Monday, 27 May 2013

A Different Point Of View

An angry and raging back has me on an unplanned day of rest at home.  I am supposed to be at work.  I WANT to be at work.  I am NOT at work....harumph.  I don't like not being there, I don't like calling in.  I always feel like "it's not that bad, get over it, get to work...." 

But, when it is a challenge to walk upright, one has to swallow one's desires.

So here I am, home alone.

Dean and Mr. B. are away at an overnight Junior Band Camp at Christopher Lake.

My morning was QUIET.  The only person I spoke to was my chiropractor, booking an appointment. 

That quiet is rare.  Dean works from home, so mornings home alone never happen.  There is always someone else in the room and while it's not always full of chatter, their presence fills in the gaps, in conversation or in silence.  This morning's silence was different. 

It was absolutely silent.

Once I got over my initial frustration with being at home, my mind started zooming through things on my "to-do" list.

Gardening - um,  nope, can't do it. 

Laundry - lifting and stairs?  Can't do that either.

Grocery shopping - hmm, lifting, pushing uncooperative over sized grocery carts.  No.

Cleaning the tub (that I found to be dirtier than I thought when trying to stave off a sore back 2 days ago) - yeah, right....bending, leaning, reaching.  Nope.

Cross stitch - okay, hunching over a piece of cloth all day?  Not good either.

Well, well.

What is one to do, then, at home, all alone, incapable of chores and jobs and duties.


Foreign concept.  A different point of view.


Thanks, I think I will.

About that garden - it sure makes a nice spot to store the trailer.  Now THERE's a different point of view.  My mind wickedly entertains the notion of not gardening this year.  Wouldn't that lighten the summer up a whole bunch!  But, I'd have to tell my mother.  It would shock her into next Tuesday.  And I'd still have to hoe the silly spot.  Seems hoeing around a few potato plants might be more fun than hoeing an empty space.

Mr. A. stood at the end of my bed, initiating a chat the other day.  Seems that he feels we don't have enough family-togetherness time lately.  I am ALL EARS at this revelation.  I'm a little confused at this comment coming from a teenager who often acts like the last thing he wants to do is to be in the presence of his mama.  But, I get what he's saying.  (However, when he pointed the source of disappointment back to "it's not been the same since Ben was born...." I did have a little chuckle.)  This parenting a teenager thing is challenging.  And he's challenged me to pay attention to him, even when he doesn't appear to outwardly welcome it all the time.  Inwardly, he's begging for it.  And I'll not make this kid beg for something so easy to give.  I'm determined to be more present and available.

Mr. B. turns 12 this Sunday.  Circumstances have prevented him from having a party with his friends for the last 2 years.  Well, to be a little more clear on that statement - in 2011 - he just happened to have about 65,000 people around him celebrating that birthday when we attended the U2 concert in Edmonton.  I thought that was a rather sufficient (and let's say expensive as well) celebration, considering he dressed up as Bono for Halloween one year and loves their music.  2012 - Ignite - a youth retreat at camp with the whole youth group and many more friends from afar - that wasn't such a bad way to celebrate either.  But this year, turning 12, I HAD to make sure that he had a proper party.  The kind where you invite some of your favorite friends to hang out with you on your own turf and make a big deal about Ben and all of his special quirks that make him so uniquely "Ben".

We started making plans for his party.  With great relief, these parties get less fussy as they get older.  Food, friends, hang out time....that's about it.  He wanted it to be a mixed party - some of his best friends are girls.  I'm good with that so we invited and people responded and we planned and purchased and plotted.

Then he told me about his plan for the cake.

Ben - "Angel Food."

Me - "Of course."

Ben - "And can you decorate it to be a princess cake?"


Me -  "What?"

Ben - "Yeah, I think that would be funny!"

Me - "Are you SURE?"

Ben -"YES!"

So, on the occasion of my son's 12th birthday, I baked an angel food cake, iced it with pink icing, placed a tiara on top, silver beaded garland around the side, pink butterflies and candles around the tiara, and put a "have a princess filled birthday" banner along the side.  We kept the final results hidden from Ben until the party.  I prefaced the cake reveal with "Ben asked for this" and then, gulping all the way, lit the candles and carried the princess cake to the table, much to the delight of his friends - who shrieked, howled and giggled for the next 5 minutes.  And Ben lapped it up.  The tiara flew off the cake and onto his head and stayed there for the next hour.

And as the evening progressed, I sat there and reflected on this boy named Ben who is not afraid to step out and be bold and daring and unique and silly.... with no apology or fear. 

Photo courtesy Dean Dynna

This boy who knew that a princess cake could be over-the-top fun.  The boy, from whom one can expect the unexpected, because he pays attention and sees the world from his own point of view.

Photo courtesy Dean Dynna

Kinda makes me wanna step out sometimes, too, into the unexpected, the unusual, the unique.  Predictable can be so safe and dull.

Challenged yet?  I am.

Thursday, 2 May 2013

That's Enough of That!

I'm looking at the header picture on this wee blog, and am quite excited that, in a week or two or three, there will be buds on those bushes and new scenery to capture on the ol' camera.  In regards to our long winter, "that's enough of that!"

I've been kind of emotional and contemplative around here lately, and, while I've needed to be, "that's enough of that", too!  For now, anyway.  (insert wobbly grin here)

And although I originally created this blog to be a bit of a recipe sharing forum, I've not shared a recipe with you for quite a while and, while I'm sure you're not sobbing into your hankies over that particular fact, I found a recipe that I need to record somewhere because otherwise I forget and my family misses out on good things and "that's enough of that!"

AND, since some of our meals lately have consisted of the following HIGHLY NUTRITIOUS AND CREATIVE food items, AHEM, and Mr. A. has been STARVING and cereal won't fill him up anymore, I thought to myself "THAT'S ENOUGH OF THAT!" and I cooked something new today.

He said he liked it and told me it was absolutely awesome  (you have to hear him say 'awesome' - it is very passionate - 'AWWWW-sum') and he said he loved it and then he said something about me being the best mom EVER and the BEST COOK in the WORLD and something about there being no one equal to my talents and abilities and that my compassion surpassed that of Mother Teresa and that I should win the Pulitzer Prize for my creative cooking.

Yeah.  Something like that.... 

.....I think.....

I might have embellished a word or two but you get the idea.

He liked it.

(Or at least he said he did.  He's been kinda funny about that kind o' compliment lately.  "I just LOVE, no, don't make it again, I don't really like it all that much.")


It's hard cooking sometimes.

Regardless, I liked this recipe today that I made for lunch and it's not rocket science but I can see it being a nice thing to throw in the lunch bag for a quick and easy lunch on the go.  I'm thinking that the "quick and easy" statement might not ring true depending on your idea of "quick and easy".  They are a bit of work, I won't kid ya, but they are homemade and healthy.  This recipe taken directly from Mennonite Girls Can Cook.

TUNA TURNOVERS (not to be confused with Tina Turner)


  • 3 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 cup  butter or margarine
  • 1 egg
  • milk to fill 1 cup with egg in it 
  • 2 - 7 ounce tuna in water, drained well
  •  2 cups shredded old / aged cheddar cheese
  • 2 teaspoons butter
  • 1/4 cup onion, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup green pepper, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup mushrooms, finely chopped
  • enough mayonnaise to moisten tuna mixture

Saute onion, green pepper, mushroom in butter until the onion is soft and transparent.  Add it to the tuna and cheese.  Add enough mayonnaise to the tuna to moisten.
  1. Combine all the dry ingredients in a bowl.
  2. Add the cold butter or margarine and cut butter into the flour to get course crumbs.
  3. Add the egg into a one cup measure, fill the remaining cup with milk.
  4. Stir the wet ingredients to form into a dough.
  5. Roll out the dough on a well floured surface and cut into 5 inch rounds, or what ever size you would like your turnovers to be.
  6. Add a tablespoon of filling to the center. 
  7. Fold over dough and seal. 
  8. Bake at 400 for 15-20 minutes until golden brown.
These will be in my lunch bag on the weekend.  The dough was quite forgiving and seems to be halfway between a pie dough and a biscuit dough.  I found it easy to roll out and handle.  I cut my circles with the lid of a 900 ml margarine tub as my template and got 11 turnovers out of the recipe. Hope you are inspired to try it OR something new to you!  Happy cooking!