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Showing posts from November, 2008

Here's Thursday's supper... and my boring body battles

Thursday: Squash soup (based on Monday's, but much, much better - less stringy and richer with the addition of a jar of babyfood squash!) Fish (breaded and baked, some whitish kind) Corn puff - basically an eggish puff with lots of corn in it... Ace Bakery Bread I waited 'till after aerobics and I was starving before digging in. Stuck with one piece of bread and butter and really felt like I'd earned it! Bleary Boddy Battles (ok, I know it's a typo, but I like the way it looks somehow) I feel like I am fighting my body one slow battle at a time... belly button first and then I can worry about other things. Teeth, maybe, since I have a couple of wisdom teeth that need to come out. Or - let's be really gross here - stress incontinence (which has gotten a bit better anyway). Right now, when I feel a sneeze coming, I stand very, very still and cross my legs tight. Because I know one of several things could happen. ~ I could bite my tongue - and I mean chomp.

Cranky Complaints-Lady Visits the R.O.M. - and other weekend expotitions!

Email feedback sent to the Royal Ontario Museum (complaints department link  here ) today.  Boy, do I continue to be Not Impressed at the quality of this museum (especially for what you pay - $22! - though we got in on a free pass)... "We visited the museum today and I wanted to offer feedback to indicate how disappointed I continue to be by the new dinosaur exhibit area.  This was our second visit since the dinosaurs "returned" to the ROM.   Besides the annoying fact of life that it's housed in a "pointy" part of the crystal (which I admit I don't like), causing a couple of dead-ends and areas where exhibit flow is compromised due to the awkward architecture, the exhibits themselves now seem dull & uninspiring to the most crucial visitors - kids.    In the old setting, the dinosaur skeletons were displayed against realistic "diorama" backdrops, as they are in other museums (like the Tyrrell mu

Not going to push... sigh...

Going to the museum today and Elisheva won't be coming along.  I was going back and forth on it, but I figure it's not worth the struggle, and she'll just complain the entire time we're there...   Sigh.   I love going places with them and it makes me feel like a good parent (bonus!).   But I am already forcing her to go to one thing (UJA phone-a-thon) this afternoon, so I cannot push my luck, I suppose. Abigail's joining us there - we're going to see the Diamonds exhibit.  Fun, fun, fun!   I feel like a bad Jew for knowing nothing about Mumbai.  :-(

My Robeez OBSESSION...

It looks like a million, but this is actually only 14 pairs. And I'm selling the four girlie pairs at the top middle, or trying to, because we really don't need them anymore... There is also one non-Robeez pair (Tendertoes, which I actually almost like more, as the leather is soft and the design - elephants - is very cute!) and one lone shoe (the bow-tied teddy bear peeking out of the bottom-middle package) for which I'm hoping we will someday find the mate. I guess we'll be retiring that entire bottom-middle package soon, since those are the 6-12 month size, and I feel we're already pushing it to squish his feet into them. Sigh...

LAST night's supper! And the belly button story...

I have been making wonderful suppers, but keep forgetting to take pictures and / or to post here, so here, to make up for it, is last night's wonderful supper...OK, it doesn't look so wonderful. First, in the pan and then, on the plate. Tuesday Supper: Shepherd's Pie - turkey / apple / squash (I toss in a jar of babyfood squash)... I also added a tin of white kidney beans to "stretch" the meat and make it more fibrous and filling. The topping is organic red potatoes, mashed with the skins and with roasted garlic because with the skins is my new favourite way to do it. And, of course, now that I'm so hyper-aware of potato issues, the only way I will eat the skin is if it's organic. Though thinking about the range of potato products that we buy ready-made (like instant mash and the low-fat "puffed" chips I'm so fond of these days!) and with Chanukah coming up, well, we'll see... One day at a time for that particular resolution. I c

Sleeping Beauties

Here's something I haven't done in a while... photographed any of my children in their sleep. Look how peaceful; look how innocent! I am sitting here eating a grapefruit that Elisheva cut for me... ah, luxury. Makes up a bit for the fact that I called my mother to invite her for Shabbos and she made me cry by demanding that I pay the water bill and pay Daddy and get the budget under control... she says to pay the bills first , then the schools. Not so easy when the schools have postdated cheques and the bank won't even let me hide the money in Ted's account. That's right - we noticed a mysterious $210 withdrawal from his account yesterday, with a $4.50 service charge... called up Scotiabank all indignant about where they were taking our money... and it turns out - I noticed while he was on the phone probing the customer service rep - that it was automatically taken from his account to cover one of the school cheques going through mine. Drat, drat, drat. All

The SIGG saga - SIGG-tisfaction! at last!

Here's what arrived from SIGG USA today... yay! Not one, but THREE lids. SIGG Canada also had a turnaround - I guess pangs of conscience - and emailed asking for my address so they can send me a new cap. But we don't need more... we only have the one SIGG bottle in the house, and if we buy more, they'll come with caps! :-) (but we do have two Klean Kanteens now with the one-piece PP#5 loop cap lids... not the simplest to operate, but super-easy to keep clean and no suspicion of gunk building up inside like with the stainless cap I originally bought) <3 J

As of today, we owe the boy... [and my father...]

...$362. I transferred $200 in last night even though we can't afford it. And paid back Elisheva the $90 that was supposed to be in her account. I figure, only scum of the earth borrow from their children to buy groceries. Well, okay, and tuition. And school supplies. If we can't afford those things, well, it's not the children's fault, and I really want to be able to sit down and show them their balances. And have them plan and dream about doing whatever with the money. So now, where will the rent come from? Who knows? See, what's scummier, owing tons of money to your kids' savings accounts, or owing tons of money to your dying father for the house, car, insurance? This situation disgusts me completely. I am thoroughly disgusted with us, with myself. How could we be SO in debt to him in the first place? And then, now that we've gotten ourselves in so deep, and everything else that's going on... well, how can I look him in the eye? The answer

And, YES...

... that IS a vintage original 1970-whatever choking-hazard-type Fisher-Price Little People mentshie on her thumb! SUPPER: Well, I have a salmon fillet defrosting in the fridge. And I was thinking of making this creamy broccoli and kind of tucking the salmon in the pan underneath the broccoli. Would that be too weird, do you think? Last night's supper was actually wonderful: Monday: Spaghetti with pan-fried veggies sauce (red peppers, mushrooms, big purple onion) Garlic bread Creamy Cauliflower soup So I suppose I ought to go more "lite" for the rest of the week... not serve salmon drenched in creamy ricotta sauce. Well, you can be sure (someday) I'll keep you posted! <3 J

THE SHIRT: Hora with the Torah!

Originally a gift from our university friend Dr. Mike, THE SHIRT has now been granted official "uppercase" status because over the last 14 years, it's proven itself completely indestructible. It has been shlepped from Toronto to Calgary and vice versa - more than once - worn, washed, dried, etc., 8,000 times, and now, after however-many years in storage, it's BAaaaack. Completely unfaded, unpilled, unstretched. A little big for Naomi Rivka at the moment, but she'll grow. Definitely her favourite thing to sleep in... and the perfect nightware for a little girl who is big into the Torah. Thank you, Dr. Mike!

Foodie Resolution #1 & #2: Garlic & Potatoes

Although, I suppose, eating KOSHER food is a bit of a resolution in itself, that's a whole nother story... so let's call that Resolution #0. And here are resolutions #1 and #2: GARLIC: Only North American garlic. No Chinese garlic. It grows so readily here, from what I can tell, preserves well, so it's available locally pretty much year-round. I have no idea what they're doing to it in China. Maybe nothing, but that's not the point. It is a false economy to say it is cheaper and more efficient to grow garlic for me in China, then ship it all the way around the world. So... garlic, as local as possible. "Local" being this huge continent. Ontario if possible, farmer's market fresh hardneck if possible. The "neck" of garlic, by the way, is the core bit in the middle that you might not even have noticed if you've been buying non-Ontario, non-organic garlic. Most commercial garlic is softneck, and I'm not sure what the flavou

Ahh, the strollers I have owned...

Here's the MacLaren when I first found it, back in April. and here it is now! I think the wheels look WAY more worn-down now, in the second picture. Also, the canopy is a little more bent & broken-looking than back then. But I've offered it to Freecycle anyway; I hope somebody claims it, maybe as a secondary or car stroller ... I was certainly thrilled to find it and have definitely gotten my money's worth out of it the last seven months. Here's Gavriel Zev looking pretty proud of himself in it, back when it was "new". :-) (new to us) What was it Dr Larch used to say in Cider House Rules...? "The MacLaren has found a family. Good night, MacLaren." Well, not yet, but I hope before the weekend, so Ted doesn't kill me that there's another stroller sitting around here. Supper last night was awesome! Ted had the idea of roast-beef sandwiches, so I bought them from Toronto Kosher. Then, we had French Fries, pea soup, fresh from

Latest curbside find: The Pliko!

OK, I think I am a magnet. I think they FIND me. But this one really is the carriage to end all carriages: lovely late-model Peg Perego pliko in a delightful, CLEAN, navy-check fabric. Well, okay, it was soaking wet and disgusting when I found it after two days of rain and snow... but a quick wash of the fabric was enough to take care of that. And, yes, it's missing the front bar. Oh, well. (though I wonder if Peg Perego could supply a replacement at a reasonable cost, because it's nice for the baby to be able to lean forward) I really, really wonder what's on people's minds when they abandon a carriage like this. OK, I guess technically it's a stroller. One reason this find is such a relief is that the MacLaren is on its last legs. Wheels, actually; the two rear wheels are almost completely worn down. Which is fine, given that I found it by the curb a number of months ago - no idea when! - and that it replaced the older-model Pliko (sherpa) we were given

And the NOT HELPFUL sigg reply from Northern Spirit in Canada, plus my reply

Oh, and I've included my reply to her, because it was fun to write due to her message being so not helpful and annoying!   ----- Original Message ----- From: [me] To: [her] Sent: Wednesday, November 12, 2008 10:26 AM Subject: Re: your sigg bottle Hi.  The "child" in question is a very cautious 12-year-old girl, and I was with her when it basically fell off.  But thank you anyway.  Sigg has offered a replacement cap, so I guess their feeling is that they'd rather have a happy repeat customer than tell me my daughter is a brute or an idiot who can't open a water bottle.   Again, thank you anyway... for not very much help, beyond offering to sell me a new lid.   [me] Toronto ----- Original Message ----- From: [customer service drone] To: [me] Sent: Wednesday, November 12, 2008 10:19 AM Subject: your sigg bottle Good morning Jen! [gaaaack... I  ne

Yay! Reply from SIGG! Bottle tops (plural) on their way!

----- Original Message ----- From: Sigg corporate person in Switzerland/Connecticut To: [me] Sent: Wednesday, November 12, 2008 9:11 AM Subject: FW: WG: Broken Sigg Bottle Top - repeated emails sent and no reply :-( Hi Jennifer, I do apologize for someone NOT getting back to you. I have your address and am sending you a few tops, at our cost, to your address below:   [snail addy blanked out]   These are going out in the mail today.   If you should have any other questions, please feel free to 'e' mail me.   Thanks ! [his/her name]   Keep Rockin' with SIGG !   Director of Operations/Manager of Customer Service SIGG Switzerland 1177 High Ridge Rd Stamford , CT 06905 ph)  203-321-1218 fax) 203-321-1286 SIGG: Simply ECO-Logica

At the fair - Giant Vegetables!

For once, one of my fantasy plans came true! Yesterday - after all the aliyah / shul nonsense (see below) - was Royal Winter Fair day! My plan was to go with Ted & the littles first thing in the morning and then, when they got crabby, send him home with the littles and stay with Elisheva to do the grown-up bits (ie see giant veggies & buy stuff). I bought the passes from a homeschooling connection for only $4, instead of the $18 full price (they were school chaperone passes). Oh - plus we had to pay $12 (coins only because it was a meter) for parking. Anyway, it worked! The little kids basically came for the superdog show in the morning, plus some petting-farm fun, and then they left. Oh, Judy, our neighbour / friend tagged along as well. Ted drove her home around 2-ish, when he left with the kids. Then, Elisheva and I exhausted ourselvesfinding the giant vegetables, but find them we did (photo evidencehere of her with Giant Sunflowers and Giant Kohlrabi)! I did spend

Before the Fair

Here's a sweet shot of Gavriel Zev in shul yesterday morning. Why were we in shul at 7 a.m. on a random Monday morning in November??? YM lained the first bit of parshas Vayeira because my father wanted to "treat" his brother to an aliyah... maybe his first since his bar mitzvah. My mother took Ted at ten to six to spring my father from the hospital for a few hours. Why Ted? Because she needed somebody to sit in the car at St Mike's and make sure she didn't get a ticket. He took it very gracefully even though it meant he only got about 5 hours' sleep. Oh, and then I went down to wake up YM and told him we were leaving for shul in 20 minutes and that I'd drive him. He promptly went back to sleep - even though I'd switched his room light on - and Ted arrived five minutes later to tell him Bubby and Zeidy (my parents) were taking him straight to shul - ten minutes ahead of schedule. It's convoluted, and luckily, he didn't yell and scream.

Mango optimism and new snowsuits!

No, the two topics don't really go together, but there you have it. Here are some shots of a rotton old mango seed that I'm trying to sprout. The last one sprouted just fine but then got dug up and carted off by wildlife outside. So I'm keeping this one indoors; okay, also because the weather has gotten cold. Isn't this seed just about the ugliest thing you can imagine? It lives inside the "husk" at the core of a mango... the bit you chew on, scrape the fruit off, etc., isn't the seed but contains the seed. You have to pry it open like an oyster. This seed got a little mungled up - you can see at the bottom it's a little black and chewed-looking - from my knife-prying attempts... if it hasn't sprouted in a couple of weeks, I will have to start over with a new mango. But like the title says, I'm optimistic. :-) I'm sprouting it in a sealed container like I did last time because we are all trying to overcome our baggie addiction

Fw: Broken Sigg Bottle Top - repeated emails sent and no reply :-(

Here are two emails I sent back in April hoping to receive a replacement for the bottle cap that my daughter bought which broke right away on its second use.  I am dismayed by the lack of response we have received.  This is just a child who doesn't have a lot of money to burn - she chose a Sigg bottle as a gift and was almost immediately disappointed.    Six months have gone by, and the bottle is still sitting gathering dust on a shelf.  What a waste, for a company that's made its reputation on its "green" products.   I would appreciate a reply - a replacement bottle top would be even better.   Jennifer   ----- Original Message ----- To: Sent: Wednesday, April 16, 2008 11:02 PM Subject: Fw: Broken Bottle Top I am forwarding this (see email, below) to you in the hope that you can help us, as I haven't heard back from the Sigg contact within Canada.   Thanks in advance!     ----- Original

OK, I know it's a bad cliché...

... but what the HECK do they do with all that time in the bathroom??? She's been in there for over 15 minutes, and sounds very close to the door when I knock. Is it just mirror-gazing??? Will we ever know?   <3 J

Last Thursday's supper

That supper picture was from last Thursday's supper, by the way... casarecce in creamy tomato sauce, sweet potatoes and a yummy multi-veggie barley soup. Everything turned out perfectly, thus ending some BAaaaad suppertime karma. Last night, I made a soft-meat stew - it was originally going to be for my father, who can only eat soft food - in the new pressure cooker. Everything turned out fantastically, and I even made two loaves of olive-oil pepper bread to dip in, but unfortunately, neither of the parents were there, which turned out to be a good thing because even with two loaves of bread, two pounds of meat, four potatoes, two carrots, two parsnips, etc., there was BARELY enough for us plus Abigail. When did we become such big eaters? Oh, yeah, when YM hit his teenage years. Ran into Baila, an old friend from U of T, when I was at Sobey's yesterday shopping for the supper fixins. She had her first four months after YM was born... and went on to have 6 (six!) altogeth

Slobbery Webcam Hijinks with Elisheva!