Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Holiday with no tea...

Where I work, we usually work through holidays and take the day off at a later date. But this year, I actually get Good Friday off - Woo Hooo! So that means a three-day weekend, my first full holiday weekend in a few years. And it doesn't come a moment too soon - a three day weekend is just what I need. A day to be lazy, a day to do chores and a day for personal projects, like some writing. Of course, cooking will be among the projects since it is Easter Weekend and something tasty will be on the menu.
Ye Olde GERD is becoming a true pain in the neck, even with medication. Today, I allowed myself a single tea. Normally, I would have four or five cups, including decaf and/or herbal. Unfortunately, the lack of tea did make a big difference. I'm drinking water instead. I'll try this for a few days - maybe even no tea at all - and see how it works. If it works too well, I may have to change the name of this blog.
Another thing I may have to give up completely is chocolate. At this time of year, I love to eat those tiny foil-wrapped chocolate Easter eggs. Once the Easter candy is gone, I will try to cut seriously back on that too.
But just one thing at a time!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

A fun list

I got this from Marilyn at http://heartsdelights.blogspot.com/ and thought I'd fill it out for fun!

If I were:

a color, lilac
a verb, do
a day, Saturday
a TV show, Ghost Hunters
a taste, a cup of darjeeling tea
an emotion, calmness
a month, November
a flower, pansy
a holiday, Easter
a movie, The Mission
an article of clothing, a wool sweater
a book, a cozy mystery
a car, Jeep
a piece of furniture, overstuffed sofa
a scent, lilac
an instrument, flute
a store, LL Bean
a shoe, clogs
a fruit, blueberries
a song, Greensleeves
a tree, white birch
a planet, earth
a tool, brush

And now spring's gone on vacation!

We had 15.7 C here last Saturday - and today it's -6 C with strong winds and snow. I think I like last Saturday better! It does get me out of yard work though and I'm not feeling too ambitious today.
I'm sipping on a cup of Irish Cream black tea, trying to get enough energy to start the weekly cleaning marathon. It really doesn't take long - laundry, vacuuming, dusting, decluttering and a thorough cleaning of the bathroom - but it always take me a long time to summon the energy to start doing it. Why is that? I really don't mind doing it once I start. I'm like that with everything though - a true procrastinator!
Haven't done the taxes yet either. In Canada, the due date is April 30 and I usually have it done by April 29. I thought this year would be different since having a full-time job means less paperwork but I'm still pretty steamed about having to pay taxes last year because they didn't take enough off at work (which I've since fixed) so I'm in no hurry to do it this year.
Once I get the housework done, I hope to do some baking. I've been craving some good chocolate chip cookies and I have a recipe for Irish soda bread that looks simple enough. On a cold spring day, working in a toasty warm kitchen sounds like the best plan of all.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Spring has arrived ....

And it's warm! Yesterday was around 16 C. Today was around 3 C, which is still nice for March in Canada. I've been doing yard work the past two days (8 large bags of leaves which comprises about 5 per cent of my property - still a long ways to go) and I was surprised at how dry the ground was. No spring muck here and that's even odder than the warm temperatures.
I've been drinking strawberry black and blackberry black teas, which are both tasty. I've also been eating far too many rice cereal squares. Somehow I justify it by saying since it's made with cereal, it's reinforced with vitamins and perfectly fine for breakfast.
Sure ... makes sense ... sorta
Back to work tomorrow. I've been thinking that two days are not long enough for a weekend. A three-day weekend would let you get so much more done at home. I wouldn't even mind working four 10-hour days to get a three day weekend. Some people could work three days at 10 or 12 hours and others could work four days - same amount of hours and there would be more productivity - it would be a win-win situation.
I just want another day off!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Shocked and appalled

When things get slow at work, I'll sometimes look at the webpages of various media outlets. If I'm really bored, I'll read the public's comments. I don't consider myself to be a politically correct person but I'm usually flabbergasted at what other people think of certain news stories and how unforgiving most of these people are. Case in point - at this time, the MLAs of this province are under scrutiny for their expenses and a few have even resigned. One of those who has resigned had a pretty good reputation up to now and he hasn't been charged with anything, let alone found guilty. Yet, these commenters are being really nasty and writing awful things about this person - all without knowing the whole story.
Shucks, I thought you were innocent until proven guilty. It seems to me that people expect politicians and anyone in a publicly-paid job to work for little or nothing - I have to wonder what planet they're living on. You're not going to attract good people by paying them nothing. People can be so critical and are so quick to blame the media but maybe they should look at themselves a little harder and from a distance - they may not like what they see.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Bunny Time!

The weather here is still beautiful and it seems as though spring has truly come to this part of the world. It hit me today just how close we are to Easter. I have always loved Easter - for me growing up, it was all about chocolate bunnies and eggs - how could you not love that? Yeah, yeah, I already know I'm beyond redemption. But seriously, as I grow older, I appreciate it more for the rebirth of the seasons and the fact you can go outside in relatively mild weather without getting attacked by mosquitoes. And of course, the occasional chocolate bunny never hurts either.
So, at some point, I will go and do my Easter food shopping. Today, I bought a package of hot cross buns at SuperStore - very tasty! I've tried making them and this year, I'm burying that ghost too. My hot cross buns were always pretty awful, if I do say so myself. These store-bought ones are much nicer. I will buy yummy chocolatey goodies for three people plus myself and maybe one of those pretty cakes - or I might make a lemon meringue pie. I'm not sure what the main course will be - I have a turkey in the freezer but I associate ham with Easter so it may have to be that. A ham with a honey mustard and brown sugar glaze, along with potato salad.
Of course, the teas will have to be a strawberry black (regular or decaf), blackcurrent or blackberry.
Mmmm, I'm looking forward to this!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Strawberry Cream

I am drinking a cup of strawberry cream fruit tea from theteatable.com. It appears to be similar to the one sold by Upton Tea. Both are delicious. The predominant flavor is tangy strawberry with an undertone of vanilla cream, which tones the berry flavor down a bit. It's quite lovely and one that I think you could serve to people of all ages, even children.
I've been getting into the blackcurrent black tea, both decaf and regular, also. They just seem to be the right kind of springy teas for the past few days.
I'm sure Peter Rabbit could easily get into these types of teas!

Not quite yet spring cleaning

For the past few weeks, I've been busy decluttering in a quest to see my floors again. Seriously though, this weekend was a big breakthrough for me.
I threw out my craft supplies.
All my knitting and needlework. Gone.
I've been involved in these two hobbies for more than 30 years. And in that time, after spending, I am sure, thousands of dollars and hours, I have produced only four items that I would show to other people: a mohair shawl (that I've never worn), a single pair of wool socks (that I won't wear in fear that I'll wear them out), a scarf (which doesn't get worn either since I'm not a scarf person) and a floral cross-stitch picture. The rest were mute testimony as to why I should throw everything out.
Give some people a ball of yarn and needles and they will produce a beautiful sweater; give me the same supplies and I'll make one that makes me look like a certain large bird from a well-known children's program. Not attractive.
It's taken a long time for my to acknowledge my lack of craftiness; now that I have finally accepted the fact, it feels so good!

Crocuses? Huh? It's still winter!

Winter is suppose to end a week from today. Today, I saw crocuses coming up in my yard. Down the street, on a property that's not so shaded by trees, they're already in bloom.
I have never seen crocuses before the first day of spring before. You have to understand, in this part of the world, despite what groundhogs may say, spring doesn't really arrive until the end of April or early May. Only fools plant before June 14th. Spring is usually celebrated with a good snow storm and lots of groans. We've been known to have the occasional snowstorm in May and June.
Those crocuses are at least a month early.
This is more than a little early.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

It's Thursday!

Which means tomorrow is Friday - yay! I'm just tired of work and winter. It's usually about this time of year I begin to seriously envy those who go to sunny, warm southern climes at this time of year - although this year, I think the weather has actually been better in this part of the world. Apparently average temperatures are up on average by 4 C this year and precipitation is down by 22 per cent in Canada. And even with a week's worth of sunny weather predicted, I'm still a little winter-weary.
It's usually this year that I also begin to dream of vegetable gardens and leaving the windows open while driving (I have a car without air conditioning). Last year I planted seeds indoors but little thrived until I planted a few things outside. In reality, I'm not much of a gardener or outdoor person but there's something about March and April that makes me crave warmer weather.
In the meantime, physicially, I am feeling just fine and I might even try a cup of decaf Earl Grey before th hour gets too late.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Could have avoided it

I finally relented on Monday and got a prescription for my acid reflux. Things came to a head when I ate a banana - a banana, a food they give to the sickest people because it's so mild - and I could feel the burning acid rising in my throat. Two days later, I don't even feel like the same person. The thing is, when you have acid reflux on a daily basis, you don't even notice it after a while - until it's gone. When I first got the prescription, I made a joke that I could now eat normally again but the fact is, I plan to stay on the straight and narrow. It was bad eating and genetics that got me into this mess in the first place; while I can't do anything about the genetics, I can at least try to eat better, or more properly, better for me. I may be on this for a while - the last time, I had to give up taking this because of a lack of prescription plan, no money and an attitude that I didn't want to be on any type of drug, even ones I might need. Since then, the price has come down considerably and I've come down to earth so I think I could afford to keep taking it even if something happens on the job-front. I'm just finding out now that serious cases of GERD can cause laryngitis and even sinusitis, two other conditions that have been plaguing me the past few months - and to think that I could have avoided all this - grrrr!
At least now, I can eat and drink tea in relative comfort - hurray!
It's even looking more and more like spring out there.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Evasive Saturdays

There's just something about Saturdays that makes me want to avoid doing stuff - I guess I think of it as a prime goof-off day. And when I think of it that way, I've had a very successful day indeedy.
I mostly shopped today and I'm quite happy with my purchases. Some food - grapes, blueberries for my lunches next week; a pot roast, chicken breasts and a ham; chocolate soy milk; probiotic yogurt; tortillas for burritos and quesidillas (yep, I know it's misspelled) and some Twinnings Lemon black tea for work. I also went to the bulk food store for soy nuts (I'm trying to add some more soy-foods to my diet), Turkish delight and something called Veggie Flutes, which are vegetable corn-puff type snacks that are pretty tasty. I also got a really nice shirt at Marks for $14.99 from $54.99 - it's one of their iron-free cotton shirts. The real deal for me though was at Winners - two full-sized bottles of Torani Syrups for $7.99 each - I got a vanilla and a caramel. They'll be great for tea lattes and coffee drinks. And to think a few months ago, I couldn't find them anywhere, even at full price.
I tried another herbal from Upton - Peach Melba. It's quite nice with a pleasant peach flavor. Again, I think it might be nicer iced.
With the exception of today, I've been pretty good with money lately - but I have to get back on track. At least I'll be eating well.

Friday, March 5, 2010

New tea, bad weather

Real winter has been plaguing us this week - overnight, we had snow and freezing rain so I am not looking forward to going out this morning.
I've been trying my new teas from Upton and the Tea Table. I had Pina Colada from the Tea Table last night which consists of pineapple and coconut fruit and flavors - OK but odd as a hot tea. I bet this will rock as an iced tea though. I had the Earl Grey Creme Season's Pick from Upton's which is still divine. And I tried the Vanilla Honeybush from Uptons - blech. It reminded me too much of rooibos and the vanilla did not cover that fact. I threw it out - not for me.
Oh well, time to face the storm.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

No control

There are some foods over which I have no control - I just can't stop eating them. So, I try not to eat them very often. Those yummy, delicious morsels are usually things that your body doesn't need anyway - like French fries and bacon. Tonight though, I did eat French fries - to the point that I now feel pretty lousy. I know better. But they're soooo good ....
Yesterday, two orders of herbal teas arrived for me. I tried one tea last night - Cinnamon Plum from Upton. It actually consists of dried plum pieces. The tea was delicious - but I couldn't taste the plum, nor the cinnamon. I'd recommend it though. I'm not sure which tea I'll try tonight - it depends if my tummy settles down.
Did I mention I can't resist French fries?