Make sure you leave a comment so I know you came by to visit.

Nov 30, 2009

SANTA COLLECTION #42


This is one of my better paint jobs on a Santa. I have done 3 ovals with different ones on them. They are about a foot tall.

ATTA GIRL AWARD


Hooray, several Atta Girl Awards has been given out in blogland. I am backtracking through the sites though because somewhere along the line we lost the link back to my site and the notifying me of who you give it to,which is important so I can add them to the list of recipients. 
I really do want to share this award around blogland but I want to follow the procedure that was started in the beginning. Give it to whomever you think deserves it but please follow the instructions on my sidebar.

This increases traffic to their sites and I think they will be happy about that. So without further adieu here are the most recent winners that I have found.

Diane @ fit to the finish
266 @ 266  
Staci @ Weight Loss Mama 
Lori @ Finding Radiance 
Susan @ The Great Balancing Act
Shelley @ A Forty-Something's Weight Loss Journey  
Andrea @ Andreas Wellness Notes 
Rebecca @ Durch DICK und DUENN



Once again congratulations to the amazing ladies that have been given this award. You are each an inspiration.


Nov 29, 2009

SUNDAY FAVORITES -




Today I am joining in Sunday Favorites with Chari @ Happy to Design. Stop in there to see some older posts from the other bloggers too.




I posted this back in May and today I will actually reach my 20,000 visitor so I thought it was the perfect one to post again. You can see that I had a different banner back then.

Let me tell you right from the heart how much I enjoy our interactions. You people are so fun and interesting. You are kind and caring. You are faithful friends. 
Thank you each and every one of you for visiting me in my own little world. I love to hear from all of you....even you lurkers. Come on and join in. Don't be so shy. They are all really nice. I promise.





Nov 28, 2009

COFFEE WITH JOANNE


Good morning blog buddies. It's back to raining today but I am happy to go out this morning because I am meeting up with Joanne @ Joanne Moving Forward, half speed.  
Joanne doesn't live far from me at all but I didn't know her before blogging. We have met before and laughed ourselves silly over coffee at my local coffee shop, Zenberry. The motto here is "Treat yourself better" and I think I do every time I go there for my daily coffee.

I have mentioned before that the owner of the coffee shop actually knows Joanne's son quite well. Small world isn't it. 
So here is my question for you. Have you ever met up with a fellow blogger in person? Were they just like their blog persona or were you surprised. Were they awful...just kidding...they probably still stalk read your blog so you can't say anything.

SANTA COLLECTION #41

This Santa is the most unusual color. He is a purple/gray mix. Shiny too. He is 18" tall.



Nov 27, 2009

SANTA COLLECTION #40

I haven't posted any of my collection for a while. Sorry. Trouble is the bins full of my Santa collection were buried under my staircase behind all the other Christmas bins. I was too lazy busy to lug them all out of the way and try and store them somewhere in the mean time. 
This Santa came to me last year, a gift from one of my coffee buddies. He brought it over on Boxing Day to our open house. (Dec. 26 to those who have never heard of Boxing Day) Since he got packed away not long after that day I had forgotten all about him until I opened up my bins. 
He is much more beautiful than this photo shows. His coat is golden with beautiful swirls. He is about 14" tall. One of my top favorites for sure.  


You can see the previous ones I have posted on my sidebar slide show or click on Santa in my tag list at the bottom of the blog.

Nov 26, 2009

FOODIE FRIDAY - MONTREAL SMOKED MEAT

Foodie Friday is hosted by Michael Lee @ Designs by Gollum and is always so full of delicious food ideas and recipes. Stop in and visit as many as you can but first leave a comment here. Thanks. 

When I was out on Wednesday shopping for Christmas decorations with one of my coffee group buddies I took him (well actually he bought) to a tiny little hole in the wall restaurant called Estrella's. It is in a town called Langley. 

Their specialty is Montreal style smoked meat sandwiches. Now we may not be in Montreal but they know what they are doing. Oooh la la. Montreal smoked meat refers to only one thing...beef brisket but that isn't the only thing they cook there. You can get paninis, burgers, soups. One of the best things you can get with your meal is the crisp dill pickle. 

(picture from http://estrellasdeli.com/index.html)
The other thing you might want from Estrella's is to buy a whole brisket to take home and cook. Now this isn't cheap but the slab of meat will go a long way. I paid $85 (Canadian) for mine. 
I will cook it according to their instructions then slice it up with my giant meat slicer. From there a good portion of it will go into my freezer in vacuum sealed bags. On Boxing Day (December 26th, a statutory holiday in Canada) we hold an open house party from around 1:00 pm until whenever and I will serve it on little rounds of rye bread with a bit of spicy Dijon mustard. 


I placed the brisket on a rack in a large roasting pan. Pour in water up to but not touching the brisket. Cover the pan tightly and put it on the bottom rack of the oven and allow it to simmer and steam the meat for a couple of hours. 


The thickest part will cook the fastest because it is the more marbled part of the meat. You will want to test the the thinner, more lean part with a fork. It will be sooooo tender when it is done. If you over cook it then it will fall apart but still be amazing. That would be good in a smoked meat hash for breakfast. 

Are you drooling yet? Of course you are. You can almost smell it in your house can't you?  
 
Here is just a small portion of the shaved meat. I put some of it between two slices of light rye bread with some hot mustard. It is so good I just hope I have enough left over to serve on December 26th. 
So how does it look to you? Add some sauerkraut, Thousand Island or Russian dressing and a slice of Swiss cheese. Grill it a bit to melt the cheese and you have a delicious Reuben sandwich.


LET ME CLARIFY SOMETHING


I posted yesterday about the Adam Lambert kiss at the AMA awards. 
I think I need to clarify something here. 

1. I was not talking about whether I approved or disapproved of the kiss.
2. I was not talking about whether I approved or disapproved of the raunchy act. 
3. This is not about whether any of it was appropriate. 

4. My one and ONLY point is that if you are going to blur out a guy on guy kiss then don't show the girl on girl kiss right after it. 

This is not about what Adam did but about what the network did, blurring out the male kiss and showing the female kiss right after it. That is a double standard. They are saying by their actions that it is okay for Madonna and Brittany to be open mouth kissing but it is not okay for Adam and the other guy to be open mouth kissing. 

This is not about the gyrations, the kiss or the face to the crotch move. It is ONLY about the guys kiss being blurred out whilst showing the girls kiss right after it. 

I respect all of your opinions but  I wanted to make it clear that I am not referring to the actions of the singer but the actions of the network. 

Nov 25, 2009

TABLESCAPE THURSDAY


Happy Thanksgiving to all my American blog friends. And thanks to Susan @ Between Naps on the Porch for hosting us again.


Today I went to a Christmas store with my coffee buddy Frank. Unfortunately I wasn't allowed to take photos in the store. So sad because it is amazing. 

From there we stopped at a Bombay Co. where they were very happy to let me take some photos. I must say everyone in the store was so friendly. So of course I took pictures of their tables and now will post them here to share with you. Gets me off the hook doesn't it.  

Okay I have tried 6 times to get this picture to stay rotated. I give up.


There is my tablescape cheat. Have a great holiday. 

CAN YOU SAY DOUBLE STANDARD?

So the other night I missed the American Music Awards. Not that I minded but apparently I missed the big kiss. Did you see it? Did you scream and run? Did you call your congressman or woman? Did you yawn and say whatever? 

 (photo from: http://www.smh.com.au/news/entertainment/music/2009/11/25/1258824737670.html)
So American Idol star Adam Lambert kissed a male musician in the band right on the mouth. I know!!! Right on the lips! Now CBS blurred it out but less than a minute later they showed footage of when Madonna kissed Brittany on the lips a while back. 

(photo from: http://www.newprophecy.net/madonna.htm)
I think this is such a double standard fueled by homophobia. Girl on girl is hot but guy on guy is not allowed. DOUBLE STANDARD. 
What do you think? 
I really want to make it clear I am not talking about whether or not his performance was explicit or inappropriate. I am ONLY referring to the double standard that I believe took place. 

Nov 24, 2009

AM I JUST OLD SCHOOL?

Is it just me or would you feel uncomfortable going into a pub by yourself? 
My BB guy phoned me yesterday and asked if I could bring him his wallet that he forgot. He suggested I meet him at a pub not too far from our house and that we have lunch. 
I like lunch so of course I agreed. Off I went to the pub and pulled into the parking lot. He wasn't there yet so I made a decision to go in and get a table before they got too busy as it was very close to noon. 

But then I hesitated. Did I want to go in to the bar by myself? It is different if you know the person is already inside and you just have to find them but to go in and pick a table and sit down. I felt uncomfortable. 
I am a confident person most of the time. I can walk into a group of strangers and start up a conversation or chair a meeting but for some reason I felt uncomfortable. 

Well I did it anyway. Walked in and chose a table. Then the nasty draft came blowing in from the patio and I had to get up and find another table. My server came by and took my order for a drink. It was too early for a cocktail so I had a virgin Ceasar. The menus were on the tables already. When she came with my drink she asked me if I was ready to order and I said I was waiting for someone. 
I felt like a weirdo and I don't know why. I wished I had brought a book or newspaper to read because after perusing the menu for a minute I had nothing to do but sit there and stare up at the television showing sports. 

I really wasn't waiting all that long but it sure felt like it. I think it is because I am of the age where there were still bars when I was young that didn't even allow women in a bar alone. A time when some bars had separate sections for tables where women were present. 

When our eldest son was quite a bit younger we drove through an old part of a downtown area past an old beer parlor. They still had the signs hanging over the different doorways. There was "Mens Entrance" and "Ladies & Escorts" referring to the men that had to accompany the women into the bar. (note these signs were just an old part of the heritage building and were no longer the rules)


Our son commented that it was weird that they had a separate entrance for women and prostitutes. We had a good laugh over that one but I think it is still ingrained in my brain that women don't go into bars by themselves even in the middle of the day. 
What about you? Would you go into a bar by yourself and have lunch? Have you ever done it?

Nov 23, 2009

MOSAIC MONDAY - SURPRISE PARTY

Mary @ Little Red House  is hosting Mosaic Monday. After leaving here stop in to her site and see all the others. Please leave a comment so I know you were here.


I am using the mosaic I made yesterday from pictures we took Saturday night at a surprise party for a dear friend of ours. I posted about that party in the post previous to this one. We sure had a good time. Have a look. 

Nov 22, 2009

SURPRISE-HAPPY BIRTHDAY MY DEAR FRIEND


We threw a surprise party for our dear friend April on Saturday night. I have struggled for a month or so lying and deceiving. Concocting a story to have her at our house on the evening of the party. My BB guy even got a little concerned about how well I lied. It was like being a secret agent. I'll be XX7.


We told her we were taking her and her guy to a winery for a tasting and dinner in their dining room. I emailed her the menu. We chatted about the details. I suggested they come by for some champagne first then we would go to the winery together. 

Her friends came over about an hour before time with wonderful appetizers. There were about 22 of us. Phyllo triangles with caramelized onions and apple, mushrooms stuffed with crab, cucumber discs with cream cheese and tomato, pot stickers with a sweet and sour sauce, a layered dip with 7 layers of Tex-Mex flavors, a fig spread with crackers, various cheeses and a huge pot of chili.There was a beautiful fruit plate and 3 different cakes. I know I am missing something here but I can't remember what it was.


 (Brie, Oka from Quebec, Edam, Aged Cheddar, Garlic Havarti, Blue Cheese, Creamy goat cheese)

Lots of wine and spirits were enjoyed. Champagne, red, white, beer, margaritas, Caesars and as sometimes happens tequila finds its way into the party. We have a lovely coffee flavored tequila we picked up in Mexico. Delicious. Our wine rack was still almost full at the end of the night because everyone brought such nice wines to share.



One of the guests brought two beautiful floral bouquets that she made herself. The music was mostly oldies due to the advanced age of the birthday girl, (sorry girlfriend) and as soon as Bob Seager poured out of the speakers the dancers were up on the floor. As the evening wore on the dancing got more creative but I would be in big trouble if I posted the video of one of my friends. Let's just say it equals or surpassed the episode of Seinfeld where Elaine dances at her Christmas party. He will never live this one down. Good thing he already lives out of town or he would have had to move away. (not the man in this photo who danced just fine.)


We had 4 people from out of town that spent Friday and Saturday night with us. We had a big breakfast this morning of Canadian back bacon, eggs, toast, hashbrowns and a fruit salad of banana, pink grapefruit and grapes. Lots of coffee and some Advil for those who needed it. Me? I felt just fine.



April assured us she was so surprised. The guests were down the hall in a guest room while we poured our champagne and I proposed a toast. Then they came down the hall to join in. The look of shock on her face was so awesome. She received some lovely gifts and now we have to pick a date to actually go out for dinner. 


I missed being on all the blogs out there but will make up for lost time I hope. Now I have to go because some cake is calling my name and I have to run the dishwasher for the fourth time.


Nov 19, 2009

I HAVE A SECRET



I have a secret. I can't tell you about it but I am very busy this week. I can't say what it is because someone may read my blog and then it wouldn't be a secret any more. I will be able to share it with you guys next week. Don't get too excited. It isn't spectacular, well not for you at least but I know someone who will be very excited here. 
If I have not been visiting you this is why. I haven't been posting either. Gotta go. Lots to do. Places to go, people to see. 
Miss you. Shhhhhhhh.  
Thought I would leave you with some lovely pictures. Make sure you click on fullscreen to see the photos better.


Presentation 1

Nov 17, 2009

SHAKE, RATTLE AND ROLL

So we were sitting in Zenberry Coffee Shop as usual this morning when I suddenly noticed all of the pendant lights above us were swinging back and forth. We looked around and saw that all the perimeter lights were swinging too. 

We were right next to the train tracks but we all agreed no train had gone by. It went on for quite some time. There was no feeling of movement anywhere else. Just the ominous swinging lights.  Apparently I had "eyes as big as pool balls" while sitting in my usual seat, furthest back in the corner of the shop. There are 3 stories of condominiums above us. Yikes. 
Apparently it was a 6.6 magnitude earthquake a ways north of us and down our coastline. No damages or injuries anywhere as far as I know. Either it was the earthquake or we really need to lay off the caffeine.


A strong 6.6 magnitude earthquake occurred early Tuesday Nov. 17, 2009 in the Queen Charlotte Islands region (as indicated in map) off of B.C.'s central west coast, according to Earthquakes Canada.
Photo Credit: Screen grab, Google Maps

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