Sunday, February 28, 2010

My Future Son-in-Law

Sidney Crosby scored the winner in overtime as Canada won the Olympic title Sunday, beating the United States 3-2 to become the first host nation to capture men's hockey gold in 30 years.
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Libby said "As if I'd ever even meet him, Mom!"
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"Oh Libby," I replied. "He's a hockey player; he's bound to come into your hospital someday and you'll fix him up and he'll fall in love with you! And then Mama will be well taken care of in her old age!"
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What little vision children sometimes have, huh!

Friday, February 26, 2010

Where are You From?

Last week I was reading blogs, and I came across a wonderful post where the blogger told where she came from in a blog poem. It was so beautiful! I truly wish I had noted where I got this idea but I can't. Blame it on my bad memory or hormones or aging. If you are the person that blogged about this, please let me know so I can give credit where credit is due.
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It inspired me so much that I came up with my version of "Where are you From". I hope you enjoy and I hope you'll do your own version!
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WHERE ARE YOU FROM?
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  • I am from a proud outcrop of rock, thrust at the mouth of the Gulf; the sound of sea gulls, the smell of dried and salted fish, harsh winters and short summers.
  • I am from the heart of God which was felt in me as a child, even though I didn't even know Him yet.
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  • I am from Saturday morning movies in black and white; from Bonanza, Ed Sullivan, Pig and Whistle and The Tommy Hunter Show.
  • From 5 cent bags of chips and 10 cent Cokes; from hopscotch and Tiddly Winks played in the middle of the dirt road, from marbles at recess time, and from CGIT every Friday night.
  • From Nancy Drew and the Bobbsie Twins; from transister radios hidden under the covers; and from 3 girl in one room.

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I am from mom at home, from fresh bread and baked cookies; and from Saturday night baths.
  • I am from mini-skirts, bell bottoms, hot pants and suede jackets with a fringe ordered from the Eatons catalogue
  • From The Beatles, the Mamas and the Papas, the Guess Who and Petula Clark
  • "I've looked at clouds from both sides now" and "I am woman, hear me roar!"
  • *
    • I am from the beginning of the sexual revolution and the explosion of the drug culture
    • I am from the sorrow of presidents and "dreamers" gunned down
    • And the triumph of man's first walk on the moon.

    *

    • I am from falling down and getting back up, over and over and over again;
    • From mistakes that affect more than me
    • And forgiveness undeserved and gratefully received

    *

    • I am from the sadness of my broken marriage -- and the happiness of our blessedly restored relationship;
    • I am from being a mother and a daughter, a parent and a child.
    • An employee and a singer and a reader and a cook.
    • I am from writing and thrifting and decorating and gardening.
    • I am a lover of life ..... and a bona fide nutcase!
      *

    • I am from rooms full of color and shelves full of memory
      I am from laughter and fellowship and love and generosity
    • I am from open arms for new children; and hands that wipe the tears at their farewell
    • I am from enjoyment of every season, but elation at the first crocus of spring.
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    • I am from aches and pains, and flashes and rashes
    • I am from a constant place of learning as I try to rest in Him
    • From being laid back instead of always active
    • From acceptance of who I am on a daily basis and from working to allow others to be who they are
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    • I am from Christ's very being and likeness
    • I am from a daily death and resurrection; from faith and hope
    • I am from eager anticipation and gratitude of what each day has
    • And from another home to go to when I'm quit of this earth.

    Thursday, February 25, 2010

    Thrifty Thursday

    As noted in Monday's blog, Adriana and I were in the city last Saturday and visited our favorite exclusive French shop "La maison de la Village des Valeurs". Il a été magnifique, mes petits chéris!!
    *
    I had a coupon for February which enabled me to receive one free item after I'd purchased 3 at the regular price. So, here's my loot from my wonderful shopping trip.

    *
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    This gorgeous double breasted ('cause I am, ya know) red
    jacket was a whopping $17.99 -- but it was worth it!
    It's in brand-new condition and fits me
    (as Mama would say) "like a smack in the mouth"!

    *

    This beautiful shelf was $9.99.*
    I found this Christmas teapot for $6.99
    (and Christmas tea taste better in a Christmas pot, you know!).*

    And here's my freebee -- a beautiful crystal candy dish (avec couvercle, tu ne sais pas!) Original Price $6.99*

    *

    Yup! It's not enough fun to shop; nor is it enough to shop discount or thrift; but shopping and getting something for free ............... now that's good enough!

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    Please sir!

    I want some more!

    Free shopping that is!!!


    Wednesday, February 24, 2010

    An invitation to visit ...................

    You must go visit Nag on the Lake (http://nagonthelake.blogspot.com/). The Nag finds the most wonderful sites, songs, etc etc etc.
    *
    The Nag has just introduced me to a wonderful tool/toy. It's
    *
    "vpike.com Your Virtual Turnpike"
    http://www.vpike.com/

    *
    You can go visit yourself to see if you're home! Or check out your childhood home -- or where your best friend used to live -- or your worse enemy (and throw virtual rotten eggs at their front door). Visit your Mom & Dad -- or see what your sister's new house looks like -- or where your long-lost cousin lives. Loads of fun!!
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    I checked out several homes that I know including my own, and the map they use is fairly up to date (summer 2009, I'd say). But I found that the house numbers were off by a number or two. (Which could be okay, I guess, if you're afraid of stalkers! But I'm not! No one wants to stalk me; I'm a little scary. It's the hormones, I think! Or the lack of chocolate this month [Lent, you know]. Or the heredity? Either way, I can be frightening. )
    *
    So, I'm inviting you all to my house! Here's what you do:
    *

    1. (Let's see if this works....) Check it out here !

    2. Type in: Pinehurst Avenue Bridgewater NS Canada. Pinehurst is a horseshoe shape, and they start you at the far end (the right) of the horseshoe.

    3. Take a "walk" up and around my street by clicking on the arrow that will take you around the street (and not the ones in the upper right corner). You'll reach a duplex with a fire hydrant on the street level; and I'll be in the duplex right next door to the left. Oh look! There's the neighbor's red van in my lower driveway. (When I did the walk, the van sometimes looked like a small compact car -- has to do with the computer "walk".) It's okay! Don't egg that; he has my permission to park there.

    4. You can maneuver around with the walking arrows and the zoom as well as the north, east, south, west arrows until you can see clearly up my driveway. There's my red door and my summer flowers blooming!

    It's pretty darn cool, I tell ya!

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    Here's a picture of my house to help you recognize my house.


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    Now I'd better run and bake some scones for y'all and put the kettle on.

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    Have fun; and I'll see you later!

    *

    PS - Could you pick up a quart of milk and a loaf of bread on the way? I'll pay you when you get here.


    Tuesday, February 23, 2010

    The Sermon Today: SPRING IS COMING!

    25 more days until spring!
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    Can you believe it! Why that's just over 3 weeks. I'm breathless with anticipation! There's such an excitement and pleasure in me that anytime I feel down or upset with my life's lot, I need only remember
    *
    25 more days until spring!
    *
    and I immediately begin to smile again. The long winter will be banished, the world will green again, fresh breezes will blow and the sun will fill us with Vitamin D, like chlorophyll for the soul! I can hear my garden calling me even now, though it be covered with a foot of snow in most places. But I can hear it! (And it's very loud!)
    *
    This must be what the mothers of my international students feel like. They know their child is safe and well where they are; but they also know that there's just a short time left now until they're reunited. And once they're together again, there'll be a lot of tending and touching and love and attention and affection. THAT'S how I feel about my garden.
    *

    The first time I really even noticed and began to anticipate the passage of winter into spring was with the birth of my 2nd daughter, Amy who was born on St Patrick's Day. I was thankful for a fall and winter pregnancy, the extra warmth that those hormones brought; but of course, by the time February came, I was tired of carrying around all that extra weight and anxious to meet this baby. I can remember resting in my hospital bed with my newborn beside me; outside the sun was shining and the snow was melting and dripping from the roof over my window. I had this overwhelming sense of happiness and lightness and contentment! And March 17th remains the same for me now. It's like a turning point in my personal weather world.
    *
    25 more days until spring!
    *
    I know that there are those out there who look at the snow and reluctantly don their heavy coat and mukluks and pooh pooh my chorus of "spring is near"! They would remind me that March 21st does not mean the end of snow and cold, that we could yet get a storm or two. They'd then remind me that April and sometimes May can still be cold and terribly wet and dreary. "It is the Maritimes", they'd say.
    *
    But I would say to them:

    Thou art dull and muddy-mettled wet blankets!
    Away with you, thou scurvey knaves!
    *
    Don't you know that winter is beaten? Just like living in a fallen world, we may still struggle with sin, but Christ is the victor! ... and we are victors with Christ!
    *
    25 more days until spring!
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    The end is near! Has there yet been a year in your lifetime when spring did not follow winter? Have you yet to not see the return of the birds and the bugs and the mosquitoes?
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    Then put aside your skepticism and take heart, I tell you; for spring is coming!
    *

    Just keep visualizing this....
    *
    25 more days until spring!

    Monday, February 22, 2010

    Shopping with Royalty!

    Remember that boss who left for Cuba last night? Yeah; the one you mistakenly all thought was causing my headache and cuss words on Friday? (It was the Government, by the way?)
    *
    I usually get a bonus from him at Christmas. But last year was a rough one for us (as it probably was for many, many other companies). So, I got a wish and a prayer instead of a fat bonus cheque. C'est la vie! But then a couple of weeks into January, he gave me a $50 Visa gift card. It was kinda nice having money to spend after Christmas!
    *
    *
    I usually only take a trip to the city if there's a particular reason. But this Saturday at about 10 am, Adriana and I drove to the other Value Village in Dartmouth. (Stay tuned for Thrifty-Thursday!) The whole day stretched before us, so we took our time.
    *
    After a thorough 3 hr scour of Value Village, we headed to MicMac Mall for a great lunch at East Side Marios -- chicken and goat cheese pizza, oven fresh & still warm bread and a wonderful garden salad. Suitably fortified, we hit the two and a half storey mall.
    *
    We had nothing in mind to buy. We went into every smelly place to Ohhhh and Ahhhh over grapefruit body scrubs and mango lotions. We looked at lots of beautiful handbags in lots of price ranges. We tried on shoes and hats and sunglasses.
    *
    But when we reached the combined Winners and Homesense, we parted ways. She headed to another shop and I grabbed a cart and headed into one of my favorite stores. And what a great relief to find a store that still had racks and bins of Xmas clearance items -- really really marked down!!!
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    It was the perfect place to spend my gift card. Here are the totally unnecessary items that I gleefully purchased:


    • A chocolate brown velvet throw for the couch ($18). Look at that gorgeous lining!

    • Something I've dreamed of having for a while now -- A 100% cashmere cardigan (drastically reduced to $30). See the pretty details with the 4 little buttons on the sleeves and the bows on the pockets? It's so soft!*

    We then fortified ourselves with a super juice dinner (acai, blueberry, cranberry and pomegranate + other good, healthy ingredients). And that was just enough to get us through a quick hour long peruse of Chapters next door . Then armed with a couple of skinny lattes from Starbucks and a few Fig Newtons we'd brought with us, we hit the road for our hour and a half trip back to Bridgewater, singing along loudly as the radio played a great selection of old and new music. We were home by 10 pm.
    *

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    I love living where I do, even though it's pretty limited when it comes to shopping. But I think one of the reasons that I love it so much is that days like Saturday are such a great treat to us lowly country folks. I never get tired of these adventure days.
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    Saturday was doubly great though because of Adriana.
    *
    Man! If I'm the queen of shopping and thrifting then Adriana is the princess! We were a perfect match! She is completely happy to be out as long as possible, to hit as many places as possible, and to dine on whatever! It's not about whether you have lots of money to spend but just on the enjoyment of the search!
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    Hurrah for the Shopping Princess!
    !




    Long live the Queen

    Saturday, February 20, 2010

    What I REALLY look like under my "Mommy suit"!

    I had a rough day at work yesterday! Why, it was so bad, I had to take a walk at lunch time and resort to some primal screaming to release the tension!
    *
    Oh wow! I felt so much better afterwards.
    *
    I was able to go back to work and finish my day with no more under-my-breath cuss words or jealous eye-daggers sent in the direction of my boss (who leaves for 2 weeks in Cuba on Sunday). And as my evening was child-free; on the way home from work, I did a short detour to "Subway" for a take-home dinner.
    *
    I had a restful and scrumptuous but totally healthy supper (chicken breast on 9 grain with a sprinkle of cheese, lots of veggies, hot banana peppers and honey mustard ("toasted, with baked Lays, please and a skim milk!"). I just love Subway, don't you?
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    Then I did something I haven't done for a while -- I had an at-home spa night!
    *
    I made myself a virgin cocktail of sparkling pomegranate juice, a lemon wedge and a couple of frozen strawberries floating in a very pretty glass. I warmed up the bathroom, poured a fragrant lavender & olive oil bath, put my hair up and some soothing surf-sounds on the CD player, lit a few candles and then I just ........ "left the building". (And I wasn't with Elvis!)
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    • I "offered it all up to Jasus!" (said with an Irish accent) and floated up to the heavenlies!
    • I pretended that I hadn't a care in the world!
    • I drifted away with the waves and the peaceful sound of the piano and imagined that I was lying on a secluded summer beach!
    • I stayed in this nirvana for so long that I was pruney -- but relaxed and happy!
    • It was blissful...
    • blissful.....
    • BLISSFUL ........................................
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    Why, I don't need no stinking drugs when I've got a bottle of Calgon and a bar of goat's milk soap! I don't needs no complete make-over either! I come out feeling like a pampered little princess! I feel young and loved and skinny and gorgeous (which, of course, is how I always feel -- being that I am [in my tiny little mind] all of the above).
    *
    Why YES! I'm all that .......... and a bag of chips!!
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    My ladies -- When you've had a bad day, I would highly suggest that you do what I did. I'm sure you'll get the exact same results! I KNOW you will!
    *
    Still sceptical? I have proof!
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    Well, "apres bath", I slipped into something a little more comfortable (or not) and took this picture of myself:

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    Pretty darn good for 55, huh!
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    Yeah ........ so you guys really need to try that bath thingie, okay. It works man!!
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    Or perhaps, you could try this: http://www.faceinhole.com/us/
    It works for sure!!

    Friday, February 19, 2010

    I'm a Prolific Blogger!



    I received another award this week; this time from Cindy at Life at Lakewood - http://plantsomeroots.blogspot.com/
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    "A prolific blogger is one who is intellectually productive… keeping up an active blog that is filled with enjoyable content. The Prolific Blogger Award is for all the prolific bloggers, who read voraciously, blog tirelessly and have made the blogging community such a vibrant place."

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    Now, you know how hard it is to choose one blog over another. Every one of us contributes to our blogging community. I love the diversity of thought and topic; and thank goodness that not everyone blogs every day. Scheech! I'd never get anything done if I had to read (and perhaps comment on) every blog that I follow! So, as I've stated before, I'll gladly accept any awards you have for me. However, don't expect me to follow the rules and pass it on to a certain number of bloggers! I'm a rebel!!

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    So, I thought that the way Cindy handled passing on this award was brilliant. When it comes to being a prolific blogger, her words were "that describes you, doesn't it?"

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    I could say that Cindy took the words right out of my mouth! Here are the rules with Cindy's words appended. (Doesn't that make it all nice and easy for me, huh! Lazy cow!)

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    1. Every winner of the Prolific Blogger Award has to pass on this award to at least seven other deserving prolific bloggers. Spread some love! Whoo-hoo...I choose everyone who has taken the time to read my blog and this post. Snag this award for your blog. Yes, do it right now! If you let me know that you've accepted, I'll come on over for a visit.


    2. Every prolific blogger must link back to the blog from which he/she has received the award.

    3. Each prolific blogger must link back to this post, which explains the origins and motivations for the award.Get to know the person who started this recognition.

    4. Every prolific blogger must visit this post and add their name in the Mister Linky so that we can all get to know the other winners.Go ahead and make some new friends.

    Thursday, February 18, 2010

    Another Golden Moment

    Canada's Christine Nesbitt won gold in the women's 1,000-metres Speed Skating
    today! Hurrah!!!

    THRIFTY THURSDAY

    I realized last night that I'd begun this post but never finished it. Here are some thrifty jewellery purchases that I made when shopping at Value Village last month. (I had to purchase them in order to help me deal with the loss of Nadine! Chocolate alone did not quite take the edge off my sorrow!)
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    I found 2 necklaces that were very similar; and apparently, the flower choker-type of necklace is popular this season. I believe each of these were in the $3 range.*
    I've been keeping my eyes open for a necklace in shades of orange/peach/coral; so when I spied with my little eye" this fellow, I paid the exorbitant price of $4.99. It hangs very nicely and is a good length for me. (I quite often find that the end of my necklaces hide under the top of my shirts! Does anyone else have that problem?)*
    My last find that day was an expensive one at Value Village - $9.99! But it's such a beautiful pendant!It's got a milky stone (very much like a Moonstone) surrounded by blue rhinestones in a very pretty setting.
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    Happy Thrifting everyone!

    Wednesday, February 17, 2010

    HAPPY 101 AWARD





    I received this sweet blog award last week from my friend Vonlipi (http://vonlipisfavorites.blogspot.com/).


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    MERCI BEAUCOUP, Vonlipi


    I so appreciate your thoughtfulness.
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    Here's what I'm supposed to do:





    • Copy the award image into a post.



    • List 10 things that make you happy.



    • Tag 10 bloggers who brighten your day, put in a link to their blogs, & notify the award receivers.


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    So here are 10 things that make me happy!




    1. Three day weekends!



    2. The day after weigh-in at TOPS when I eat whatever I want.




    3. Any day when all 3 of my girls are home at the same time.




    4. A shopping day in the city where I hit both Value Village and Homesense; eat something yummy (perhaps East Side Marios for Italian or Quiznos for the steak sub); and do the hour and a half drive home with a Starbucks latte (and perhaps a wee smidge of brownie).



    5. Talking to my Mom and Dad; or even better, seeing them (which just happened!)



    6. A warm, fresh pastry at 8 AM from the Saturday morning Farmer's Market ..... and then the whole day stretched out before me with no responsibilities or expectations so I can give in to my wanderlust! ..... But if I can't have all of that, the pastry is still pretty durn fine!!



    7. My little warm house with it's even floors and gyprocked walls and all the water I could possibly want! (Because I lived for 18 yr in a beautiful but big and drafty 150 yr old house with a dug well.)



    8. Dancing -- anywhere, anytime, with anyone, for any reason. (And I like to dance with me, too!)



    9. Sitting in my garden swing, reading, sipping and listening to the birds.



    10. Thoughts and dreams of my garden (when I can't sit, read & sip because it's too cold).

    (I'm practicing my "green" look in this pose -- you know -- more ecologically friendly! Look at those pert breasts! ............ Ewww! And that "pert" hair!)



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    The recipients of this blog award from me are:

    Tuesday, February 16, 2010

    Gold Again!!

    Congratulations to Maelle Ricker who gained Canada's second gold medal win today in the snowboard cross. WhoHoo!!

    *
    Congratulations as well to our 2 silver medalists:





    - Olympic snowboard cross winner Mike Robertson










    - and Jennifer Heil for Women's Moguls Freestyle Skiing




    AS well as our bronze medalist:




    - Kristina Groves for Speed Skating





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    What exciting games these are so far!

    Monday, February 15, 2010

    PANCAKE DAY



    Tomorrow, February 16th, is Shrove Tuesday or Pancake Day in Canada. I've eaten pancakes on this day for as long as I can remember.
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    In the Christian calendar, Shrove Tuesday is the day before Ash Wednesday. Ash Wednesday is the beginning of Lent which leads up to Easter; and traditionally, there were certain foods that were not allowed during Lent (fat, butter and eggs). So, all of those items were indulged in on Shrove Tuesday as a sort-of last hurrah.
    *
    Sounds good to me! (Well, the eating of pancakes does, at any rate. However, the giving up of fat, butter and eggs sounds somewhat bleak!!)
    *
    As a child in Newfoundland, my Mom would "add" things to our pancakes -- and I'm not talking about blueberries or such!! My siblings and I would eagerly gather round the table and dig into the center of our pancake first to see what we'd find: if you found a toothpick, you'd marry (or make your living as) a carpenter; a screw meant a mechanic; a twist of thread meant a seamstress or tailor. But the pancake that we all hoped to get contained a nickel!! (it was the 60's, you know); this meant that this happy person would also find riches in their future!! Whoo Hoo!
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    (Meanwhile, there were 4 others who had burst into tears and were now complaining loudly! It didn't take long for Mom to make sure that one person found a dime and the others each found a nickel.) I've continued this tradition with my own kids -- but with just one coin. (I'm a tough old broad -- I say let 'em weep! It builds character!)
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    There are a few other changes I've made to my Mom's Pancake Day meal: I use a low fat sausage, I make healthier pancakes (and I like them to have texture and bite), and I have bananas & strawberries on top with a lot less maple syrup. One of our favorite pancakes recipes is this one.
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    Multigrain Pancakes
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    3/4 cup whole wheat flour
    1/2 cup unbleached flour
    1/4 cup cornmeal
    1/4 cup quick or rolled oats
    1/2 cup brown sugar
    1 tsp baking soda
    1/4 tsp salt
    1 large egg (beaten) and 1 large egg white
    (beaten to soft peaks)
    1/8 cup oil
    1 cup buttermilk at room temp
    (or 1 Tbsp white vinegar and enough milk to measure 1 cup total)
    1 cup fat-free sour cream
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    Combine all dry ingredients. Gently stir buttermilk & sour cream into egg mixture. Mix wet with dry until just combined.

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    *
    If you're having pancakes tomorrow, I hope you find lots of money in them! And I hope it's miracle money that you didn't put in there yourself! And that it's in a cheque form and has 5 figures or more!
    *
    After all -- it's still Olympics season
    AND I'm Canadian
    -- I believe!
    *
    Enjoy!

    Canada won Gold!

    Canada's first Gold medal was won last night by 22 yr old Alexandre Bilodeau in the men's moguls freestyle skiing. All the performances were amazing -- the speed, the agility! But Alex's was just that much better.
    *
    He is also the epitomy of what the world thinks of when they think of Canadians --Alex is just so darned nice!!
    *
    His inspiration and motivation for his ski career has been his 29 yr old brother, Frederic, who has cerebral palsy. Frederic was told by doctors that he'd be unable to either walk or ski by the time he was 12; however, he defies doctors diagnosis and he still does both. The media showed Frederic several times last night as cheered his brother on and then celebrated that winning moment.
    *
    Ahhh, I just love it when the good guy wins!
    Another proud Canadian moment.

    Sunday, February 14, 2010

    Happy Valentine's Day!

    I changed my Xmas wreath (which is still on my door) into a Valentine's wreath. It's there to welcome you to have lunch with the girls and I today.


    I usually prepare a special breakfast. But Adriana's at a sleep-over and Libby is still in bed. But I set the table and the treats are ready to be served when I come back from church at around noon. If you'll be here by 12:30, that would be perfect!
    Here's a close-up of these cute plates that I got from the Dollar Store many years ago.
    I made a delicious pasta salad and a green salad to go with our cold chicken and the fresh biscuits I've just made. They're a basic baking powder biscuit, but I like to add some grated lemon and orange peel. Yum!
    I also made some pink cupcakes and I'm going to stuff them with a strawberry and cream cheese mixture. I've never done this before, but how can you go wrong with those ingredients!
    Here they are, newly stuffed. Now I'll add some icing sugar to the remaining mixture and frost them.
    I put a couple of almond slivers on the top to form a heart shape. Don't they look good?

    And another tradition I have is to put a small gift on each plate. This year it's a pair of Dollar Store socks and a cup-o-hugs and kisses.
    I don't have these cups, but I wish I did.
    After lunch and a little conversation, I'll bid you adeau and Happy Valentine's Day with a parting hug. Come back soon!
    *
    Now, I'd better call my daughters and wish them a Happy Valentine's Day. I miss them on days like this, days full of tradition and the love that fills them.
    Happy Valentine's Day my blogging buddies. You are very dear to me and fill some of the empty spaces in my life with your love, laughter and tears. May your day be wonderful!