Sunday, January 31, 2010

Don't try this at home!

I'm in the middle of a stare down. My opponent? A bottle of Buckley's Cough Syrup. I have been sick for 3 days. Coughing, sneezing, runny nose, headache, aches and pains, and pure exhaustion. I don't know if I have a fever because I can't keep a thermometer in my mouth long enough to get a reading without having a coughing fit. I am only able to sleep 2-3 hours at a time before I wake up, gasping for air. I have taken Theraflu and Tylenol Cold and Flu. Neither have brought any relief. So it has come to this. Am I really that bad off that I need to take Buckley's; the cough syrup that tastes like tree sap, mud, dog poop and rubber tires, with a hint of mint? I continue to stare at the bottle. Memories of my childhood flash in my mind: Me screaming "NO! NO! NO!" as my mother forces the vile stuff down my throat. You can't even buy this stuff in the States. It is only available in Canada (although rumour has it that they are trying to expand into the States). I got my bottle on a trip to Toronto last year. It has been sitting in our medicine cabinet, just waiting for the right moment. And now, I am afraid to say, that moment has come. I open the bottle and am assaulted with a smell similar to Vicks Vaporub. I pour the horrid liquid on to a teaspoon and stare at it. Wait! Is it starting to corrode the metal spoon? No it must just be my imagination. It has come to this: all the coughing, sneezing and congestion has lead me to this moment. I knew that it would come to this, but I was hoping to put it off as long as possible. It's a battle of good versus evil. I know this stuff will help, but I can't bring myself to take it. I know that the longer I stare at it, the harder it will be to lift that spoon to my mouth. I make my decision and quickly bring the spoon to my lips. In one fluid motion, I allow the foul cough syrup to slid down my throat. It burns! My eyes water and my nose immediately starts pouring out liquid snot. I cough and gasp. And then, it's over. My throat is soothed by the pine needle/dog poop/rubber tire mixture. The hint of mint opens my nose so that I can breathe again. The burning sensation is replaced by a cool healing sensation. I feel better already. There is not false advertising for this brand. Their slogan says it all "It tastes awful. And it works." Sometimes honesty is the best policy and the best medicine.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Fun with animals

Over the Christmas holidays we house-sat for some friends of ours. They have two animals: a dog name Jack and a cat named Alex-the-lion (who we promptly nicknamed Alex-the-lion-the-cat). We love pets and we were happy to send time with the animals while their owners were away. The had a train set up around their Christmas tree, and Jack would bark at it and chase it every time we turned it on. We thought it was hilarious! The whole experience left us desperately wanting a pet, but our apartment complex requires a $400 pet deposit. So we will wait until we get a house and just visit Jack and Alex-the-lion-the-cat for now.

Hanging out with the animals

Kissy! Kissy! Alex-the-lion-the-cat is not exactly a fan of this game!

The stare-down

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Pantry makeover

Over the weekend, I came across my new favourite blog: The Prudent Homemaker (see previous blog for website). I was inspired by her pantry. It got me thinking about our pantry, or lack thereof. Those who have lived in an apartment know that space in very, very limited and apartment dwellers have to get creative when it comes to using that space. We were using our utility room as a pantry, but in the November we got a washer and dryer (oh happy, happy day!) and the things in the pantry had to be distributed to various cupboards. My cupboards were a mess. But there was no way I would give up my washer and dryer just to have my pantry back. Instead, I took a couple of hours yesterday and organized my cupboards. I feel so much better now! My cupboards are manageable and organized. I was amazed by what I found. Because I couldn't see what I had, I would buy more of something, without knowing that I already had one (or several!) in my cupboards. I have 4 bottles of Italian salad dressing! Who needs that much salad dressing? I couldn't fit everything in our cupboards but I found space in our closet for some canned goods. Here are some before and after pictures (I have no idea how to put them side-by-side. Sorry).

Before: My baking cupboard. Things were stuffed in wherever they would fit. Baking was a pain because it took so long to find what I needed.

After: I don't know if you see a big difference, but I can! I found that I have 13 packages of pudding. Don't ask me why. I use pudding once, maybe twice a year.

Before: This is our food storage/cereal cupboard. As you can see, a complete disaster! It is a deep cupboard, and I found the salad dressings hiding at the very back.

After: Now I can open the cupboard and immediately see what is in there.

Our new food storage cupboard!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Great website!

I was doing some blog surfing the other day and came across an amazing blog (I have no idea how I found it!). It's written by a woman who has been feeding her family of 7 for 27 months from her food storage! Her blog is full of great recipes, tips on saving money at the grocery store, and information about how to store food long term. She talks about canning and gardening as well. This is by far the best website I have come across in the food storage category (and believe me, I have looked at a lot!). Be sure to read her story (it's at the bottom of the home page; click on the "about me" link) and look at her pantry (it was a garage!) Check it out. Here's the link.

Luck of the ladybug?

It seems our apartment has become a haven for ladybugs (Is that one word or two? I think it is one word, but I could be wrong!). Over the past month or so, we have found ladybugs all over our apartment. We have no idea how they get in or out! Can ladybugs fit through small crack, like the cracks around windows? We have found them on our ceiling, our windows, in bathtub, and even on our kitchen counters! We have been startled a time or two by a flying ladybug! I spoke to our neighbours and they haven't seen any ladybugs in their apartments. I guess we are just special. I'm not superstitious nor do I think that there are special messages or signs in things, but I was curious to see if ladybugs had any special meaning so I did a little research on the Internet (I don't know how we survived before the Internet!). Asian traditions states that if you catch and release a ladybug, the ladybug will faithfully fly to your true love and whisper your name in his/her ear. Upon hearing the Ladybug's message, your true love will hurry to your side. The number of spots on a Ladybug's back is said to indicate the number of months to pass before the wish for love comes true. Since I am already married and finding out that Husband is not my true love would make things awkward around here, I kept looking. The most popular answer to the question of what ladybugs symbolize seems to be that they are lucky. Killing a ladybug is said to bring misfortune and sadness. I guess, given the number of ladybugs we've had in our apartment, we are going to be really, really lucky.

I know these pictures aren't very good, but they are all I have.

This ladybug was on our ceiling

This one was crawling above our bed

Monday, January 4, 2010

Taste test anyone?

What happens when I ask husband to make and frost a German Chocolate Cake while I am at work? I come home to find the cake I was planning on taking to a party missing a piece or two. I took it anyway. You can never go to a party empty-handed; that's just rude. But taking a cake that is half-eaten? Totally acceptable!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

We went to the fights and a hockey game broke out!

Husband and I went to a hockey game this weekend. We watched the San Antonio Rampage play the Abbotsford Heat. It was the first game I've been to in almost 2 years. That's forever for a born and bred Canadian. The game was fast-paced and very physical, with a lot of bone jarring hits and a few fights. The Heat won the game in a sudden death shoot-out. That's always an exciting way to end the game!

#27, Brett Sutter, second generation of the Sutter Family dysansty (They are almost as famous as Wayne Gretzky)

Look at that beautiful flag! I even got to hear the Canadian National Anthem. I must admit it brought a tear or two to my eyes. Throughout the game some of the Rampage fans thought they would be clever and yell Canadian themed insults at the Heat. I was amused by what they choose to shout ("Take off Hoser" and "Go back to Canada" were very popular). I was tempted to remind them that over half of the Rampage players were Canadian, but I decided I would be wasting my time and energy.


I tried to get a picture of the puck dropping, but my camera isn't expensive enough to do that.

The Rampage are the farm team for the Phoenix Coyotes. (The Heat are affiliated with the Calgary Flames.)

Action shot!

No hockey game is complete without a fight!

So this guy, Jamie Lundmark, took a puck to the head late in the third period. We were close enough to the ice to hear the impact. It was not a pleasant sound. The injury wasn't too bad though, as he was back on the ice for the shoot-out. Thank goodness for helmets!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Handmade Christmas gift

Back in October I made a flannel board at a church activity. I decided I wanted to give it to the girls I nanny as their Christmas gift. I couldn't give them just a flannel board though, so I spent a few weeks making cut-outs to go with the board. The girls love the board and play with it all the time. Here are some of the things I made. Husband helped a lot too. He made the adorable pigs. Turns out he is pretty good at channeling his inner Martha Stewart!