Thursday, December 29, 2005

I'm Getting Old

I couldn't tell you the exact moment I went from being a spry young thang to the decrepit old thang that I am now. Geez! No one told me that I'd start falling apart at 40. I thought I'd be good until at least 60. Aside from the itchy, scratchy skin, I'm always experiencing some sort of pain - my back, my foot, now I've got a bad case of tennis elbow in my right arm which is just friggin' wonderful considering I'm right handed. I can barely pour myself a cup of coffee. I feel so weak! My wrist seems fine now though, so that's a plus.
J's not doing much better. He finally got in to see his doctor today and the doc thinks that J has a hair-line fracture in his foot. Great. Add that to his bum knee and we're a fine pair. Grunting and groaning as we get out of bed in the morning. Sexy!
Meanwhile, Simon's allergy shots have got him knawing on his feet again. I started giving him hydroxyzine twice a day and I'll wait out the weekend. If he's still chewing his toes, I'll have to call Dr. Wellington back. I'm hoping when spring comes we'll see some improvement because of these shots. I can't see the point of giving him needles and still having to give him pills. At least when he was just on the steroids, he was only on them during the nice weather. Once the snow came, he was great. I'm hoping his immunity will build up and kick in soon. I hate seeing the little guy so itchy. I know what that's like. Decrepit and falling apart, remember?

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Party Time, Excellent....NOT!!

I heard some sad news yesterday. Mike Myers and his wife, Robin are getting divorced. On a weird note, Mike attended Stephen Leacock Collegiate Institute in Scarborough and had a classmate named David Furnish. Last week, David married Elton John! Exsqueeze me? Peas & carrots? Yep, you read right. Strange, eh?

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Done and Over With

Another Christmas has come and gone. J and I cut way back this year and I didn't miss a thing. We got to spend some fun time with friends and family and I enjoy that part the most. Mama Rita had us over for Christmas dinner along with her friend Mary. There was a turkey (ugh), but lots and lots of veggies. I brought roasted carrots and zucchini & corn with tarragon. Mary made a bean and pasta dish that was really, really good. We also had potatoes, turnip, home made cranberry sauce, yum! Mama Rita made stuffing and kept some out seperate for me. I brought some vegetarian gravy. Wow! That's a lot of food! J and I came home with enough leftovers to feed us for 2 days.
I worked a short shift at the wine store today. Frances was with me until 4pm. We were pretty busy what with the LCBO being closed. My pay stub was there with a Christmas bonus tucked inside along with a nice letter from the head honchos at the winery thanking us for all of our hard work. Bill had also left us Christmas gifts. Bottles of wine! YES! After I finished there, I got J to drop me off at the other workplace and I got the payroll done and slipped it under Lynne's door for her to finish up when she gets in on Wednesday. I'm not back to work until Thursday. I'm glad all that is done and over with.

I really just want to sleep in tomorrow and lounge around. And I think that's exactly what I'm gonna do! Simon and I will have a great day doing a whole lot of nothin'.

Friday, December 23, 2005

Great Gift!

Yesterday at work we had our secret santa and potluck lunch. Everyone seemed to have a good time except Pete who had something up his ass. Scrooge in a santa hat. Whatever.
Anyhow, every dish was meat free! I don't think it was intentional, but it's nice be able to try everything. There's a pretty high ratio of vegetarians to meat-eaters at my workplace. Out of 26 employees 4 of us are vegetarian.
Dana was my secret santa and she got me an awesome gift. Wrapped in two Toronto Maple Leafs towels was Chicken Soup for the Dog Lover's Soul . I love it! I was up until late last night reading. No more work at my full time job until December 29. Woo-hoo! I've got a short stint at the wine store on Boxing Day, but other than that, I'M FREE!

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Can't Wait For Dinner

I'm making a yummy dinner tonight and wanted to share. It's from the cookbook Eat, Shrink and Be Merry which is the third written by 2 Canadian sisters Janet & Greta Podleski. This one is called Parma Chameleon. Tonight I'm using Pete's Tofu which I've always had good luck with. I like to use fresh herbs and grate my own Parmesan rather than using the stuff in a can. It makes a huge difference in taste. And it's easy to make this vegan buy using rice Parmesan cheese and a mozzarella-type "cheese" equivalent. I will sometimes use water or soy milk instead of the egg anyway. It's just used to get the crumbs to stick to the tofu.


Olive oil cooking spray
1 lb. Firm tofu
1 cup fresh whole wheat bread crumbs*
¼ cup + 2 tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese, divided
½ tsp. each dried basil and dried oregano
¼ tsp. each salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 egg
1 ½ cups your favorite tomato pasta sauce, divided
½ cup packed shredded light mozzarella cheese (2 oz)
1 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley

Preheat oven to 400F. Spray a non-stick baking sheet with olilve oil spray and set aside.
Drain liquid from tofu and blot dry with paper towels. Slice block into 6 to 8 equal slices, about ½-inch thick. Lay slices on paper towels and blot again.
Combine bread crumbs, ¼ cup Parmesan cheese, basil, oregano, salt and pepper in a shallow bowl. Place egg in another shallow bowl and beat lightly with a fork.
Working one piece at a time, dip tofu in egg and then in crumb mixture. Make sure both sides are well coated with crumb mixture. Place on cookie sheet. Repeat with remaining tofu pieces. (Don’t worry if you have some crumbs left over – you’ll use them later). Spray tops of tofu with olive oil spray. Bake for 8 minutes. Using a spatula, gently turn pieces over. Bake an additional 8 minutes. Remove tofu from oven, but leave oven on
Spray a medium casserole dish with cooking spray. Spread ½ cup pasta sauce over bottom of dish. Lay browned tofu pieces in dish close together and in a single layer if possible. Top with remaining pasta sauce, followed by mozzarella, remaining Parmesan cheese and parsley. If you have any crumbs left over, sprinkle them over the entire dish. Bake, uncovered for 15 minutes. Turn broiler on and broil about 4 inches from heat source for 2 minutes, or until cheese is golden brown. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

Calories 247, fat 9.8g, protein 22g, fiber 4.5g

*To make fresh bread crumbs, place a couple of slices of whole wheat bread in a food processor or mini chopper and pulse on and off until soft crumbs are formed.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Big Head

After I posted the last message, I went to bed. I woke around 6am with a pretty bad sinus headache. I popped a couple of Tylenol Sinus and went back to sleep. I really, really, REALLY hate anything wrong with my head. Headaches are the worst. Any other sort of body pain or ache is manageable. Even my back pains are not as debilitating as a headache. Anyway, I woke up again around 9am with a doozey! I was in such agony. J brought me in a couple of more Tylenol Sinus and I sort of fell asleep again. When I woke up at 11am, he suggested that maybe if I got up, it would help to drain out my sinuses. I sat on the couch for about 10 minutes and couldn't take it anymore. I really thought I was going to throw up. Yet, I was really hungry. Through all of this, Simon seemed quite concerned. He stayed in bed with me most of the morning and anytime I got up for a bathroom trip or a drink of water, he was right behind me. He's such a sweetheart. J offered to make me a grilled cheese sandwich. At that moment, it sounded like the best friggin' thing I could ever eat. I layed back down and he came in some time later (I don't remember how long. I think I was getting delirious at this point) with a plate holding the most magnificent grilled cheese sandwich I have ever seen. He even put a pickle on the side, but I had to send that back. My stomach sort of flip-flopped at the thought of it . Simon and I shared the sandwich and I popped a Tylenol 3 this time. I was ready for something more serious than over the counter meds. I passed out again until 3:30! When I woke up this time, I felt a little groggy but refreshed as well. My headache was almost all gone. What a waste of a day. I had so much planned and so much to do and did absolutely nothing. I was really pissed off. But very appreciative and grateful for the two main guys in my life. J and Simon. They really took good care of me. They rock!

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Back In Sympatico World

My computer is now up and running! J reformatted and did some updating for me. I've graduated to XP and am finding it a little strange. I was so used to the 98 and 2000. This one is different and I'm playing around trying to get things set up the way I like them. I haven't got any of my programs put in yet or my CSI game. Who has time? We're still living out of boxes and trying to get things into ship-shape. Don't even mention Christmas to me! I might just skip it this year. Now that we're in a big apartment building I'm being denied a real tree. I'm so stubborn and spoiled that if I can't have a real Christmas tree then I don't want one at all.

I noticed at the grocery store they had some potted Norfolk pines deocrated with little bows and things. That may be a possible sustitute. I wonder if they are difficult to look after and how big they grow? Something I'll have to look into with all the free time I have.

Monday, November 14, 2005

I Got Keys!

Diane came into my work this morning and told me that the new place is at last ready and on my way home, I picked up the keys! Everything looks nice and new and clean. Now the fun begins - actually moving.
I don't know when we'll be settled in and wired for internet. Until then....

Saturday, November 05, 2005

I Can't Breed

My nose is so stuffed up, I can't breed (breathe). I've been sick for a few days now and getting really tired of feeling shitty. All I want to do is sleep. J's birthday was yesterday and it took all the energy I had to make up a special dinner and sit with him to eat it. I wasn't so far gone that I couldn't enjoy some good food and a nice bottle of Stratus 2002 Cabernet Franc which had been bought for the occasion. Afterwards we had cake and I went to bed at 8:30. Happy Birthday honey. So sorry.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Wino Extrodinaire

I freely admit to being a wino, wine geek, hell, even a bit of a wine snob. (Maybe more than a bit). I do tours, I do tastes, I am a member of a wine club. Hell, I even have a part-time job in the industry. I love wine. It challanges me, it soothes & comforts me, it invigorates me. It makes a good meal even better, a celebration even more special and helps me to unwind after a stressful day. It's Good Stuff! It's ever changing. Which leads me to one of my favorite fun things. Wine tasting! I like to do a flight of same wine, same vineyard, same winemaker, different vintages. It's amazing how the climate in the very same place from year to year can affect the taste of the finished product. Also, same varietal from different places can be fun as well. J & I decided to do this last night. We were at the LCBO in the vintages section trying to find something to enjoy with dinner and the hockey game. I saw him looking at a bottle of Cline Syrah. This suprised me because he's not much of a New World fan when it comes to that varietal. I said "I hear that's one of the best Syrah's out there." So we decided to give it a whirl.

On his suggestion, we looked around for a comparable French Syrah to do a taste test. We found a good one...Massane 2002 Syrah from the Montpellier region. The Cline bottle was also a 2002 vintage so we thought this would be a fair comparison. The Cline was $17.95 while the Massane was a steal at $11.95.

Once we arrived home, I chilled them slightly so they would be at the optimal tasting temperature. I got out 4 identical tasting glasses and didn't let J know which one was which. Then we tasted. YUMMY! Both were very similar in style, body and texture. Silently, I picked the Cline as standing out. It had a bit more complexity and was a bit smoother on the palate. J also picked the Cline as his preferred one. I asked him to guess which one he thought it was. He assumed French, and was mildly surprised that it wasn't. We enjoyed both bottles immensely. The Massane is such a good deal that I would highly recommend it as well. I would be fun to compare the 2002 Cline with the 2003 Massane because of the very, very hot summer they had in France.
Hmmmm, maybe that could be for another night.

Thursday, October 20, 2005


I have been a stress bag for about a month now. There is just too much shit going on and I'm at the end of my rope. Work, home, the move, bills, Simon's allergies, etc. etc. etc. Work has been especially bad the past couple of weeks. Lots of crap and we had to let someone go yesterday. Even though it was warranted, it's not a nice thing. And they didn't take it well. They were very angry in fact. Security was supposed to be around to escort, but he failed to show. But that's done....I think. She called and was reeming off on T. and then she called again this morning to talk to someone else. Whew. I hope everything calms down there. I hate that kinda stuff.
No wonder I drink.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Another Day

The guy downstairs, Rick, is a decent sort. Hard working - he's a painter. Not portraits, but houses. He's single and is quiet. He's neighbourly, but not nosey. Just the kind I like.

J's downstairs grabbing the laundry and Rick pokes his head into the laundry room and says, "Oh, it's you. Did you see the big Indian guy?"

J says "Who?"

Rick says "This big Indian guy. I'm in my apt. and this guy, big guy, bigger than you, walks in and asks, "Do you have any rolling papers?"

J says "What? You're kidding me. He walked right into your place?"

Rick says "Yeah, I'm serious. I think he was a friend of Paul's. He leaves, but about 10 minutes later he comes back. He walks into my apt. and asks "You got a joint?" Rick tells him "Get the fuck out of here."

J tells him "That's just messed up."

Rick says "Yeah. Just another day in my fucked up life."

That one sentences sums up everything perfectly.

Pillows, Blankets and Stones

OK. Anyone who knows me knows that I like to be organized. I'm a control freak and completely anal about some things. Make that most things. So, with that in mind let me tell you that we're moving next month. It's a nightmare for J. I'm sure. I've been packing for a month. Slowly. Things that don't get used very often went first. I carefully wrapped breakables, made sure I utilized all available space in the boxes, taped and labelled with great gusto. Then would instruct J. on which boxes to take to the shop for safe storage until move day. Once everything has arrived in the new place, it will be easy to know which boxes go where because they've been properly labelled. Great. Makes it easier to find what you're looking for when you're entire life is encased in cardboard. Organization is key!

Now, work has been a cauldron of stress for the past two weeks. I'm eating too much, drinking too much, sleeping too much and bitching too much. I really don't like myself lately. When I finally dragged my fat ass out of bed yesterday, I was in panic mode. We're moving in less than a month!! Holy shit - I've got to get packing. Where the hell did all this crap come from? I'm not a pack rat. I didn't realize we had so much "stuff". As the day wore on, it didn't seem like I was acomplishing much. The one thing I did was waste time. I could feel panic setting in again. I needed to relax. A nice glass of wine would help. So I proceeded to waste more time, which wasn't limited to, but did involve drinking too much Reisling followed by a Cabernet Franc chaser. Trying to motivate myself, I just starting hauling things out of closets and drawers and putting them into boxes. I now have a boxes labelled with things like "Blankets, Pillows, Baking Stones". Where the hell am I going to put this box when we move? In the bedroom? In the kitchen? Now I'm obsessing about organization again!! My mind won't stop. I need to lighten up. The best way to do that is with a thick slice of bread, a chunk of cheese and a glass of wine, then a little power nap and I'll wake up refreshed and ready to pack some more.

I suck.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005


Sitting here at Head Office for a training course. ZZZZZZZ. Back to work after a holiday is always a bummer. On the upside, the instructor is saying we should be out of here by 3 or 3:30.

Simon is not feeling so hot today. Has a bit of d. He was very sad when we left.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Happy Thanksgiving

OK, this is my first attempt at this. I'm not sure how successful I'll be. Hmmm, what to write. I always have a head full of ramblings and crap, but when I sit here, nothing comes to mind. Also, will I have the time to devote to keeping this up?

Anyway, Happy Thanksgiving to you. No one is really around this weekend, so J. and I are having dinner for two. Simon will of course get a special treat. He particularly likes Venison Stew, so that's on the menu for him.
J's gone to pick up MR from Aunt Peggy's in Leaside. Pat & Anita were in TO for the weekend, so MR stayed at Peggy's to spend time with them. We sort of had Thanksgiving last weekend. We gave MR the newest Looney Spoons cookbook, Eat, Shrink & Be Merry for her birthday and she wanted to make us dinner. She did a 3 cheese lasagna which was really, really good.

You may find lots of food talk here. I really like to eat! HA!