The baking is done and so am I


A long time ago, perhaps only last year, I could take on more than humanly possible. I think it was genetic or stupid…without a substantial research grant, I will not be able to quantify the data. Let’s call it genetic, shall we?

When I was little, around 10ish, I was finally old enough to be a real help in the kitchen. One of my mom’s hobbies was cooking. When I say cook, I am not talking your run of the mill meat loaf or casserole. My mom was a Julia Childs fan in a BIG WAY. She watched Julia on cooking shows and Graham Kerr the Galloping Gourmet when ever she was home and could catch it on. These were the days before VCRs and my mom worked full time.

I would come home from school, call my mom and she would give me instructions on how to start dinner. She was very good at giving step by step instructions so I could visualize them in my head. Eventually, all of us kids learned to cook via the phone method and we would take turns preparing meals, all of us but dad. He was the official taste tester. It was his job to tell us “it was the best thing he every tasted” whether it was or not. I honestly believe that is why we all are better cooks than we use to be. He gave us the confidence to try new things. Even if it tasted like dog food, my dad would eat it and say it was the best ever!

Every year around the Grey Cup (Canada’s Superbowl…not really but it whatever) Mom would have finalized her Christmas Baking list and purchased all the supplies she needed. We would then get to work. By dinner time, the house would be filled with hundreds of cookies, squares, tarts and candy. The idea was, if you are making a mess in the kitchen, go big or go home. It was fun. Sometimes my grandma and aunt would come over and it would be a girls day baking. Those were fun times! I had kept up that tradition until this year.

Today I had the intention of baking several different batches of cookies and several buckets full of various flavoured candy popcorn. The result?

I made it as far as two batches of cookies and think “Who the hell is going to clean up this mess?” I am knackered.

Lemon Crinkles and Chocolate chip cookies made the cut. Ginger Sparklers and Short Bread may or may not get done this year. I am pretty sure tarts are out of the question. I did manage to whiz up the candy canes in the food processor for peppermint dust on the chocolate covered popcorn. But that is the extent of my ambition. Oh, and I made tea.

Now I need a nap.


Today was going to be a day spent in the University Library writing my paper due on Tuesday. But the library has a dress code. No it isn’t uniforms and ties, nor is it heels and skirts, but they do expect good hygiene and day clothes.

I have hag hair, jammies and Newfie socks…I am not going anywhere looking like this. I save this special look for my family…they don’t care how I look as long as they get food for dinner. I may treat myself to a comfortable chair and move to my son’s office chair, but other than that, if you need me, I will be firmly ensconced in front of my dying computer screen.

There is a loose connection somewhere in my screen and the screen will flicker with vibrations within the room. Good thing I do not live on a fault line or I would never see what I write and it would be a crap shoot for marks from my Prof. I have a certain level of expectation for marks and a failing screen will not help. I hope a few band-aid solutions (tilting the screen into the perfect position 500 times a day) will help. The pay off are these:


Worth it? You bet! They are comfy, cozy and slouchy. Brings back to my summer camp days of slouchy socks and Birkenstocks! Beautiful? No…but not caring. I have had an emotional week. I experienced every emotion, including shock. I heard my mom say the F word with ‘en on the end for added emphasis. My son thought it was awesome, in fact his words were “What an Epic Day! First we had early dismissal, then we win a curling match, then Grandma swears! EPIC!”

I grew up in a Print Shop. My mom and grandfather worked their fingers to the bone and I learned language that would make a sailor blush. Hearing these words from my mom was shocking, but I already knew them. For the record, my mom NEVER SWEARS. Not since that fateful New Years when she made that resolution. Sugar was the word of choice. We would tease her and offer up alternatives like, Shatner! or Snickerdoodle! or Fudgcicles! We would randomly mock her with these alternatives until the situation was diffused. However, even I knew not to tease and mock her after last Thursday night.

My parents (an elderly senior couple – wow I think I just mocked her – I should clarify here. My mom tells the world that she is 75 so they can tell her how great she looks. I will not disclose her age but she is WAY younger than 75 but old enough to be a “senior” and does look fabulous for her age of 75 which is 10 years younger than her mom) took their car to to Mr. Lube to have their Oil Changed. Clearly there was some sort of miscommunication because the oil was not changed, just removed.

My parents then drove home, or should I say attempted to drive home. Their route follows a long and dark country road, before meeting up with the freeway to take them to their home in the city. They live close to a suburb and often will use it’s services instead of competing with hoards of people within the city.

I received a call from my dad asking me to rescue my mom who was stranded on a dark stretch of highway in the country. I grabbed my son and off we went. For the record, my dad was being the hero – mom doesn’t need rescuing. She is tough as nails and I pity Mr. Lube. They have never felt a wrath like hers. My parents will play good cop/bad cop. Dad swoops in and is all kind and nice, saving the db doofus from a fate worse than my mother’s wrath. My mom said THE WORD. It starts with an F has an uck in it and ended with en. Apparently that spells EPIC! My son was quite proud of the list of events my mom was going to do to Mr. Lube.

On the way home he said to me, wow…epic…no wonder you were afraid of her when you were a kid.

For the record, nothing scares me.

except birds… maybe mice… but that is the official stance of fear from the Edmonton Tourist.

This is part of the reason I need my Newfie Socks this week…. It is also the long weekend here in Alberta. That’s right JUST ALBERTA! Take THAT Ontario! This is the only good thing that former Premier Getty ever did. A long weekend in the middle of February. That and win a Grey Cup in 1956. Staying at home and being comfy is what I need – in spite of having to work tomorrow…it’s just face painting, so that will be funish. And I need some comfort because my ear is bruised.

What? You didn’t hear? How is that possible? I received 40 comments, emails and private messages regarding this matter. I pierced my ears this week and not in the conventional way of going to a piercing artist and having them jab a needle into my ear…no I am too cheap for that. I had my ears re-pierced several weeks ago in a tattoo shop. It was simple. In 1982, I had my ears double pierced. What i didn’t know was I was allergic to gold. My ears were always infected so I let them grow over. The scar was still visible and in my infinite wisdom I thought I could jab surgical steel studs through the scars and repierce them.

Chicken Hawk asked me if I used potatoes…um Chicken Hawk – I don’t think potatoes are sharp enough. I used the original studs from weeks before and bought new ones for my perfectly healed first holes. In my infinite wisdom, I purchased two packs of eyebrow surgical steel ball closure rings. I want something semi-perminent so I don’t need to worry about swimming and losing jewelry.

These ball closure rings are a pain in the Shatner to put in. I had the entire entourage helping me. When it was all said and done, we had used needle nose pliers with me laying on the bed with a ton of people twisting the crap out of my sore ear (I had already pierce the second hole – painful? Very – but I gave birth to 2 kids prior and had my gallbladder removed and walked for 7km on a broken foot  so it wasn’t that bad…) I saved myself $80 bucks and earned a TON of compliments from 4 year old girls who told me I look pretty. One even patted my tummy and said my tummy is smaller! I love my girls!! They are always ready with a complement!

Suffice it to say – I will not be removing my earings for quite sometime. If I do it will be for a very good reason…like these:

Earrings in platinum with round brilliant diamonds, for pierced ears. Size mini. Carat total weight 2.39. $12 000 CND.


Meticulously matched for size, color, clarity and presence. Earrings of round brilliant diamonds in platinum, for pierced ears. Round brilliant diamonds, carat total weight .22.  $1250 CND.


Thus the reason for Newfie Socks…. That an my dear friend Sue lost her battle with breast cancer. I am blessed to be the recipient of one of her beautiful quilts. Her kind soul touched many and will be always remembered.


Flashmob Tourist Style

I was sitting at lunch yesterday with Trophi Girl and my new sidekick Wally Banana. Trophi Girl’s Blackberry buzzed, she checked her email and stared laugh. “Edmonton Tourist you HAVE to do this and blog about it!!!” she exclaimed.

What are you talking about? Apparently there is a Flashmob being organized for the Grey Cup festival in two weeks. Do you know what a Flashmob is? The Black Eyed Peas did one on Oprah. Take a peak:

Looks like fun doesn’t it? I checked out the website and looked at the rehearsal times. It really looks like a great time. I just don’t have the time to fit it into my schedule. I was thinking, that shouldn’t stop me from “Flashmobbing” when ever I feel like it! So I decided to incoororate it into my daily routine.

At work this morning, I was in the photocopy room, a colleague walked by and was humming a tune. I joined in with lyrics. Shortly thereafter, we were Flashmobbing! One more person joined in and it was a full on party! Then as quickly as it started, it ended. We left to go complete some work that required our attention, but we had smiles on our faces.

Fast-forward to lunch. I have a million and one songs ready for any occasion. I was inspired to sing “I like banana’s because they have no bones” because of my yogurt. Suddenly my knees and toes starting joining in. My sidekick Wally Banana’s shoulders started Flashmobbing too!

I have Flashmobbed with my offspring at grocery stores and parking lots. It is fun to do. I do get odd looks from people, but I don’t care. It’s part of what causes me to smile. One day I really want to be a part of an organized Flashmob. It might be fun to do for a year end wind up at work. One day I will do it. Hopefully soon, like next summer.

Meanwhile, I will watch my favorite Flashmob scenes and practice.

*edit November 24

The Flashmob happened Downtown tonight for the Grey Cup opening ceremonies.

Here is what it looked like from City Hall tonight. No I wasn’t there but it looked like FUN!