Sunday, February 22, 2015


We Canadians, we all have our little tricks on surviving our long, cold winters with all it's icy nuances. 
Some of us take to sports like ice fishing and skiing.
Some take to the couch and watching episode after episode of our favourite series. 
Some of us just keep digging out, like the East Coast.
Or, you could move to the West coast, where it's downright balmy and the flowers are making their entrance. 
I'm a grin and bear it type who tries to make the most of it, from a grin and bear it point of view. 
Last week, we had an extra day off, called "Family Day". This is a newer holiday, certainly was not around when I was a kid. It was cold, -23 Celsius, but sunny. I invited friends over for dinner and snow taffy. 
We thought we would work up an appetite beforehand so cold or not, we bundled up and headed to the local hill.

Here's a couple of happy tobogganers! Actually this is me doing my grin and bear it routine. My friend Kelly is trying to help keep me warm! 

Lulu Belle came along. She was giving me her "please take me home so I can sit in my chair by the fire look." Just look at all that snow on her muzzle! So we did. You don't have to ask me twice Lu.

After a dinner of homemade chicken soup, cheese, sausage and whole wheat biscuits, I made an old family recipe for snow taffy. Now you should probably have kids around to enjoy this. Luckily Kelly came with two plus a husband. You also need fresh, fluffy snow.

Check. Got that one covered. Also, and this probably goes without saying, but avoid the yellow snow...

Then you need the following:
Plus a candy thermometer, pot and big ole wooden spoon.

I'm about to reveal a big secret here, my family's snow taffy recipe. Hope Dad don't mind...
1 Cup Brown Sugar
1/2 Cup milk
1 Tbsp butter
Dash of salt
1 Tsp salt
1/2 Cup syrup (part molasses, part whatever)

Mix that all up, pour it into a pot and on medium heat start to let the syrupy sugary goodness boil away to Soft Boil. 

Here's another little secret. Before you start boiling, smudge butter all around the sides of the pot - for some reason, that is a cue to the syrup that says: "YOU SHALL NOT PASS!" and it will not boil over causing a possibly catastrophic mess. 

After that you pour little blobs on the fresh snow, and hand out the forks. Don't forget to give a piece to the Dog.

And that my friends, is one way to survive a Canadian winter!

Sunday, February 15, 2015


Hope you have all had a wonderful Valentines Day and you feel the love! 

But I have to admit, when it comes to my faith, I'm a bad lover. I Love my God with all my heart, soul and mind and will gladly admit that.
But I'm also
Just to name a few! 

I try to abide by His word and I fail. I try to do good works and I fail, or do them for the wrong reasons (epic fail). I try to give Him my full attention only to find myself distracted by previous events or upcoming ones. What's a good Christian girl to do???

Fortunately I love a God who is keenly aware of my failings. He loves me so badly it hurts (Him) and He is never distracted or inconsistent or selfish. 

Romans 8:38-39 "For I am convinced that neither death nor life, nor angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Will lying separate us? Nothing
Will past mistakes? Nothing
Divorce? Nothing
Lack of faith and disbelief? Nothing
Anger and Resentment? I believe it says "Nothing."

I once had a conversation with a man about how angry God is. And there are lots stories in the Bible to prove it.  Which leads me to doubt if this God of love truly is willing to love me at all costs.  As Miss Bennett said to Mr. Darcy in Pride and Prejudice, "I hear such different accounts of you as puzzle me exceedingly."

But this I have observed. There are those who see God as angry and ready to strike us down the minute we cross the line. They are usually fearful and judgemental. Then there are those who have taken the other route and decided to rely on the Grace of God that will see them through all their victories and screw ups. They are humble and gracious themselves, utterly understanding the human condition. 

I've decided to throw caution to the wind and go with the latter. Probably makes me easier to be around and I'm not always waiting for the other foot to drop. I keep moving ahead, if I mess up I fess up and learn a few things in the process. 

And I will continue to do my best at loving God and His creations. Even if I do it so badly!

Saturday, February 7, 2015


I don't know about you, but I've had a busy week! Started it off with a car accident which led to me driving a rented Fiat while the tank is in the shop. I've always wanted to drive a Mini Cooper, so this was a close second. You should have seen me stuff the cello in there for my lesson. Good thing I don't play a tuba!

My co-workers put in a long week on the picket line - no end in sight yet, but we are hopeful.

Finally my Dad went in for knee surgery. I went to see him in the hospital and he quite enjoyed pushing the button attached to his morphine pump!

So I was thrilled to have Adrian come home for the weekend. I have not seen my son (in person), since Christmas and it was good to hold him. And because we are in endless snow mode this week we spent the day together mostly in the kitchen.

Now I've done my best to train my children in all modes of life including how to survive the kitchen. I have been his Mr. Miyagi (for those under 40- look up Karate Kid) and he is my Adrianson. But when it comes to bread baking, the student surpasses the master.
"How about making some bread Adrian."
"Sure - I know a great Rosemary Focaccia we can make."
"Great - you got the recipe?"
"No, I know it off by heart."
Oh...I see....just off the top of your head you are going to whip up some Rosemary Focaccia. And that is just what he does.

I know I say this a lot, but dang, this kid is handsome. And handy. He expertly manhandles the bread dough, sprinkles in the rosemary and this is what comes out in the end.

Beautifully crisp on the outside, fluffy and light on the inside. Perfect Rosemary Focaccia. From scratch. No recipe followed. Just off the top of his head. Sheesh. I've created a Baker.

But then, not to be outdone, I counter strike! With a high Karate chop I whip up (from scratch) a rich chicken stew

Then with after a quick Crane pose, I finish with an apple/berry crisp