Thursday, August 19, 2010

more soup

Starring (in order of appearance): olive oil, onions, garlic, garam masala, chipotle powder, water, vegetable stock, brown lentils, tomatoes, yu choy sum (Chinese greens), lemon juice, ground coriander. Served with a dollop of yogurt.

Loosely based on a Lebanese lentil soup recipe from the Toronto Star. I was out of cumin so substituted the garam masala. Ditto on the chipotle powder instead of cayenne. Soup is spicy but very, very good (if I do say so myself).

Monday, August 16, 2010

just another conversation

I've started to record bits of conversation that occur at our house. This one took place yesterday morning betweem my spouse and me.

T.: "Can you send a Facebook message to someone who's not your Friend on Facebook?"

Me: "You can. I get emails all the time from strange men saying they can't live without me."

T.: "You do?"

Me: "Yes, sometimes they say they saw my photo and that they can't stop thinking about me."

T.: "Wow."

Me: "I especially wonder about those because my profile photo is of the dog."

(Conversation interrupted by laughter)

Me: "I think they might be spam."

T.: "In those cases, I hope they are, because the alternative is disturbing."

Sunday, August 15, 2010

down-time at the ottawa folk festival

My spouse and youngest son and I went to the Ottawa Folk Festival this past week end. I love these shots T. took of D. and I chilling out between the afternoon and evening programming.

I didn't have any pockets, so I resorted to an old habit of sticking my cable needle in my cleavage. Except, I don't really have cleavage any more. The pointy cable needle kept falling over and I had to keep reaching into my bra to fish it out.

This amused me.

The scarf I'm making has one asymmetrical cable.

This amuses me, too.

Friday, August 13, 2010

43 things (part four)

32. I can organize ideas, a campaign or a project but I can't organize my house or even a room to save my life.

33. If I become interested in something, it can easily turn into an obsession. At least for a little while.

34. I'm trying to ride my bike as much as possible. I think I'm becoming addicted (see above).

35. I'm always a little surprised to discover that someone likes me.

36. I didn't think Facebook birthday wishes were a big deal until it was my birthday. I loved getting messages from all over the world and from people from all parts of my life.

37. I have already passed my minimum goal of raising $150 for the Run for the Cure. I dream of wildly exceeding that.

38. Two of my favourite childhood memories are of a family cross-country ski trip and going sailing on my uncle's boat. I don't particularly want to do these things now but I felt happy doing them then.

39. I like the idea of creating fun memories for my kids. I wonder if they will hold close the memories of our trips to Florida and our week end at Blue Skies when they are adults.

40. When I was six years old, a man in a raincoat flashed me. I was passing through the parking lot of the Catholic Church, on my way to school.

41. When I'm depressed, I feel invisible.

42. I'm making good progress in my quest to lose 44lbs before I turn 44 (on August 4th, 2011). I lost three pounds in the first week. I know it's going to slow down from here on in but I'm feeling encouraged. And determined. And you're going to be reading a lot about it here and on Twitter/Facebook because I want to stay accountable.

43. I think it's really cool that I'm planning for a year from now.

44 (bonus thing). I really do think that the red Smarties taste best.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010



Starring (in order of appearance): onions, garlic, tumeric, ginger, coriander, cumin, chipotle powder, cabbage, carrots, sweet potatoes, salt.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

at the aquarium

All photos taken last month at the Mote Marine Laboratory in Sarasota, Florida.

43 things (part three)

22. One day, when I was small, my aunt bought me a Buster Bar. Before I could eat it, it fell off the stick. She didn't buy me another one.

23 I had Dilly Bars instead of cake on my birthday this year. I ate two.

24. I also had a beer during the day on my birthday, something I consider very decadent. I usually only do this with my friends L. and K. (otherwise known as Sassymonkey).

25. The day after a social gathering, I spend a lot of time second guessing my behaviour, even when especially when I had a good time.

26. I feel guilty about something several times a day. Only recently did I discover that this is not a universal experience. I'm curious what it's like not to feel guilty.

27. My life in treatment is a constant tension between search for structure and then rebellion against self-imposed structures.

28. I have voted NDP in every provincial and federal election since I was old enough to vote (although I have sometimes done so while holding my nose).

29. This was the first year since 2007 that I didn't go to BlogHer. I'm OK with missing it (I had three great years there. The first was an amazing birthday present, the second I was a speaker and last year, I got to bring my book) but I'm a bit sad, especially since I finally feel like I figured out how to really enjoy the experience. There are lots of folks I would have liked to see (Average Jane and Nonlinear Girl were on a panel together. Whymommy was on a panel about blogs as an agent for change) and there are so many folks with whom I would like to spend more time.

30. When I was a teenager, I had a huge crush on the Cassidy brothers. I especially loved Shaun.

31. I was a hideously self-absorbed and narcissistic thirteen year old. It's amazing that my mother let me live.

Monday, August 09, 2010

i get personal with the Run for the Cure

This is the text from my page at Run for the Cure site;

Thanks for visiting my personal page.

I was diagnosed with very agressive breast cancer in January 2006. In November of that year, I learned that it had spread to my liver.

My oncologist told me that the were "more tumours than they could count" and when I asked how long I could expect to live, he reluctantly answered, "Years. Not decades."

Fast forward to June 2007, when after several rocky months of treatments, I started feeling much better. Then, on June 30th 2007, a scan confirmed what my body had been telling me - there was no longer any sign of cancer in my body!

I have been in remission for three years. I'll remain in treatment (chemotherapy and Herceptin every four weeks) for the forseeable future, though. There are so few women in my postion that no one can reliably say what will happen if I stop. But I've noticed that my family and are planning ahead and casually making reference to events that will take place years in the future and assuming that I will be there.

I am running on October 3rd so that more women will be granted a future they thought had been stolen from them.

I'm running in the hope that some day soon women like me can walk away from treatment with confidence that the cancer is behind them.

I'm running so that my nieces and other young girls need never worry about breast cancer at all.

Can you support me (please)?

I have added a permanent link to the blog (top right hand side) that you can click on any time, if you want to make a donation.

(Our team, No Pink for Profit, now has seventeen eighteen members. Three Four other women have committed to join us. There is still room for more though - you can run or walk at your own pace. You can pay the entry fee or decide to fundraise. It's completely up to you. All women are welcome).

Sunday, August 08, 2010

43 things (part two)

15. My family gave me the Regretsy book, and two cds (Hannah Georgas and David Francey) for my birthday. All were excellent choices.

16. I also had a birthday pedicure. I chose the least conservative colour, a sparkly blue-green. I have since lost a lot of time staring at my toes and smiling.

17. My right foot is a half-size bigger than my left foot.

18. The other names my parents had on the short list for me were Beverly and Andrea. I would have liked to be an Andrea.

19. Sometimes people tell me I am intimidating. I don't understand it at all.

20. I read Pride and Prejudice for the first time when I was 8. I came across it while browsing the adult section (as opposed to the kids' section. Hawkesbury's library did not have those kinds of materials!) of my public library. I had already read pretty much all the books that appealed to me in the kids' section.

21. I read The Grapes of Wrath for a book report when I was 12. I think it made some of my classmates hate me.

Friday, August 06, 2010

no pink for profit at the run for the cure

We interrupt the regularly scheduled programming to bring you this open letter:

Dear Ottawa area women friends and family,

Last week end, my friend CR and I were talking about doing the Run for the Cure on October 3rd. I suggested forming a team named something along the lines of "We hate pink crap but we hate breast cancer even more."

Elegant slogans were never my forte.

C. reminded me that the brilliant KJ had already come up with "No Pink for Profit." I think this is perfect and I have registered a team with that name. Want to join me? We need ten women (anyone can participate but I'd really like to form a women's team) and you can run it or walk it, raise money or not.

All it would involve on your part would be registering, raising money if you want (or just paying the registration fee) meeting at the start of the run to get your team t-shirt and then either walking or runnning 5k at your pace. Then, as many of us who want to could meet up at the end and go out for a yummy breakfast.

I have a bit of an agenda here, other than the exercise, friendship and a good cause. How cool would it be to have a really large group of women wearing "No Pink for Profit" on their Run for the Cure t-shirts? And if the name is rejected by run organizers (which I truly hope doesn't happen), we have another opportunity for education.

So, what say you? Please feel free to forward this message to any women you know. I want to cast as wide a net as possible.


p.s.: You can sign up here.

Update: Less than 24 hours after writing this, there are 12 13 of us signed up and two more who have said that they will. I am over the moon - so moved and happy. There's no limit on team size, so please continue to spread the word. Any woman who wants to join us is welcome.

Thursday, August 05, 2010

43 things (part one)

Yesterday was my birthday. I decided that it would be fun to write a post with 43 things that I had never written about on the blog. This proved to be quite a challenge, especially since I don't seem to have a lot of writing time these days (and it was my birthday, after all).

I've decided to post the list in stages, since I stil only have less than 20 and a post with 43 things would be way too long to be interesting (and I'm hoping this is interesting).

So here goes:

1. I am 43 years old (hence the 43 things).

2. I've decided that I want to lose 44lbs before my 44th birthday.

3. My most memorable birthday presents were my little black dog (who was a Mother's Day, birthday and Christmas present all rolled into one), my trip to BlogHer in '07 and the red bike with the banana seat that I got for my seventh birthday.

4. I wear much less make-up now than I did when I was fifteen.

5. One year, in university, I spent several November days dressed up as an elf and handed out candy canes along with leaflets asking people not to buy “war toys.”

6. I'm married but I have never celebrated my wedding anniversary. I have celebrated the anniversary of the beginning of our relationship. In March, it will be 20 years (we've been married for 14).

7. We were married by a secular Jewish Humanist officiant. She stipulated that there would be no mention of God and no sexism in the ceremony, which suited us perfectly.

8. I am in awe of every single one of my brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law on both sides of my family. I have eight in total and I really like hanging out with each one (and my sister is pretty great, too).

9. I got my first dog when I was 25 years old. I planned and researched for a year before settling on a golden retriever. The other breeds on my short list were pug and Shetland sheep dog.

10. I named her Emma after Emma Goldman, although her papers said Golden Breeze Lady Emma Delight. She was neither an anarchist nor an aristocrat by nature.

11. I lost Emma to old age and Jasper to cancer. Losing Jasper was harder, as it felt so unexpected and brutal. My grief for him is still very raw and I miss him more than I can say (I know that I've written about this but I need to include it here).

12. I have absolutely no sense of direction, a trait I have passed on to my firstborn.

13. I can't curl my tongue, although both kids and my spouse can. This makes me feel oddly left out.

14. I can still remember the first phone number I ever learned but I sometimes forget my cell phone number.