 8°, and I'm thinking I was crazy to be so optimistic.

3. [3 hours later] Now that soccer is finished for the evening, I over-dressed everyone way too much (thank goodness for the layers) We didn't freeze our butts off, but we did watch a fascinating evening at soccer, in which Madelyn played very little soccer at all... VERY reminiscent of a little boy I used to know at 3 playing soccer.

4. I'm feeling very overwhelmed right now, and I don't know why. Could be the scrapbooking I want to catch up on. Could be the clutter I want to get rid of (that's right people, I'm still complaining about clutter!)

5. Today I had my first afternoon at home, all by myself. And I must say, it is blissful to have a quiet house to one's self.

6. I'm on day 8 of the Wild Rose Cleanse, and still going strong. I don't care if I ever see green tea again right now. I desperately want to not enjoy my morning coffee so much, but I do... And I discovered if I add a little soy milk in, replacing my actual milk, it tastes pretty good. Maybe I could switch over to black coffee.

7. I watched Grey's Anatomy the other night, and for the first time was kind of bored by it. (Plus, I heard rumors that McDreamy is leaving the show, and to be honest, he and McSteamy are the ONLY reason I keep tuning in)

8. Having said that, Barry and I watched "Move That Bus" last night... You know that show? Where they completely redo some nice deserving family's home. The one with the guy who watched far too much Dora over the years, because all he does is yell. Yeah, don't care for that guy. And after an hour realized, still don't care for the show. [And no, didn't make me cry, though I can't say the same for the fella sitting next to me]. Are you mad at me for saying that Hun?

9. I am waiting patiently to wear capri pants, short sleeved shirts and even a pair of shorts. I'm tired of being bundled up all the time.

10. Spring is my favourite time of the year. Things are growing, coming back to life, up out of the ground. The birds are singing, it just seems happy. Now if it could just get on with it already!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

It's Snowing... Again...

Oh dear... I woke up to a white landscape this morning... Again. Isn't it the 5th of May today? Indeed it is. Didn't I plant my sweet pea seeds a few weeks ago? Yup. We've been in shorts and sandals. We've had scooters, bikes and remote control cars out. We've had bubbles going. Miss Madelyn was quite disappointed last week, that I said no to her request of "Can I run through the sprinkler" [It wasn't that warm, but there certainly wasn't any snow].

Spring in Calgary, we're so darn lucky!

Monday, May 3, 2010

An Official 5 Year Old Amongst Us

Well, it's official. Madelyn turned five years old yesterday. My baby... I have to admit that I was hoping to wake up to an overnight attitude adjustment (not mine by the way) My Dad warned me not to be too disappointed when that wasn't the case. I took that into consideration. And the verdict is: She is still the same spunky, strong-willed, golden haired little girl. There's been no change. And really, would I want there to be?

5 years ago you joined our family. Your arrival changed us forever. You were a wonderful baby, a busy toddler and now a bit of a spunky preschooler. When you're sweet, you're very, VERY sweet, but when you're not... Let's just say you can be a bit of a stinker at times! Your strong willed self is going to be a definite advantage to you in your adulthood. You question every thing, and I mean EVERYTHING.

To my darling golden haired girl, I love you more than you will ever know. Happy 5th Birthday Sweetheart!

Taking calls, very popular on her birthday. The first call came from her 93 year old Great Grandmother.

Birthday pancakes are a tradition here!

A quick layout to include all her 'things' at five.