Monday, July 26, 2010

Yes, My Blog looks awful...

but eventually it will get there. Have patience.
After five days of eating fast food - my only excuse is that it was simply too hot to cook - I got back on track today with my low sodium diet. It wasn't that hard to get back to my new normal - a shredded wheat cereal and berries for breakfast and boneless, skinless chicken along with some pasta for supper, rolls and soup for lunch - the soup wasn't low sodium but I did eat very little of it - just the vegetables really. I did check my pressure today, expecting it to skyrocket since I had three cups of coffee, stressful morning shift and too many days of bad eating but it's still at the level before my binge so there's hope for me yet. Because of the early morning shift, I managed to drive over to farm country today and bought some nice fresh vegetables - tomato, cucumber, yellow beans, green pepper,radishes and potatoes. And when I left work, I bought fresh raspberries, cherries, dried apricots, raisins and more of those Kashi granola bars - lowest sodium ones I can get around here. So I will be good this week.
I did buy another box of K-cups today. Timothy's German Chocolate Cake. It tastes of coconut and chocolate and I think I have a new favorite. O yumyum.
A friend the other day let me try Teavana's Orange Blossom, an herbal. I want to like their teas but ... it just doesn't do it for me. I did have a cup of Bigelow's Apple Cinnamon though and quite enjoyed it. It smelled like an apple pie and tasted warm and happy - even on a 90 F day.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Chocolate really works!

A few weeks ago, I purchased a stash of chocolate when Shoppers had Lindt and Cadbury chocolate bars on sale, 4 for $5. One of the bars I bought is Cadbury Orange Dairy Milk, which incidentally, is pretty much my favorite right now. In fact, I would have foregone the Lindt and only bought the Orange Dairy Milk but it was the last one in the store. It's a tough bar to find at the best of times, let alone on sale. And little wonder. It's the epitome of creamy milk chocolate, flavored with just a hint of orange. I'd say it's even better than Terry's Orange, which I find is often too brightly flavored.
Anyway, I was feeling a tad out of sorts before the bar but since eating a few blocks, I feel so much better. Chocolate really does soothes.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Felled by a Virus

Most of my working life, I've been fortunate to work in places that use Macintosh products so until today, I've never had to deal with a virus.
And I hope I never have to again. The virus made it virtually impossible to do my job today, which, while it meant doing less work than usual, also meant the stress levels went through the roof. I'd much rather be busy than not able to work. The problem's hopefully fixed but more than ever, any thoughts that I had of leaving the Apple boat have been completely erased.
When I left, I bought another box of K-cups as a reward for getting through a pretty bad day. This time I got Sugar Bush Maple. Normally I drink my coffee with cream and no sugar. But while the coffee smelled fantastic, the flavor just wasn't there. So grudgingly, I added a bit of sugar. The difference was amazing! Definitely a treat for those days when you sorely need one.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Death by caffeine

It wasn't a pretty sight.
I'm still working the early shift so at 3:30 am, I made my morning coffee in my trusty Keurig. This morning I decided to try Timothy's Colombian. I find Colombian coffee is often hit or miss - sometimes it's wonderful and sometimes, well, it's not so wonderful. This morning, it was exceptional. I had taken a few sips and laid the cup down for a second when a small moth, that had somehow gotten into the house, flew over my cup, turned around and then divebombed directly into my coffee.
He died instantly. Death by caffeine?
Not exactly.
The coffee was hot, after all.
I guess the smell attracted him to the fatal cup. Needless to say, I didn't finish that particular coffee. After throwing it down the sink and pretty much sterilizing the mug, I did make another though.
And this time, I had it all to myself.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Chocolate or Vitamins?

I should stay out of Shopper's Drug Mart. Especially when I have a limited amount of money and they have a good sale. Today after working the early shift, I went in to get milk and saw that they had multivitamins on sale for $4.99. I got a bottle and then saw they had Lindt chocolate bars on sale, 4 for $5. Except that I only had money on hand for milk and either the bars or the vitamins - but not both.
Yep. I bought the bars.
So much for healthy living.
At least they're low in sodium ...

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Hot Days

The past few days have been very hot - humidexes have been reaching 37 C (or 99 F), which is unheard of for this part of the world. It never gets really cold or hot here so we really notice the extremes when they arrive. Most homes around here and even some shops don't have air conditioning since it doesn't seem to make much sense for a single week each year. But apparently this hot spell plans to hang around for a while so who knows - air conditioning sales may be rising in this area.
To cope, I steamed up eggs, vegetables and cooked up a pot of pasta earlier today so they'll be ready to be turned into egg salad, devilled eggs and pasta salads as we need them over the next few days. We've been living on sandwiches, salads and popsicles so it will be nice to have a little variety.
Lemons have finally come down in price so I'm making lots of lemonade and hope to make some lemon cordial in the next day or two. I'll be using the recipe from Rhonda Jean's Blog, since I've tried her recipes before with great success. Her apple muffins are the best! Her blog features tips on how to become more self-sufficient and less wasteful, while enjoying and making the most of what you have. Good advice in this day and age.
I'm drinking hot Starbucks decaf right now but when when the rest of the pot has cooled down, I'll add some milk and a bit of liquid chocolate sauce and pour it into bottles for my version of an iced cappucino - for a cheap and easy summer treat. I may even throw a few white apricot tea bags into a pitcher of cold water and leave it in the fridge for some easy iced tea. When it gets this hot, cheap and easy is appreciated!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

In a jam ...

The fresh local strawberries are finally here and today, I picked up two quarts on the way home from work. They're sweet and delicious and they've already been turned into five containers of strawberry freezer jam! That's two jams made - raspberry and strawberry. Of course I'll be making more jam and getting more berries - but it's always nice to have that first batch out of the way.
I also picked up some vegetable plants - they were reduced to 84 cents and look pretty healthy. I got pickling cucumber, regular cucumber, red cabbage, cauliflower and eggplant. I confess I'm not that keen about cauliflower and cabbage but they looked so healthy and it would be interesting to see if they'll grow any further. Wanna bet they'll grow and the cucumbers won't?

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

More fruity news!

I did try something tasty the other night. I had an ice cream when I was out and noticed the restaurant sold smoothies as well. One of their featured smoothies was a blueberry pineapple smoothie - well, I had to try that - but at home, of course.
About a year ago, someone near and dear went on a canned pineapple buying binge. And I have a pile of blueberries frozen in the freezer. So I used a base of grape juice (apple juice would work too), a cup of blueberries and a small tin of pineapple and threw it all into my new blender. It's a delicious combination.
Getting rid of those tins of pineapple isn't going to be so hard anymore!

Back to work

It's my second day back at work and just to make things more festive, I'm on the 4 to 12 shift - as in 4 am to noon. I've had six hours sleep in two nights. I am stating this so when the spelling errors begin, you'll understand!
I am drinking a cup of Tetley's Red Plum Rooibos. Normally I don't like rooibos but I do like plum. At first taste, I didn't like it but now I find it's rather pleasant. I wanted to try this tea since on the way home, I stopped off at Wal-Mart and they were selling tins of it for 50 cents. I figured I had better try it first before buying any more of it. It's OK but I don't know if I'll get anymore. But if you see it anywhere, for 50 cents a tin, it's definitely worth trying.
When I work the early shift, my breakfast and lunch primarily consists of fruit, cheese, yogurt, low sodium granola bars and/or cereal (the last two from Kashi since they have the lowest sodium cereals and granola bars out there). My poor tummy can't really handle much outside of that. But one of the great things about summer is that fruit gets really cheap. On the way home, I picked up a pint of blueberries and a raspberries for $1.99 each - sometimes the half pints go for $3.99 around here. Right now, I have fresh apricots, nectarines, cherries, raspberries, blueberries, two kinds of pears, bananas and clementines in the fridge - an excellent start to the day no matter what way you look at it.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Vacation ending soon ... sigh!

I am sitting here eating a tea biscuit slathered with butter and a pot of black current tea. Tomorrow will be the last day of what has been an action packed vacation - it almost seems as though I will be heading back to work to get a break!
We went to a free night at a local luxury resort last night, that was gained through work, and ended up with two nice free meals as well. While last night's barbecue burger was nice, I was much happier with this morning's continental breakfast - a raisin tea biscuit, old-fashioned oatmeal with brown sugar and cream, orange yogurt and a bowl of mixed melon along with orange juice and coffee. Oh my! Kept me full until I got to the family event this afternoon, which featured lobster and homemade fries. Yikes! Needless to say, things haven't been as salt-free as they should be but I'll get back on track soon enough. Have to confess I really liked having three delicious meals, a nice room and gym privileges for free - I don't even want to think how much it all would have cost normally.
So all in all, a pretty cheap vacation. My biggest expenditure was two new boxes of k-cups and my share in a Texan Barbecue buffet.
Of course, I'll just ignore the $500 brake job that occurred mid-week - after all, the car is 11 years old and it's the first thing done to it since last November!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Vacation and Happy Canada Day

I have been on vacation since last Friday. Since I had a bunch of obligations to face first, including car repairs, I don't really consider the vacation to have started until yesterday. But I am on it now and have no real plans to go anywhere or do anything. I've got a stack of movies booked out from the library and an appropriate amount of junk food so I'm happy to stay right here.
Found a new source for K-cups and tried two new flavors - both are really good. Timothy's has a seasonal flavor called Winter Carnival, which is chocolaty good, and another is Orange Indulgence, a white tea flavored with orange - seriously tasty. I also got a good tip - if you don't like your tea too strong, make two cups from a single K-cup and then blend the two cups together in a teapot. Two cups for the price of one and for me, more to my taste. You can do the same with the coffee - just use a thermos to blend the two cups together. Of course, if you prefer strong tea and coffee, just ignore this!