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…