Saturday, February 27, 2010

A snowy night

It's been snowing here all day. I've stayed inside, preferring to do laundry instead, in my new machine. It works wonderfully. The biggest discovery for me is just how dry everything is, going into the dryer - this is going to save lots of money since I don't have to use my dryer for as much time - two-thirds less, by my estimation.
This evening, I'm just being lazy. After doing this, I plan to eat chips and read. I've re-discovered my local library. As a lark earlier this week, I decided to see if it had anything off my latest Amazon wish list. It had just about everything so I reserved a pile of stuff and I've been reading and watching ever since. Gotta love free stuff. If I ever do become rich, I'm giving lots of money to the local library - it's kept me sane over the years and I'd like it to have enough money to work with to keep others happy too.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Sinnin' Again

Today's title sounds like the name of a bad country song but it's really in regards to my breakfast. I ran out of my usual 1 per cent milk (next step is skim but I've never been able to quite go there - is there anything worse than skim milk? I think not) and feeling the need for cold cereal (and nothing else to use) I topped it with 18 per cent coffee cream instead. Oh. My. Goodness. Cream on cereal is incredible. I don't know if I'll be able to go back to the other stuff - but I will. It's a once-a-year treat that's only to be used when you run out of the usual and that really doesn't happen much here. I'm usually prepared for anything.
But still - it was soooo good.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Another beautiful day

It's early morning (at least for me) and I am drinking a cup of Irish Cream tea - delish! It tastes like regular tea with rich milk added. I should be getting my new washing machine later today - clean clothes again! I bought a new tea pot last night to celebrate - a white pot trimmed with a green spout and handle with green bamboo shoots painted over the white body. It has a strainer and is a lot like the Beehouse or I-Pots in style. It was only $12.99 at Winners and looks oh so springy! It's very springy here today - warm and almost all the snow is gone.
It's looking like a good day already!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Tea time

I've just gotten home from a nice day with another tea-drinking friend. It's always fun to try some new things and we always exchange some different teas for the other to try. Right now I am drinking Twinnings Lemon Black - not bad. It would make a dandy tea for work. While there, I had a Utopian Jewel Oolong tea and Swiss Vervaine Melange Herbal, both by Teavana. I had wanted to try the Vanilla Honeybush but we never got around to it. I did get a good sniff though and it smells divine.
The Utopian Jewel was lovely although strong - if you don't like berry-flavored teas, you may want to avoid this one. I liked it though and may even order some, along with that vanilla honeybush. I won't be ordering the Swiss Vervaine. It was OK but not something I'd want to have again.
It's a misty sort of day here. I have lots of things to do but I have a feeling today will be devoted to resting and eating - and not necessarily in that order.

Friday, February 19, 2010


This has been a long week. I am glad it's over. I have lots to do this weekend but it's my own stuff and it's up to me whether or not to do it. I feel the need for this type of freedom - some work weeks make you more weary than others.
Hopefully, if the weather isn't too bad, I'll lunch with a fellow tea fan tomorrow which will be fun - she always introduces me to some neat new teas.
Bring on the weekend!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Proud of myself!

It had all the potential of becoming a disastrous day. Called at the last minute last night to do an early morning shift. Lots of stuff going wrong and some crankiness from others.
But it didn't bother me a bit - I think the proper cliche is "like water rolling off a duck's back." I stayed in a good mood all day, got everything necessary done and even did a little extra - I like it when I can slice through potentially negative situations and move towards a positive outcome. It must be the coconut tea first thing in the morning! Bound to put a smile on even the crankiest face.
And for a moment, I thought I even had a no-spend day but no-such luck. With the early shift, I had time this afternoon to pay the monthly bills - but otherwise, I didn't spend any money.
Yesterday, I definitely spent money and one of my purchases was Ghiradhelli milk chocolate chips, which were on sale. I usually buy Hershey's milk chocolate chips, which taste way better than the semi-sweet. I want to try them in a chocolate chip muffin recipe. Any suggestions?

Sunday, February 14, 2010

New washer chosen!

In about 10 days, I will have a new washing machine - hurray! You know you're getting old when getting a new Maytag on Valentine's Day makes you happy.
Seriously though, I am happy to be getting it - as far as I'm concerned there's six things I need in a home - a bed, a fridge, a toilet, a water source, a heat source and a washing machine. Everything else is a bonus.
I made a supper tonight of organic grain-fed, locally grown beef, mashed potatoes, roasted carrots and chocolate cupcakes. Everything was good except the beef - it was a great disappointment. Maybe I'm just losing my taste for it. That wouldn't bother me too much - I only eat meat two to four times a week now and my portions are always four ounces or less. The small portions are mainly a result of frugality - smaller portions mean more meals. As I grow older, I really do enjoy vegetables more and more. I was a vegetarian for several years in my early 30s and went back to eating meat mainly because I do feel much better when I do eat it. I know that flies in the face of conventional wisdom that vegetarians are healthier but for me, I am like a different person when I eat meat - healthier, better skin, hair and more energy. I guess it's my system and maybe I'll always have to eat a little meat but for now, I'm happy to cut back as much as possible. Ideally, I'd like to eat meat maybe only twice a week - say just chicken, the occasional bit of pork, no fish or beef. I can't see me quitting eggs, cheese or yogurt though - they're essential. Especially cheese.
Next to no snow here although there's murmurings that this week will be stormy. I hope they're wrong.
I had some Starbucks decaf Pike's Peak this evening and so far, no ill effects. I think Pike's Peak is their best decaf. And I put in an order for a pile of herbal teas - should be some fun reviews ahead!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Basement brooding

Yes, I'm brooding. I have to get a new washer, maybe a dryer and I'm about to be presented with a refinished china cabinet.
And that means I better spend some time on the weekend in the basement cleaning.
Oh joy.
That means getting cozy with dust, clutter and spiders - and not necessarily in that order.
Actually, I need to do a lot of work upstairs too - it's ridiculously cluttered. Two packrats make for a lot of stuff. The main problem is that I *like* my stuff - I really do. But I have to get rid of some things - it's beginning to look like one of those shows!

Monday, February 8, 2010

No bread but some soggy news ...

I never did get around to making bread this weekend - too many other chores to take care of. One of those chores was a buildup of laundry. Unfortunately, it looks like it's a good thing I got it all done when I did - I think my washing machine is on its way to washing machine heaven. Ick. Not only does it mean buying a new machine, which I hate, but it also means cleaning that area of the basement up and let's just say my housekeeping skills aren't too evident down there. And there's nothing, in my estimation, worse than basement cleaning. I have an unfinished basement so it's not a place where I like to spend a lot of time. It's a place for storage, laundry, freezers, the furnace and the occasional spider. And for some reason, those basement spiders are big fellers. Sometimes I'll swear they're stealing my canned goods.
I've been drowning my sorrows in bargains. They're selling my favorite large bags of chips 2 for $3 at Shoppers, dips are on sale at Sobeys, and I bought three nearly new sweaters at Value Village. I love getting a new wardrobe for under 10 bucks.
Through all of this, it's coconut black tea or Earl Grey. I've stopped drinking it after 3 and stopped eating after supper and it's made all the difference - I feel like a completely different person. Amazing what a few small adjustments can do for your life.
Speaking of coconut tea, has anyone ever tried coconut pouchong? Now that sounds like a tasty mouthful!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Coconut tea and musings

I have a lot of things to do this weekend so of course, I haven't done anything yet and I'm finding all sorts of pleasant diversions. Am I the only person who has raised procrastination to a fine art?
Last night, for no good reason, I began craving coconut tea. Since it was too late to make any, I went looking through my stash and found a large, unopened bag for the morning. There are times I wonder why I don't drink certain teas and this is one of them. This tea is from Metropolitan Tea and I had bought it for my tea business, well over a year ago. Since they package their bulk teas in vacuum packed bags, it's good until 2018 and when I opened the bag today, it smelled as though it was just picked. Now since the bag is opened, it's supposedly good for two years although I prefer to use it in less than a year. I don't think this stuff will make it to a year - I've already had two pots today. The tea itself is a good quality Ceylon-style black tea and there are strips of coconut in the mix. The coconut flavor is definitely there but it's not sweet, cloying or overbearing - it's just right. I'm sure this would be delicious with milk and sugar, if you're inclined that way - I'm not and it tastes quite lovely black. If you're a coconut fan, you should try this tea if you get a chance.
Now, how else shall I avoid work?

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Rolls mmmmmm......

For some reason, I haven't been buying bread rolls lately but when I went to the store on Monday, they had a large bag featuring about two dozen different rolls, including Kaisers, whole wheat, mini-baguettes and cheese buns for only $2.49 - so I grabbed it. Since then, we've been feasting on sandwiches, including honey dijon egg salad and old cheddar and mushroom on kaisers that are baked in the oven - oh yum! On the weekend, I ordered Artisan Bread In Five Minutes A Day and today it arrived. As well, I found a recipe to make my own kaisers so guess who plans to get down and starchy this weekend? I've been drinking plenty of Lady Grey tea lately - but now the tea drinking stops around one so I am on the lookout for some tasty herbals - no mints nor rooibos though. Any suggestions welcomed.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Just another Lush

I used to be addicted to bath products. Then I found several products that I really liked and started using them exclusively. But after reading about people who love Lush products, I decided to put in an after-Christmas order since they had a buy one, get two free deal on. I ordered some stuff, not really knowing what to get. I am a shower person but that's never stopped me from using bubble baths and other bath products. I figured there must be a way to use bath bombes in the shower.
Umm, no.
I ordered two soaps, one lip gloss and three bath bombes. While they looked interesting, I knew they wouldn't work in the shower so I sent them to a friend, who was quite happy to get them. I do like the lip stuff and the soaps are quite nice - I can imagine ordering more of those.
And yes, maybe I'll even order shower products the next time.

Trying to be a grown-up

Every so often, I like to indulge in age-appropriate behavior, just for a little something different to do. And this time, I'm actually thinking I may even try to maintain some of these new behaviors.
When I was in my 20s, I saved, saved, saved and had plenty of RRSPs. As I got older and had some broke times, the savings stopped and the RRSPs were used - thankfully I had them to draw upon. The past few years, I've made the anxious dash to the bank on February 28th to invest whatever was hanging around in my savings account into an RRSP - hardly a model of good financial planning. Well, this year, I went into the Bank on February 1st, bought my RRSP for this year and *gasp*, made an arrangement with the bank to take out a set amount twice a month and put half into my RRSP and the other half into my Tax Free Savings Account. Then, next February, I can top off the amount with whatever's available or not - whatever I decide, I'll still have money in the RRSP and the TFSA.
Why didn't I do this before? It's a much easier way to do things.
This week, I finally clued into why I've had a sore throat since mid-December. I have GERD or gastro-esophageal reflux disease, otherwise known as acid reflux disease. I've had this for several years but have managed to pretty much ignore it - until now. December is when we start eating all those rich holiday foods and apparently citrus fruits like oranges, chocolate, tea, coffee, tomato products, pop, garlic and onions should be avoided like the plague when you have GERD.
Umm, that's my whole diet.
I've been eating clementines like candy and yes, I eat grapefruits like some people eat an orange. I've been even known to eat lemons - yes, a whole lemon.
On Saturday, I stopped eating oranges and avoided fruit juices. Sunday, the sore throat was nearly gone. Since then, I've avoided all the other foods and sought out low acid foods instead. I can't believe how much better I feel. The sore throat is completely gone. I did have a cup of hot chocolate this evening and I can feel a little tingle - so I guess that's a no-no too. Otherwise I feel fine.
So I guess I have to really watch what I eat and drink. I knew my favorite foods are trigger foods but I guess my body has just had enough. It will be low acid apple juice for breakfast and the days of eating lemons and grapefruit are probably over. And yes, I will have to watch my consumption of everything else - much less and earlier in the day. No more eating before bedtime - I will stop at least three hours before.
Since decaf products are as acidic as regular products, there will be no more coffee and teas after 1 pm - I will really miss that. Water just isn't the same although herbal teas are apparently not as bad - I may have to try a few of those. Of course, mint and ginger are off the list - that's bad for GERD too.
I am going to do this because yes, I am a grownup who isn't 20 anymore but who still wants to feel OK and can - if she takes a few simple steps. Besides, it's better and much cheaper than having to take a prescription!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Cheesecake dreams

I'm dreaming of a white cheesecake
just like the one I had last week ....

I just saw a cheesecake on another blog and it's making me hungry. I bought bananas, blueberries and two kinds of grapes earlier today so I should be dreaming of those but nooooo - I want cheesecake. Don't even need topping... mmmm. I may have to settle for a cup of tea with milk.