Tag Archives: election

Cruciferous Vegetables, Cheer Competitions, Cakes, and Canada…

Jim and I were happy to survive another busy weekend…back-to-back cheer competitions for Anna and Hope Saturday and Sunday!

Jim dropped Anna off at Simonds High School for her competition for 9 a.m. on Saturday…on the way home, he and Brianna and Hope stopped at Costco for some essentials (and not-so-essentials)…I got my mango juice, and Anna got her fix of Veggie Sticks.  We’re also stocked back up on acetominophen and allergy meds.  While they were gone, I got up and checked my e-mail, and watered my plants.  The cruciferous vegetables are taking off nicely…I have broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, and purple Brussels sprouts (will post photos later this week)!  So far, Jake hasn’t made an effort to jump up on the table and destroy them!

We got to the cheer competition fairly early, and Hope and I went in and grabbed seats in the bleachers while Jim parked the car. We brought our pillows again…there were 10 teams competing, and we knew we were in for a long afternoon! Luckily, the gym at Simonds is fairly large…

Anna’s team looked tired during their performance…all those extra hours of practice seemed to take their toll. Anna is covered with bruises from people falling on her (she’s a “back” and catches people). I was surprised when they made callbacks again, along with three other teams!  Five out of ten teams dropped their flyer at least once (no one hit the floor, thank goodness, but there were far too many “close ones” for my liking).  A toddler about Elise’s age who was sitting behind us cried for most of the afternoon…taking little kids to a three-hour event is not a brilliant idea!

The Harbour View High girls nailed their second outing! They were enthusiastic, and tight…I thought surely they’d place in the Top Three this time…I was wrong! Foiled again…their Provincial Championship is two weeks from now. Maybe the third time will be the charm?

Anna also performed with a quad or stunt group at this competition.  She had a different flyer than her usual one during the team events.

Anna (top left) with her quad in their final pose...photo by Jim

We stopped at Dairy Queen on the way home for a snack, and also at Canadian Tire for some rope…Hope had asked Jim to make her a tire swing in the back yard.

When we got home, we discovered that Jake had been having fun with Jim’s lunch bag in our absence…another Rubbermaid lunch container was now history, and a new lunchbag would also need to be purchased.

We were pretty exhausted Saturday night…I didn’t do any laundry, and no swing was installed out back.

Sunday morning, Jim got up early to drive Hope to her Middle School Provincial Cheerleading Championships…the girls had to be there by 8 a.m…luckily, the venue was Devin and Brianna’s high school (and Jim’s alma mater), Kennebecassis Valley High, so it was only a 15 minute drive from our house.  Before they left, Jim took some photos of Hope before her very last cheer competition (she doesn’t want to cheer next year).

Hope before provincials...photo by Jim

There was a huge lineup when we got to the school…we grabbed the first seats we could find!  Jim took his camera and roamed around, looking for the best photo ops.  After a long competition (12 teams – boy, did I regret forgetting the pillows to sit on!), Quispamsis Middle School wasn’t called back, but had improved significantly since their last outing.  It was fun to see some “different” creative stunts that some of the teams performed (and it was another accident-free competition…hooray!).  I appreciated that the DJ at this competition remembered there were some members of the crowd born before 1995, and played some 80’s music instead of the constant current pop drivel that normally dominates these events.  Anna was suitably horrified when I started bobbing my head when they played “Footloose” (my work here is done!).

Since it was Hope’s last competition, Anna decided we should celebrate by eating supper at Vito’s (somehow, I missed the part where she offered to pay for it!).  We had a fairly relaxed meal.  At one point, Hope commented, “Hey Anna…I can sit with my legs apart because I have spankies on!”  We all laughed (we weren’t nearly as amused when Hope started blowing her straw all over the table).  My Creamy Pesto Chicken Club sandwich wasn’t as good as I’d hoped, but the fries were great.  Jim polished off his Chicken Parmigiana in record time, and Anna finished her Gnocchi au Gratin with some difficulty (we also had a lively argument about how to pronouce “gnocchi” – I was right).  Hope had the last half of her pizza packed up to take home…she took it for her lunch today.

When we got home, Hope was happy to see that Grandad was hanging up the tire swing…she helped by holding the ladder steady.  I started four loads of laundry while Jim refilled the bird smorgasbord…he reported seeing another pigeon out there…luckily, we don’t get many of those!  Anna and Hope went out to try out the new swing.

Later, the girls and I watched Cake Challenge on the Food Network: The contestants were asked to make a cake to celebrate the 10th Anniversary of Dora the Explorer.  One young woman’s design included a 4-foot Dora figure with a 2-foot wide head…huge mistake!  As one of her competitors commented after Dora lost her head, “That was cake carnage!” I have to say that I was impressed that the baker and her husband/assistant took the “epic fail” a lot better than most people would have…very classy!

Dora, before she became The Headless Toddler...photo from blog.oakleafcakes.com

We watched Amazing Race before going to bed…let’s just say “whiners can’t be winners”!  I also don’t think I’d want Gary and Mallory or Zev and Justin rescuing me if I were ever buried during an avalanche!

Today is an important day in Canada…we are voting in a new federal government. We have been in “election mode” for about six weeks here, and will finally get the chance to cast our very important ballots. Jim and I will be stopping on the way home from work to exercise our right (and indeed our responsibility as Canadians!) to vote. If you are eligible to vote today, please do so…together we can decide the future of our great country!

Google Canada's election graphic

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Filed under family, food, rants, satire

Tuesday Trifles…

Here are some highlights of my last few days:

Shopping with Teenagers

After my rant on Friday about What the Cool Kids are Wearing, I took my two younger daughters shopping on Saturday.  We had two goals in mind: give the kids some “alone time” with their biological parent (Jim took his kids out too), and find me some new jeans, since crotchless denims aren’t really in style in New Brunswick…

Our first stop was Value Village.  I love Value Village mainly because it’s NOT the Mall!  I tried on four pairs of pants, and bought one for $6.99 (another one would have worked, but I discovered it didn’t have a top button when I got into the changing room).  While I was trying to squeeze into too-tight pants, I overheard a conversation between two guys in the next two cubicles who were trying on Halloween costumes: “Wow, these shorts are really short!  They look good though!”  “Do you have a headband?”  “Yeah, I’ve got a Nike one I can just wear inside out!”  I wish I could have seen them!

I debated getting a nice hardcover copy of “Charlotte’s Web” for Elise, but it was heavy, and I didn’t particularly want to carry it around for the next two hours…should have gotten it…it was only $3.99.  Hope found a wig and a shirt for her Halloween costume, and another top.  Anna got a vintage computer game she remembered from childhood and a DVD of some movie…I put the $50 or so on my debit card, and we headed across the street to the mall.

I was feeling a bit faint when we got there…time for an emergency frosted cinnamon roll…lucky I had my handy Tim Horton’s card with me!

Saved by my Tim's card!

“Is it time to go yet?”  I don’t know how many times I asked that over the next hour-and-a-half, as the kids dragged me into one store after another: Ardene’s for jewellery (for the Halloween costume – ended up being jewellery, headbands, track pants, and a hoodie!); Aeropostale for a hoodie (make that TWO hoodies – they were half-price, after all!); and La Senza for bras for Anna.  My fingers were cramping from typing in my pin number on the debit machine!  I did get a FREE bra though!  Standing at the checkout at La Senza, I was rooting through my wallet for my “bra card” (there it was, right next to my coffee card, my sub card, and my card card [no, I’m not stuttering – Hallmark]).  The perky clerk informed me that we had reached the magic number to receive a free bra (and I’d only spent $798!…I might be exaggerating, a little).  “You can pick the most expensive one in the store if you want!” she reported excitedly.  I share my friend Jane’s enthusiasm for bra shopping.  We’d already spent way longer than I had wanted to in my least favourite place.  I was like a deer in the headlights.  Handing the kids my bags, I looked anxiously around and grabbed a couple of bras, pretty much at random (avoiding the neon colours and the zebra stripes).  Into the changeroom I went.  Success!  One fit: the girls didn’t look too bad (and my daughters looked fine too!).

We celebrated with fruit smoothies ($10 and change for two smoothies for Anna and Hope – I don’t do any liquid thicker than water!).

Jim and his kids picked us up out front, and we headed home.  They had gotten some cool stuff too…

So, my girls spent the afternoon with me, I got new (used) jeans and a free bra, and it only cost me $200 (what’s wrong with this picture?)!

Disturbing Dreams

I had two rather disconcerting dreams on Saturday night (I blame the cinnamon roll!):

1. I dreamed that I was making out with a tattooed man.  I didn’t make this guy up…he’s a guy who lives in Saint John – not bad-looking if you can overlook the tattoos on his face, and multiple piercings!  I feel a bit sorry for him, though, because he’ll probably never be able to work a regular job.  He is quite a talented photographer, and occasionally sells photos/plays bongos on the sidewalk for money.  Anyway, it turns out that Tattoo Guy is a very good kisser (at least in my dream!).  I was disturbed by two aspects of the dream: that it didn’t seem to bother me that I was engaged to Jim and kissing another man, and that I really am not attracted to tattoos, especially on someone’s face!  I told Jim about the dream, to which he replied that he’d dreamed about chasing a radioactive alligator around his parents’ yard (he works in a nuclear power plant). 

2. The second dream must have been a residual from Open Farm Day.  I dreamed that I was on a farm where animals were kept on shelves.  On one shelf, there would be three piglets, and on another shelf, there would be three calves lying down.  There was only about a foot between shelves – no room for the animals to stand up!  The shelves were covered with manure…it was gross, but I didn’t think anything of it!

Gardening Apathy

The “new car smell” is starting to wear off of gardening for me…is it wrong that I’m wishing for frost so that I can be done with it for the year?

Sunday I went out and pulled out my sunflower stalks (or in some case, broke them off at soil level – those things are tough as small trees!).  They were getting in the way of picking tomatoes…the piles and piles of tomatoes!  I am freezing the big ones, and packing the little ones in lunches…there are not enough tomato-eaters in my household to eat all that I planted!  The increasing number of fruit flies buzzing around the bowls are telling me that something’s rotten in the pile…

I cooked two more squash and put them in the freezer…there are many, many more to cook…

I harvested my two “dry” bean varieties yesterday: romano beans, and orca beans.  I shelled the romanos, but still have to shell the orcas.  The yield is quite small, compared to what I got from the green beens.

These are the orca beans...aren't they pretty?

The root vegetables: carrots, beets, and rutabagas are next…is it winter yet?

Doing Our Civic Duty

Yesterday was the New Brunswick provincial election.  Jim and I made a point of getting out to vote, knowing full well that our candidate would not win, but that we did the important thing and exercised our right to vote!  People that don’t bother to do so really piss me off!  I told one young (educated) friend of mine to write somebody ridiculous in (I suggested Elvis or Lady Gaga) if he didn’t like the candidates, but to vote anyway!

The Conservatives won by a landslide, but only because of the rush to vote for anybody who didn’t represent the current party in power!  Voter turnout was only 68%…I wonder whether the outcome would have been the same if everyone had made it to the polls?  I don’t want to hear any bitching from non-voters when the Conservatives muck it up worse than their predecessors…maybe if you’d gotten off your ass, they might not have made it in!

And on that note, I’m going to have my lunch…

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Filed under cooking, dreams, family, food, gardening, rants, satire, shopping

Tuesday Tidbits…

Here are some random things from this week:

1. Picking tomatoes in the dark is really hard (note to self: get someone else to make dinner on nights I get home late so that I can get out to the garden before the light is gone!).  I don’t see well even when it’s light out…I have two green tomatoes sitting on the counter that I mistook for ripe ones.  I also came in with my hair full of sunflower bits (they’re beside the tomatoes, and are seriously in my way!).

2. I need to get out and pick some squash…they’re everywhere now (note to self #2: send pumpkins to Omawarisan at Blurt, because he loves them so much!).  I also need to process the last of the green beans, and the tomatoes and zucchini I’ve already picked.  Maybe the Freezer Fairy will come and clean out my freezer so that I’ll have some room to put stuff in it!

3. We had our first beets from the garden this week…yummy!  They were a bit warty-looking, but they tasted good!

4. There’s nothing sexier than a man holding a baby.

Jim with Elise on Open Farm Day...

5. Cows experience their milk “letting down” at inappropriate times, just like nursing mothers…my children were amused (and a little horrified) to see streams of milk coming from several cows’ teats just before milking time at Open Farm Day.

This poor girl was in need of some heavy-duty nursing pads...

6.  We may have to invest in some knee pads for Anna…she comes home from cheerleading practice with her knees all bruised up.  She’s also bummed out because they can’t do any stunting or tumbling while the union representing Teacher’s Assistants and School Librarians is on a “job action.”  Their team’s faculty advisor is the librarian at the school.  With the New Brunswick provincial election coming up this weekend, it may be a while before they get things sorted out.  Come on, you guys!  There are a lot of families with children with learning disabilities who depend on TA’s!

7. Some schools believe in overkill…Hope was late to her first class yesterday because her inconsiderate locker neighbour was in her way.  The school left identical messages on the home phone, cell phone, and the bookstore phone to let me know my kid was late!  Thanks for telling me…I’ll get on with my life now…

8. I learned yesterday that, according to Root Beer World, there have been more than 2500 kinds of root beer produced (assuming that many of the brands are now defunct).  Root beer is pretty much the only kind of pop I drink, and I don’t have it very often.  Root beer floats are awesome!

My Granddad always had a case of Dad's Root Beer at his house when we visited...

9. The producers of Big Bang Theory have sadly disappointed me with their new sitcom, Mike and Molly.  Jim and I watched the premiere episode last night.  It was predictable, mean-spirited, and unfunny.  I will not watch it again.  On a related note, the new season of Two and a Half Men started last night as well…it is back to its pre-Chelsea standards (I’m glad she’s gone!)…I laughed out loud several times!  Ryan Stiles rocks, and Jon Cryer was his usual deadpan self.

10. Since I gave out the Bloody Brilliant Blogger’s Award  a little while ago, I have enjoyed watching my blogging buddies discover each other.  I love the fact that I was instrumental in turning somebody else on to someone whose writing I enjoy.  I am, however, missing more than a few “homework assignments”…am watching for the awardees to post their own lists of “Bloody Brilliant Bloggers” so that the Award gets passed on.  Looking forward to it!

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Filed under blogging, family, friends, gardening, rants, self-discovery