Friday, March 31, 2006

The Lambiness has arrived!

March has gone sauntering out as gentle as a lamb. The birds are singing in my back yard and examining the real estate possibilites for the summer. There are rivers of rushing water flowing down the curbs next to the bare concrete of the road. And the air has that sweet scent tha lets you know that the big thaw has come. I love this time of year. It makes me so happy.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Four things quiz

I'm sure you've seen this floating around the email / blog world. Well, I got it emailed to me, so here are my answers:

Four jobs I have had in my life:
1. Highschool Teacher
2. Garden Centre Worker
3. Baskin Robbins ice-cream scooper
4. Janitor

Four nicknames I've been given:
1. Jillieth (well, actually Pterajillieth)
2. Antface (don't ask)
3. Jo
4. Grandma (again, you really don't want to know)

Four movies I would watch over and over:
1. LOTR trilogy extended edition plus all the special features
2. Zoolander
3. Monty Python's Quest for the Holy Grail
4. Princess Bride

Four places I have lived:
1. Thunder Bay
2. Cambridge, ON
3. Abbotsford, BC
4. Melfort, SK

Four TV shows I love to watch:
1. Seinfeld
2. Survivor
3. Corner Gas
4. When Fun Turns to Fear

Four places I have been on vacation:
1. West Virginia
2. West Coast of US
3. Ireland
4. Grand Rapids, Michigan

Four things I could NOT live without:
1. my heart
2. my brain
3. my lungs
4. food

Four of my favourite foods:
1. Vietmianesse noodle soup
2. My bbq kebabs (I'll serve them to anyone who visits me -- they're awesome)
3. chocolate -- esp this organic save-the-zebras chocolate they have a nutters right now -- its SO GOOD
4. spring rolls

Four places I would rather be right now:
1. Winnipeg
2. Sudbury
3. napping with my son
4. at the secret headquarters of my new think tank that will soon be taking over the media and, consequently, the world

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Spring Festivities

Well, yesterday was the first day of spring. In honour of this momentous occasion, my husband decided to pull out the barbecue. Or should I say dig out the barbecue?

In any case, he and Andrew had fun cooking pork chops and sweet potatoes, enjoying the extra hours of daylight (it really is noticable this far north) and listening to the returning birds singing.

The sign says it all:

Tisdale is not my town. But in an attempt to get away, we went to the glorious metropolis of Tisdale. This sign alone is an insight into Saskatchewan culture. We went to A&W, checked out all 10 stores in the mall (including the Fields and the Extra Foods), drove down "the strip", and took these photos. Tisdale is the home of Brent Butt, creator and main writer on Corner Gas. If you keep up with the show you might be interested to know that this is the world's biggest bee,

and that pretty much every Grad class in the last 15 years has spray painted "Grad Fill-in-the-blank" on the water tower. We were also taken with this fine establishment here. The sign says "Making yours tay a continental experience". Ah, Saskatchewan at its finest.

And then it snowed some more . . .

Here are some photos to give you an idea of how much snow we've had. The one above is the snow in the middle of the first snowstorm we had on the first day of March. The one below is after the snowfall last week. Remember, too, that we've had warm days in between that have melted some of the snow. Crazy, eh?

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Quilting Update

So, my new hobby has taught me several things. First, never rotary cut and drink wine at the same time. There have been some issues with my fabric being a bit crooked. Oops.

Second, I realized that I like ideas more than reality. Since I started working on my quilt, what, two months ago?, I have spent almost as long looking online for quilting patterns, sample fabric, design ideas, etc as I have quilting. I have bought three quilting magazines full of patterns and examples of quilts. I have bought some fabric for future quilts. I have not, however, finished my first quilt. Not that I haven't worked on it. I'm just more excited about other projects that I"m not doing right now. This is pretty typical for me. Its all about what might be. The future is such an exciting place.

Thirdly, don't try to lay out your finished blocks to see what your quilt is going to look like while your toddler is around. I put a block down, he picks one up. I put one back, he picks up another one . . . what a fun new game!

Fourthly, maybe the lady at the quilting store was right to be sceptical of my fabric choices.

Fifthly, why didn't the lady at the quilting store EXPLAIN to me why my fabric choices weren't going to work rather than just giving me sceptical looks? I suppse because she's interested in selling fabric rather than in teaching me about quilting.

Sixthly, and finally, I like the sense of accomplishment you can get from quilting. YOu can FINISH a block and then its done. That never happens in my life in any other area right now. So I really do like it, even though my first quilt is going to be a bit , um, gothic.

"I'm SO sick of you people!"

Thus shrieks Blue Lazer as the Cheat Commandos corner him in the checkout lane at PricePlus grocery store. Then Fytgard says "Blue Lazer, this is the express lane -- 10 items of less. You've got two too many". And Blue Lazer responds (I love this line) "Those are the twins!".

Anyway, enough! Stop! NO MORE CHEAT COMMANDOS.

Don't get me wrong. I love the Cheat Commandos. There are a ton of hilarious lines in the 3 or 4 Cheat Commandos cartoons on But I have made the unfortunate mistake of using Strongbad, Homestar, the Cheat and all their friends as a soothing tool for my son. Now that he is at that obsessive toddler stage I get requests for "O's!O's!" two or three times a day. This means he wants to watch the Cheat Commandos O's Breakfast Cereal commercial ("Those Aren't O's!"). I could quote you every line from this 3 min. cartoon. EVERY ONE! Please someone make it stop!

I must say, however, it doesn't get much more amusing than Blue Lazer declaring "The Cheat Commandos will never find our secret desert hideout since we relocated it to my nanna's back yard!"

Oh, and if you have NO idea what I"m talking about, check out, but be warned. Its highly addictive stuff.

Its still snowing.

Remember how I mentioned that it snowed on March 1st? Well, it snowed on March 2nd. Then we dug ourselves out, and Dave got sick. On March 4th, it started snowing again. On March 5th I underestemated the depth and thickness of the snow and overesteimated the amount of driveway available and got stuck. Chruch was over before Andrew and I got ourselves dug out. On March 6th, Andrew got sick. On March 7th, I got sick. On March 8th, we were all miserable and sick together. On March 9th, we started getting better. On March 10th, it started to snow again. Now, it is still snowing. Hopefully tomorrow morning I will wake up in time to dig myself out before church.

So I must say that the end of March had better have some damn fine lambiness about it or I'm done with Saskatchewan.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

The Swen Cafe

Two weeks ago (I know, I'm sorry.), Dave and I went out for a Valentine's dinner at the famous Swen Cafe in Kinistino. Its just 20 min. down the road and it is a local institution. It is a phenomenon in Canada (is this north american? worldwide?) that every town, no matter how small it is, has a Chineese-Canadian Food Resteraunt. This resteraunt doesn't serve the kind of Chineese food that would been served in, say Richmond B.C. or in any Chinatown across the country. It serves deep fried chicken balls with gloopy orange sweet and sour sauce, sweet and sour pork, chop suey, egg rolls, and an assortment of fried rice. Most of the stir fries available in such a resteraunt are guaranteed to contain baby corn and canned water chesnut, just to prove it is CHINEESE. Generally the most adventurous thing avaliable on these menus is "Beef with Seasonal Vegetables"-- after all, you just never know what's going to be seasonal. For two days before we went I was joking, "Sweet and Sour Chicken Balls, here we come!"

We drove down the bustling main strip of Kinistino, and past a tall, neon sign declaring "Swen Cafe. Chineese-Canadian Food. Tiger Room. Licensed Resteraunt." Other than this it was a plain store front, like any other along the street. Through the large picture window we could see farmers in baseball caps and skidoo suits drinking Pilsner. Could this really be it?

We went inside to discover that the side we could see was the lounge, while the resteraunt was on the other side. We were greeted by a small resteraunt with plain tables. They were, of course, adorned with the traditional Chineese zodiac placemats. The walls were covered in warm, bright wood. The traditional large silk fan decorated the wall by the coat rack. Further inside the resteraunt two jigsawed and painted wooden tigers leaps dramatically on either side of the air conditioning unit. On the opposite wall it declared this to the the "Tiger Room". All in all, the effect was cozy and not unpleasant, so we entered.

We were handed menus. The first page was drinks, the second Chineese Food, the third Canadian Food. The Canadian Food consisted of what I like to call classic truck stop fare -- hot beef sandwiches, clubhouse sandwiches, fries and gravy, burgers, steaks and fish and chips. One knows, with such a menu, that any salad you order will be white iceberg lettuce with little strips of carrot and purple cabage. Its inevitable. The Chineese food was similarly typical -- much what I had guessed it would be. With one notable exception -- no sweet and sour chicken balls.

We did what we usually do and ordered tea (they brought us Red Rose), and two dishes and rice to share. One item on the menu caught our eye. Imperial Chicken (or something similar). We decided to ask what it was before we ordered it, along with some Beef Chop Suey.

When we asked what the Imperial Chicken was, the woman started to explain very carefully, certain we must be unfamilliar with asian fare, "Well, it is chicken with a light coating that is deep fried. We serve it with a special sauce that is mostly sweet, but a little bit sour, too . . . ". We nodded, and I smiled. No Imperial Chicken for us.

Instead, we ordered Ginger beef, which was quite good, actually. It was gingery beef version of sweet and sour pork. We soaked in the atmosphere, ate our Chineese-Canadian food. It was all good. Maybe we should have had the sweet and sour chicken balls . . .

It came in like a Lion

Well, March certainly has kept its tradition. I woke up this morning and had to drive to playgroup in at least 15cm of snow. It took my husband 45 min. to shovel the driveway and deck becuase it was thick, heavy snow and had blown in drifts around our car. If this keeps up I can count on being stuck in the house for another month at least.

On the bright side, Andrew's bottom eye teeth have finally broken through the gums, so I no longer have a total cling-on on my hip. Now I just have a normal, demanding, high strung toddler, which is much more manageable.