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My Almost Last Day With My Mom Before She Goes Home

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It was back to work for my husband this morning but I’m still on vacation until Friday (should have taken Friday too).

I drove Chris to work so I could keep the car just in case my mom and I wanted to go anywhere… an indoor walk since it is so cold out today. Around 10:00 we decided a trip to the mall would be a good idea…..a walk and a shop combined. 🙂

Erika had to be at work by noon so I woke her to see if she wanted to go with us and her first answer was “No”, but then she realized that she still needed to get a secret Santa gift for her soccer party on Thursday so she quickly got ready to go too. Since it was already past 10:00am by the time we got to the Mall and Erika had to be to work by noon it didn’t give us that much time to shop….but how much time does one really need to find a good sale or two?

My new sale sweater. :)

My new sale sweater. 🙂

We all made or purchases…..(my new sweater that I didn’t really need….but it was on sale, so how could I pass it up?) and then went to McDonald’s to grab some lunch. We went through the drive thru, because I’m basically lazy and didn’t feel like getting back out of the car, and of course they had to park us to wait for our meals. While we were sitting there we noticed my son Nick across the street at the bus stop so we had a little text conversation with him while we waited. We finally got our food and had to rush now to get Erika to work on time. Once we dropped her off Mom and I took lunch to my husband Chris at his work, then home for a nap.

I decided to try a new chicken recipe that I found on Pinterest for dinner tonight. I wasn’t sure everyone would like it because of the spices so I made some plain and some spicy. While it was cooking I left Mom home to keep an eye on it while I went to pick up Chris and Erika from work. I was right about not everyone liking it. Erika and Chris were not fans of the spicy but Mom and I liked it just fine.

Sweet and Spicy Bacon Chicken

Sweet and Spicy Bacon Chicken

After dinner Chris and I walked to Starbucks for his “after-dinner coffee” and when we got back home our daughter Shana was there to say her good-byes to her Nan. I think she actually just used that as an excuse to come by for some food because when we walked in she had just finished warming up left over scalloped potatoes and ham, interestingly enough even though Erika had already eaten dinner with us, she also had a plate of left-overs. I really do believe our kids just come by to eat because our son Nick came over after he got off work at 8:00 pm and he finished off the scalloped potatoes and ham, the left over chicken, followed by the last piece of cheesecake. His reason for coming over was to say good-bye to his Nan as well.


Everyone besides me is making it an early night tonight because there is a big game to watch early in the morning. Team Canada plays at 4:00 am our time. Both boys will be coming by to watch the game with Chris…..dedicated hockey fans?…..maybe……but I doubt that Mom or I will be awake to see them at that hour in the morning. Good Luck Team Canada, I will wait to hear the results at a much more reasonable hour.

Things Happen

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Sometimes things happen that you just didn’t plan on… today for instance, I didn’t plan on leaving work to take my dog to the Vet but that’s how the day went.

I feel I should give a little history here to what led up to today’s Vet visit.

We have 2 dogs, beautiful Cody, our 8 year old Lab and sweet little Emma, our 2 year old Border Collie. Cody has always been a pretty easy to please pup when it came to feeding her and she was quite happy just to be fed. She didn’t even know there were other kinds of food out there to try until we brought her little sister home a year and a half ago. Emma seems to be under the impression that she is some kind of princess and is too good for the food gruel we were feeding Cody. We put a scoop of that food in her bowl and she sniffed it and then just looked at us as if to say, ” Are you kidding me? You don’t really expect me to eat that do you?” Well we did expect that, but she thought otherwise, she just stared at it and watched Cody gobble hers up like she had a screw loose. You could almost imagine her saying to Cody, “How can you eat that stuff? It’s not fit to feed to a dog!” and you could imagine Cody finishing hers and looking at Emma as if to say, “Well if you’re not going to eat that move on over and I will show you how it’s done.” Needless to say we have been through many different brands and flavours of food trying to find one that the little Princess would eat. We finally found a food that they both liked (of course Cody likes anything) as long as we mixed it with plain yogurt……yup we have a fussy little princess.

As much as Cody enjoyed eating this food we settled on it didn’t actually agree with her. Over the past few months she has become a weapon you could use in chemical warfare. Both dogs sleep in our room at night and when she passed gas it would wake us from a sound sleep gasping for air and jumping out of bed to get the windows open for some fresh air (that might be a little bit of an exageration but it was really bad). We thought she was actually trying to kill us some nights.

So last weekend we decided it was time to change her food again. After discussing her issues with the pet store owner we came away with a food that should help her with her gas issues. We actually know that changing a dogs food needs to be done gradually but we just wanted the rank smell to end so we switched her cold turkey.

Not to get too descriptive here, but ever since the switch her poo just got runnier and runnier. Last night we had her out 4 times to have a poo squirt….thank goodness she was able to wake us in time to get her out, but I think her butt was probably on fire. Today we closed her in the kitchen just in case there was an accident….or two…..and there was. My husband sent our daughter home to check on her a couple of hours after we all left for work and she had one of the worst experiences of her life. No details necessary but cleaning up was not fun, I am just glad it was her and not me that walked into it. At that point it was time to get her checked out, therefore a trip to the Vet today.

We made an appointment with a new Vet that recently opened up in our neighborhood. After addressing the runny poo issue Cody had a few more issues to deal with. She has eye infections due to the dry windy weather we have had and getting debris in her eyes, she has developed several lumps on her body which needed to be tested (turned out to be just lumps no worries), and she is over weight at 87.8 pounds.

Blood work, lump testing, drugs, new food and $320 poorer we have a much happier dog tonight. Here’s hoping we get through the night tonight with no incidents. 🙂

I Did It!….

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I did it…… I stepped on the scales this morning and immediately did a happy dance (well I didn’t really, I was dancing on the inside but I needed to get ready for work so no time to celebrate).

This morning I am DOWN 20 POUNDS!!!  

The minus 20 is the equivalent to a happy face. 🙂

I am so excited about this! I have been stuck at -18 pounds for the last several weeks and thought that was as far as I was ever going to get. Then I got a little more serious about reaching my goals and decided to eat a little better and walk a little faster and longer each day, and “Tada” results. Now I just need to keep on this track until I reach my final goal….which I haven’t decided on yet. 🙂

My biggest problem with weight loss is how much I just like food. I don’t mind having an A&W Mozza Burger and some dirty fries (New York Fries Veggie Works) for my lunch, I just need to ration how often I splurge on it.

Mozza Burger


Dirty Fries

I feel I am back on track now so let’s see how long it takes to reach my next goal. 🙂

A Coffee Experience…….

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My husband and I go for breakfast every Saturday morning….if possible. It’s our date time. 🙂

There is a new breakfast place that recently opened just a 12 minute walk from our house so we have decided to give it a try and see if we are willing to switch from our usual breakfast place to this one. This morning will have been our third Saturday morning breakfast there.

The first time the place had just opened and it was packed with a 20 to 30 minute wait……so we waited. After finally being seated we waited some more…..our order got taken fairly quickly but we drank a lot of coffee while waiting to be served. No big deal because the waitresses and cooks were all new so of course you need to give them a bit of a break. Once we got our meal we both thought it was pretty good and deserved another try to make a fair assessment.

Bacon, eggs and home fries.

Our second visit was much the same as the first with a crowd of people at the door waiting to be seated. We didn’t seem to wait that long before being seated and after a couple of coffee’s our meal was served. Again a delicious breakfast of bacon and eggs, cooked just the way we like it.

This morning we got up and got moving a little earlier than usual so we were at breakfast around 9:00am. This time no wait, seated right away and coffee served in no time. I am not much of a coffee drinker, in fact I only ever drink coffee when we go out for our Saturday morning breakfasts so I am by no means a coffee connoisseur, however I do know when the coffee doesn’t taste quite right. When I drink coffee I tend to kill the taste of the coffee with the sugar I add, a good coffee is 3 sugar and 2 milk. I prepared my coffee as usual and took a big swig…..if I could have found a polite way to spit that coffee out I would have but being raised with manners I managed to somehow swallow it. I wanted to vomit, there was definitely a problem with the coffee… tasted like salt!

We called the waitress over and she poured me a new cup of coffee and I took a small drink of it black but honestly black coffee is disgusting to me so I couldn’t tell if there was anything wrong with it or not, so I added my milk and sugar and took another drink and again….tasted like salt. The waitress poured me another cup from a new pot of coffee just in case there was a problem with the pot she was pouring from….and this time before adding milk and sugar I got the brainy idea to check the sugar dispenser. I poured a little on to my hand and took a taste….spit…..I didn’t spit it out but wanted to. I grabbed the sugar dispenser off the table behind me (no one was sitting there) and did the same thing…..mmmmmm……pure sweet sugar!!

Sugar...or salt....dispenser.

No wonder the coffee was disgusting, instead of 3 sugar I was blissfully adding 3 salt!!!! We informed the waitress that the sugar dispenser had salt in it and she apologized for the mistake and explained that they keep their sugar and their salt in pitchers with labels on them but someone must have picked up the wrong pitcher to fill the sugar dispenser……..I wonder how many dispensers got filled with salt and how many more customers will wonder what is wrong with the coffee. Other than the coffee the bacon and eggs was again delisious…..the bacon was a bit over cooked (kind of how my dad likes it……crispy) but still tasty.

I think we will probably go back again next Saturday. 🙂

For the love of food…..

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I was listening to “talk radio” on the drive into work this morning…..because that’s what my husband likes to listen to…..and I get a kick out of some of their morning discussions as well….like this mornings little blurb on food.

They mentioned that Anderson Cooper says food is not really important to him, he eats the same meal everyday….

“I eat the same meal every day for months and months at a time,” he said calling from his office in New York. “For instance I’ve eaten Boston Market, grilled turkey with two sides of corn and a piece of cornbread for the last three or four months every day for lunch.”

…..then they had a short discussion on any eating habits they or people they know have.

Well that got me to thinking about food (it seems I think about food often so food is important to me) and eating and am I a creature of habit? Do I eat the same thing everyday, or do I like variety?

Breakfast…..During the week I usually skip it due to laziness and time restrictions in the morning before leaving the house but I will sometimes eat a banana or some other piece of fruit after I get to work. This morning I did have a banana. Breakfast on Saturdays…..Angels Diner with my husband 🙂 …..and yes I order the exact same thing every time…..2 eggs over easy, home fires, bacon, brown toast and coffee…..mmmmm. They have a huge variety on their breakfast menu but I always order the same thing. Clearly my breakfast meal is not important to me because I basically eat the same thing everyday.

Lunch……During the week, a little variety perhaps, although not recently. Recently I have been bringing a wrap for lunch everyday,( I make one for my daughters lunch…yes I make it because she says she “can’t wrap it as good as you do Mom”….yes flattery will get you everything). This morning my co-worker asked me if I brought lunch and when I told her I did she asked if I brought a wrap…..I guess I am a little predictable at lunch time right now. I have some variety at lunch when I either bring left overs from dinner the night before or I don’t make a lunch (due to laziness or lack of food in the fridge) and end up buying some sort of take out.

My lunch wrap....thats the lettuce peeking out of it.

Dinner….when we are home for dinner (or supper) during the week it’s generally meat of some kind, (pork chop, chicken breast, ground beef) with potatoes and a veggie, although every once in a while we have spaghetti with garlic bread (that doesn’t happen often enough as far as the kids are concerned). Boring and predictable but yummy. Weekend dinners are the best!! That’s where the variety comes in……slow cooked pulled pork, baked ham and scalloped potatoes (potato scallop), garlic and herb encrusted prime rib, pot roast with potatoes and carrots (and onions) roasted together, turkey with stuffing and most importantly…..gravy, meatloaf (yes meatloaf is a favourite), meatballs in “yum yum” sauce.

Every time we have one of these meals my husband always says it’s the best meal ever…..doesn’t matter which one we are having….it’s still the best. I take it as a compliment that he likes my cooking……but maybe we like it too much. 🙂 

What we don’t eat in our house is any kind of seafood….no lobster, no shrimp, no scallops or anything that crawls along the ocean floor. People wonder why I don’t eat seafood….  “You grew up on the east coast….how do you not eat seafood?”…..  “I was raised on a beef farm….that’s how.” 🙂

So is food important to me? Heck yes!!! I don’t just eat because I’m hungry……I eat because I love the taste of food!! Especially when it’s any of the above mentioned meals that we have on weekends……and because it tastes so good, I always eat way more than I need to. Those meals are why I am the size I am today….that and laziness.

What’s a dooryard?…..

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Some things I say that make my fellow Ontarians look at me funny……..apparently it’s what gives me away as a Maritimer (not a Newfoundlander…..Newfoundland is an Atlantic Province not a Maritime Province….just saying).

Ontario Flag

I say something is out in the door yard, but here they say the front or back yard.

It’s difficult for me to give directions to people here by telling them to go down the road or up the road because I don’t have the flow of the Saint John River to guide me.

If I’m walking and fetch-up it means I had to stop suddenly.

I say beer not beers ……is the plural of deer, deers? No it is not. (I don’t actually drink so I rarely have reason to say beer or beers but it sounds funny to me when people say they are going to drink some beers.)

I have gotten out of the habit of saying “I never heard tell of such a thing” but my mom still says it and it makes me chuckle when I hear it.

The toilet is referred to as a flush back home…..apparently saying “Don’t forget to flush the flush” just sounds silly here.

They tell me I pronounce “insurance” wrong, and when I refer to my parent’s sisters as my “Aunts” not my “Ants”…….I get the strange looks.

If you see kids in the mall during the day you might ask if they are jigging class but no one seems to know what you mean.

Having a shiveree is unheard of …… at least where I live, but maybe that’s because it’s the city and a shiveree can be a bit loud. I kinda miss shiverees but maybe no one even has them any more.

It’s a verandah back home it’s the front porch here.

Here they do not have corn boils ….they have corn roasts.

Your two main meals of the day here are lunch (noon) and dinner (5:00 ish)……not dinner (noon) and supper (5:00 ish).

The one I say that gets the weirdest looks of course is the potato scallop……apparently it’s scalloped potatoes….weird.

New Brunswick Flag

To all my Maritime friends and family…..are there any phrases that you say that cause people to give you that look when you travel
outside of your home Province. Feel free to share, I would love to hear them.

Family Time….

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This weekend will be the 53rd Family Reunion for my mom’s family. It has always been held every year on the Sunday closest to July 17th in honour of my great grandparents Wedding Anniversary. They had 5 children….Olive, Alma, Barbara, Marion and the only boy, John….I’m not sure what order they were all born in….but these 5, their children, their children’s children, and  now their children’s children’s children are who make up the Reunion gang!

The reunion was always held at the Brooks’ farm, and it was a highlight of my summer for as long as I can remember! I couldn’t wait to get up at 6:00am and head off for the long drive to the farm, to see cousins that I hadn’t seen since the year before, to go to the church service and then rush back to the farm to be the first in line for the bathroom or a bedroom to change to go swimming in the Tobique River….freezing cold water with little fishies nibbling at your toes….then lining up for the food and sitting with the family at the long tables in the yard……ah memories!!

This is a really big event for my mom, as it was for her mom, my Grandmother, and I know she would love to have all of her children and grandchildren in attendance, but it doesn’t always work out for everyone to attend. Unfortunately I haven’t been to one for the last 11 years, not since moving to Ontario. 😦

Over the past few years the Reunion has grown to encompass the entire weekend. The two-day agenda for this year looks like this:

Saturday, July 16th, Meet and Greet at Plaster Rock Legion – that’s where all the hugs and kisses and comments on how much everyone has grown and changed take place…..not just about the kids….the adults tend to change shape too from one year to the next. 🙂 That’s right….I said it!

From 6:00pm – 8:00pm – Family Potluck… favourite memory for my 38 years of attending. Our family has some of the best cooks ever. I am assuming they still have the strawberry shortcake for dessert, which is one of the things that made the potluck lunch a favourite. My grandmother used to be  “in charge” of the shortcake. I remember wanting to get to the front of the line for the famous shortcake. Of course I was always very polite and didn’t butt in…..however I might have tried distracting people in front of me and sneaking ahead that way.

Between 8:00pm and 10:00pm they now have “entertainment” – I have to say I’m not sure what the entertainment consists of but I am going to go out on a limb here and suggest that there could very likely be some musical and magical entertainment and possibly some jokes and story telling time.

Sunday, July 17th, from 9:00am – 11:00am – Breakfast at the Arthurette Legion: Belgian waffles with maple syrup, fruit and whipped cream, scrambled eggs with ham and sausage, yogurt, juice, tea and coffee. Sounds delish!! Again, we are all about the food.

At 11:30 there will be the annual Sunday morning Church Service. The entire family squeezes themselves into the tiny church at Gladwyn, and it is usually stifling hot….the really smart family members generally sit near the back by the door for an escape from the heat. There is also a line up here to sign the Guest book….it’s always fun to look back at how your signature changed from the time you learned to write your name until you actually developed a signature, at least I always got a kick out of it. 🙂 It seems that the family organizers have decided that each of the 5 siblings families will have the service each year, beginning this year with the Pattersons, that would be my family. I assume they are starting with us because my grandmother was the oldest of the siblings? …..or maybe they just got the lucky draw?…. My parents and some of my nieces and nephews, and cousins will be taking different parts of the service, the music, the sermon, the offering, the children’s story etc. It’s always very entertaining and meaningful to see how it all comes together in the end and how much talent each family has. I’m actually lacking in the talent department, but I do enjoy seeing everyone else do their thing.

At 12:30pm, right after Church, there will be hugs and kisses and good-byes as everyone gets into their cars and heads for their homes….different communities, cities, provinces and possibly countries….to hopefully meet again next year with the, “It’s so good to see you, I can’t believe how much you have changed, and the kids are so much older and bigger now, and What? You have grandchildren now? Impossible!”

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So…. Happy Family Reunion Weekend to my Family!!! I hope you all have a great time!! 🙂 Enjoy each others company…..and the great food and entertainment!!!