Flax, Fishing, Flickr, Flatulence, and Frustrations…But the Alliteration Stops Here…

It’s been another “can’t get out of my own way” week…here are some of the highlights:

1. Flax.  Spurred by my friend Suzanne’s success with homemade bagels,  I decided to give them a try.  I make bread a lot, but have only tried to make bagels one other time (with disappointing results!).  I eat a bagel (with jam) every morning for breakfast…my favourite flavour is “Sunflower Flax,” so I looked for a recipe for Flax Bagels online (thank you, Kristin!).  The recipe I used recommended dividing the dough into small balls before forming the bagels by sticking your thumb through the ball and stretching the hole a bit.  The boiling time was also quite a bit longer than Suzanne recommended: 5 minutes (I compromised with about three minutes).  One thing I learned is that I should have loosened the bagels from the cookie sheet right after I took them out of the oven…as they cooled, the sugar water stuck them to the tray like glue (even though I oiled the pan first).  Here are six of my 18 “beauties”:

Flax Bagels...they tasted as good as they look!

2. Fishing.  One of Jim’s work colleagues invited him to visit his ice-fishing hut this past weekend (we wanted to go, but were too busy ferrying kids around – maybe next weekend!).  I’ve loved to fish since I was a kid in Rednersville in Prince Edward County, Ontario…the best part of fishing is digging for the worms!  My younger brother and I would buy fish hooks at our neighbourhood store (2 for 5 cents), and take our rods down to the Bay of Quinte.  Mostly, we caught sunfish, perch, and large and small-mouthed bass…we always threw them back (the only fish we ate then came in stick form, and the Bay was known for its mercury contamination).  One day, I caught a big catfish. Unfortunately, it had swallowed my hook…I tried and tried to get it out (I even went home and got Dad’s needle-nosed pliers!).  After an hour-and-a-half, I reluctantly cut the line, knowing that the fish would probably die…what a decision for an eleven-year-old!  I was a guilty mess for the rest of the day!

The last time I was fishing was about seven years ago, when Hope was five…we took the kids to a Fish Farm, where they had a pond stocked with speckled trout.  You could catch as many as three fish, and pay, based on the weight of what you caught.  Hope has a rather short attention span…she was done in about three minutes.  I took over her pole (Anna stuck with it!).  We got our three fish, and took them home.  Once they were cleaned and filleted (a part of fishing I refuse to do), I stuffed them with fresh mushrooms and baked them in the oven…yummy!

Jim and I got fishing licenses the first summer we lived at Hammond River, but never ended up going fishing…maybe this summer!

3. Flickr.  Anna got a spiffy new camera on the weekend, the Nikon D3100.  The plan is for her to start building her portfolio for her post-secondary education (she graduates in 2012).  She’s been borrowing Jim’s zoom lens and taking photos of our back porch wildlife.  Anna has a new account on Flickr if you want to see more (link also under “Photos” at right).

One of our kamikaze squirrels...someone should tell them that plastic isn't good to eat! (Photo by Anna Matheson)


4. Flatulence.  The other day, I was having a spirited conversation with a customer at the bookstore about the beauty of structural details in old buildings.  We were standing in front of the “Technical” section…I heard a series of small explosions as he stepped quickly away from me, excusing himself.  Whoo-eee!  I don’t know what the man had for breakfast, but my money’s on beans!  I bit my lip, trying hard not to laugh…it doesn’t take much to get me going…I wonder sometimes if I was a 10-year-old boy in another life!

5. Frustrations.  We had another snowstorm yesterday, which dropped another foot on us, and gave the kids another snow day, their fifth one this winter (it came at the end of the high schoolers’ exams, and two “turn-around” days, so the older kids had a whole week off!).  Since Jim had a doctor’s appointment in the afternoon, his boss suggested he work from home in the morning.  I decided to take a “snow day” too.  I stayed in my jammies all day, stepping away from the computer every once in a while to break up arguments in the family room (and load the dishwasher with millions of cups and bowls!). 

Jim left for the doctor’s office around two…the snow was a blizzard by then!  He texted me to let me know he’d made it to the office, and then called once he was finished with his appointment.  He advised that he was going to pick up a prescription and then return home.  My dad called at 4:00 from the bookstore to say that he was planning to close early and come home…he wanted to know how the driveway was.  I told him our plow guy hadn’t come yet, but he’d probably make it in if he hurried!  Fifteen minutes later, Jim called to tell me the transmission on the car had died a mile down the road…he was waiting for a tow truck, and directing people around the car, which was still in the roadway.  Luckily, our neighbour who lives in the house near where he broke down invited Jim in to get warm while he waited…he usually wears several layers of clothing (he once went to work with two pairs of pyjama pants under his jeans), but had left the house in a hurry in the afternoon (at least there was a toque and gloves in the car!).  He finally got home about 5:15…the tow truck driver had kindly dropped him off (for just over $140, it was the least he could do!).  So our Toyota is sitting at the transmission repair place in Saint John waiting for parts, in line behind several other vehicles whose parts were delayed by the snowstorm.  Did I mention we just had our van towed to the garage on Monday to have the problems with the power steering and the blower fixed (tally for that is over $1000 so far – they found some rusty lines)?  Thankfully, Jim’s parents will lend us a car until we have at least one of our vehicles back!

I got to bed late last night after a long distance phone call to a dear friend who’s going through a big crisis in her life.  Apparently, I neglected to set my alarm, and woke up an hour late this morning (and spent ten minutes looking for Anna’s cheerleading shorts, and then her coat).  I’m hoping people won’t notice that I haven’t had a shower…

At least I’m not farting…


Filed under books, cooking, family, memories, nature, self-discovery

67 responses to “Flax, Fishing, Flickr, Flatulence, and Frustrations…But the Alliteration Stops Here…

  1. What a bitter pill, to be stranded on the side of the road at the head of a storm. I’m glad Jim made it home safely, and that a neighbor was kind enough to ask him in. Very sorry to hear your wallet is now $140 lighter, though.

    I’m with you…I’d have cracked up at the flatulence, too. At least he tried to get away from you first, instead of just letting it go and pretending like nothing had happened. What a gentleman.

    Now. I’ll have two of those bagels, please…

  2. Glad the bagels turned out well! Yours look prettier than mine.

    I have another recipe for bagels made out of three different doughs braided together – I’ll send you the link when I post it.

  3. Oh, Wendy! You’re still a 10-year-old at heart! (Um, hello! The Jolie???!) That’s why I love you. 😀

    I love the photos. Is Anna taking photography? She’s got some good skills there. I love the chickadee shot. I have a terrible time capturing birds. It takes me so long to set up a shot that even my sleeping cat at times gets bored and wakes up!

    • Yup, Koreen…guilty as charged! Anna probably will take photography, although she’s an equally good artist…I’m guessing she’s headed for either the New Brunswick College of Craft and Design, or the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design. Our nine or ten bird feeders make it fairly easy to get shots of birds…there are so many to choose from! I’ll pass along your compliments to her! Hugs, Wendy

  4. Pingback: Flax, Fishing, Flickr, Flatulence, and Frustrations…But the … | World of Flyfishing News

  5. 1. I have missed you.
    2. I am hungry for your bagels.
    3. flatulence is always funny.

    blessings, dear friend! I am happy to begin catching up!

  6. Wow, good thing Jim made it home safely. Re flatulence: I remember a friend telling me that she had a huge episode like that when she was working out with her personal trainer. She was mortified and excused herself. He said, “Listen. It’s part of the job. When peole do some of these exercises it always happens.” Maybe personal trainers should get hazard pay.

  7. We need a post about flatulence etiquette! Who wants to do it?

  8. Ouch, sorry to hear about the vehicles. Hope they are up and running soon!

    I loved going fishing with my dad when I was little (we lived in Florida) but once I had eaten all the snacks my mom had packed I was ready to go home. Really more interested in catching a pack of cheese crackers than actual fish!

    Hoping the kids can go back to school soon and that your weekend is a little calmer.

    Oh, by the way, the bagels look fantastic!



    • Thanks, Diane! The kids went back to school this morning… Just talked to Jim…van total is around $1500…no estimate for the car yet! It’s got almost 300,000 kilometres on it, so we may not bother getting it fixed. I’m sure it was fun for you just going somewhere with your dad… The bagels were good…will definitely make bagels again…might try some cheese ones next time! Hugs, Wendy

  9. Love the squirrel-what a great shot. And those bagels look delish!

  10. Love the bagels Wendy they look yummy. I made some for the first time about 15 years ago when I was doing daycare. I loved how they turned out but too time consuming while watching ten kids.

    As far as flatulence goes we have plenty of it around here. My husband loves whole grains and he cooks them up and mixes them with veggies and bits of chicken or beef like a hotdish. They tell you that whole grains are good for you but they don’t tell you that they will increase your flatulence.

    I hope that Anna will like her Nikon D3100 camera as much as I like mine. It is exactly what I purchased a few weeks ago. I would much rather be out taking pictures that just about anything these days.

    I signed up for a community education class for my Photoshop software starting in March. I can hardly wait. Four Tuesday evenings. I doubt that there will be much posting on Wednesdays in March after a late night of class.
    I am so excited for Anna to be able to pursue photography. There are so many possibilities out there for an artistic eye.

    • The bagels were delicious, Jeanne, and actually took a shorter time to make than bread (I let mine rise three times – bagels were only two shorter rises). It sounds like you guys are eating healthy anyway! I’m glad you’re enjoying your camera…Jim uses Photoshop too! Have fun with your class! Anna is following in my late mother’s footsteps…I’m sure her Gramma would be proud! Wendy

  11. The bagels sure do look swell! I’ll be attempting pizza crust later tonight, and pitas for our Superbowl Party on Sunday. Oh, and one of my aunt’s fantastic recipes for Baked Beans…actually entitled “Grammy Sloat’s New Brunswick Baked Beans”. Can’t wait to have them!

    Oh, and the “eagle” has “landed”.

    That’s code. Sorry, I didn’t send the cypher for it.

    • I make pizza crust a lot…be careful not to cook it too long, because it gets hard! I think I’d like to have that baked beans recipe, please, since it’s from NB… I knew the Eagle was waiting for you at the Post Office…gotta love Canada Post! Wendy

  12. Reading your blog always makes me hungry, Wendy. And I just ate.

    The day that flatulence isn’t funny to me is the day that I’ll be cremated (not christened).

    • Thanks, Chase… Somehow, it doesn’t surprise me that the father of three boys would find flatulence amusing…Amy is going to write a “Bodily Functions Etiquette” post for us… Thanks for stopping by (it’s not even the middle of the night!)… Wendy

  13. Forgive me for the self promotion, but I just remembered this post I did which is sort of about flatulence:


  14. N B

    Those bagels look amazing. I think I am gonna ask: can I have that recipe? It looks delish!

    Sorry to hear about your car troubles. I can sympathize because mine is being a pain too and breaking down… but I am really sorry for all the snow you are dealing with making it that much harder. Your parents are so nice!

    I must have a 10-year-old-boy’s charming spirit somewhere in me, because I read about the flatulence and had to laugh. I agree with some of the above comments: at least he tried to get away! AND excused himself!

  15. Very funny final sentence–well done, Wendy. I too love bagels and love the flatulence story. I’m a giggler, so I would definitely have laughed.
    Hugs from Haiti,

  16. Now that’s my kind of recap! I do have to say Wendy, I noticed an awful lot of space between punctuation marks and the following sentence. I see you are true to your word that you will lead the revolution against one spacing 🙂

  17. Wendy…I now officially christen you the Queen of Alliteration!! I love your weekly recaps and this one is no different.
    LOL @ ‘The Flatulent Gentleman’…but like Maura says, at least he was a gentleman!
    I do hope you get your vehicles back soon. That’s really tough being stuck like that. You know….we don’t have snow here but we do have massive monsoons…the ‘snow days’ makes me think we should be given ‘rain days’ here in Goa. During the monsoons, especially when they start…we have incessant rains and thunderstorms and trees falling all over the place!

    Hugs, H.

    • Hmmm…”Queen of Alliteration”…I like that! Infinitely preferable to “Queen of Procrastination.” I really don’t mind snow…I don’t think I’d enjoy monsoon season! Have a great weekend, Harsha! Hugs, Wendy

      • You wouldn’t! Also wanted to say how much I enjoyed the gymnastic squirrel 😀 Look forward to more pictures from her! Have a wonderful ‘snow-free’ weekend 😀

      • I wish we weren’t going to have more snow, but they’re calling for 15 to 30 cm. more tonight…

        Anna’s taking more pictures at a cheerleading competition today, so she should have some action shots to share from that…


  18. I thought bagels took like a ton of time and vats of boiling water and luck. I love them but never thought of trying them at home. And an LOL to your farting tale.


    • I was pleasantly surprised, Jeanne, that bagels actually take me less time to make than bread…my bread rises three times, but the bagels are only two short rises…the recipes are linked if you feel like giving it a try! Wendy

  19. Hope you are on the road again safely and soon with your own car in good repair.
    Snow Days they seem to come in bursts, don’t they?

  20. Can I order some of those bagels please? Yum. Love the action photo Anna took – it’s brilliant.
    Quite often people let it rip in our Pilates’ classes – I cannot make eye contact with anyone when that happens because I will just giggle hysterically! I usually laugh when I get home, sharing the news with my husband, “Someone farted in our Pilates class again.”
    Sorry about your cars, Wendy. Hope they’re fixed soon.
    Sunshine xx

    • Glad you enjoyed the post, Sunshine…Rene was mentioning farting in the gym as well… Anna is loving her camera…planning to take it to a cheerleading competition (not hers) and try out some more action shots tomorrow! We picked up the van yesterday…probably going to replace the Toyota (just working on loan paperwork now)… Hugs, Wendy

  21. Pingback: Refined Flatulence | Life From The Trenches

  22. I’ll have two of the 18 beauties to go, cream cheese on the side please.

    • Too late, Oma…I ate the last two this morning (dropped half of one on the knee of my pants, blueberry jam side down of course, and then on to the floor!). You cook, don’t you? The recipe is there…give it a shot! Wendy

  23. A foreign fart! That’s terrible! I was raised by people that think gas is the funniest thing ever. That’s what I blame for my farting immaturity!

    • I’m definitely not a farting prude either, Joey! I was delighted to buy Robert Munsch’s book on the subject, “Good Families Don’t”, for my daughters! Thanks for reading! Wendy

  24. Tell Anna I’m pea-green with envy over her fabulous new camera — and she’s taking some wonderful shots with it! We’ve been snowed-in all week and are itching to finally get out and about again.

  25. Your title alone has me giggling!

  26. Hippie Cahier

    I’m going to have to try that bagel recipe. They look delicious.

  27. LOL LOL Wendy..LOL..That last line cracked me up. It just said it all. Great post.
    BTW, after your very intersting post on the Bay of Fundy, I sent for a vacation guide. I’m going to have to start up there when I do my tour of Canada trip …(after my cat passes..lol)

  28. #4 LOL! I want to laugh at the ways people try to disguise, or act all innocently oblivious about, the noise/s they weren’t prepared for you to hear. But the ‘scent’ will give them away every time.

    Please tell Anna she takes very nice pictures – just went to look at her photostream. Nicely timed shots!

  29. (Busy weekend, still catching up on my reading.) My wife’s family is from North Dakota/Minnesota. They do ice fishing. I don’t get it. It’s freezing in those huts! I love fishing, but I don’t know about sitting out in freezing weather to do it.

    • We didn’t make it out this past weekend either (which is probably a good thing…they pulled two snowmobiles out that had gone through the ice in two different locations!). I think a lot of the ice huts here are equipped with heaters…I’ve never tried ice fishing myself, but my brother used to enjoy it. Glad you stopped by, Todd! Wendy

  30. Yummy looking bagels. I can smell them all the way here in California. Yum!

  31. Pingback: How to: Make vegan tri-colour bagels (or Hound Rounds) « Scintillator

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