For Women Only

February 2, 2016 by

No, seriously, guys. This really is just for women. You do not want to read this one. Trust me.

No, really. Just move along. Nothing to see here.


Look, fellows, this one really is TMI, and that’s saying something, coming as it is from the self-proclaimed Queen of TMI.

Fine. How about this compromise … you go get your wife or your girlfriend or your mother or some other female, and have her read the entry.

Then (and only then) if she says you can handle it, then … go ahead and read it. But don’t say I didn’t warn you.

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Moving to … God Only Knows Where

January 28, 2016 by

Well, it’s official. We are leaving Canada.

My husband’s boss sent an email throughout the company today announcing that Mars’ last day will be June 30.

Officially, this was part of the re-organization that took place last summer, during which leadership deleted the level of management at which Mars was working.

However, I suspect the decision about him specifically was at least influenced by the fact that we were unable to get permanent residency because our daughter has Down syndrome. Otherwise the timing is an incredible coincidence, especially since everyone else who was let go as part of the re-organization has been gone for almost six months.

So once again, we are packing our home and moving. This will be the third move — and the second international move — we’ve made in five years.

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Daring Greatly

January 27, 2016 by

I choose authenticity. I am done hiding. I am done pretending. I am real, and I’m committed to being real publicly.

Yeah … I am taking an online course. How’d ya know?

Self-depracting humour aside, I really am making a commitment to being more authentic, even publicly.

I believe I was intended for a big life, one filled with adventure and risk, with exhilarating aerodynamics at high speed, the kind flights that sometimes end in flaming crashes.

I had that once, I did. I loved it. But somehow when I moved to Canada, I made my life smaller and smaller, trying to survive. And now my own life doesn’t fit any more.

So I’m breaking out.

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Keep Your Stuff to Yourself

January 18, 2016 by

Subtitled: A Primer on Manspreading to Benefit Both Men and Women.

This primer is dedicated to the man in seat 4A on Alaska Airlines flight #2086 from Seattle to Walla Walla Saturday evening.

20636768666_88df569d5c_zManspreading, in case you haven’t heard the term, is the practice of sitting in public transport with legs wide apart, thereby covering more than one seat”.

Why does it matter, you might ask? Because unless we’re willing to vacate to islands separated by gender, men and women need to get along.

Sure, men may argue that it’s all about drying out the family jewels or shoulder:hip proportion, but to women, it looks like typical male entitlement. And it pisses girls off. So if you’re even remotely interested in what women think of you (hint: women control your access to heterosexual intercourse), you might want to read this and reconsider the space you take up.

Now, the term “manspreading” is usually used to describe men sitting on subway or bus benches — the kind where the seats are not necessarily clearly delineated. And heaven knows that’s bad enough.

But manspreading is even more decried on, say, an airplane, where the separation between the seats is clearly marked by an armrest and where there isn’t the option for the woman to just stand for the duration of the trip.

So, in the interest of continuing to share both the planet and intimate relations between genders, gentlemen, please read the following Primer. At least the For Men portion, though it might benefit you to also read the For Women portion since you’ll have some idea what you may be facing if you continue to manspread.

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Double Nickels for Me

December 31, 2015 by

Well, it’s my birthday again. I turned 55 today at 3:13 a.m.

Once again, I’m doing my yearly evaluation. And once again, I’m going to start by saying this was one of the most difficult years I’ve ever had.

Frankly, I’m getting tired of saying that.

The worst thing that happened was when we learned in June that our family would be refused permanent residency in Canada because our daughter has Down syndrome. We still don’t know exactly how that’s going to shake out, or where we’ll be the next time I write one of these end-of-the-year birthday posts.

But incredibly wonderful things happened too. And some of the most wonderful things happened because of the incredibly painful things.

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Thanksgiving Turkey Soup

November 30, 2015 by

For years, I’ve made Turkey Wild Rice Soup the day after Thanksgiving (from a Pillsbury cookbook). It’s a beloved tradition in my home.

IMG_2536This year, I adapted the recipe to make it low carb — and it was even yummier.

It’s a bit thinner than the high-carb version (which includes 3/4 cup of flour), so it might be worth experimenting with reducing the soup (before adding turkey) or adding Xanthum gum or egg yolks, as per this website.

Make sure you don’t boil it once you add the turkey, or it will turn into shredded turkey rather than bite-sized chunks.

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Turkey Broth

November 30, 2015 by

Every Thanksgiving that I cook a turkey, I boil the carcass to make broth. This is an incredible broth: rich, tasty, and high in calcium.

The recipe originally came from The Natural Healing CookbookI think I adapted it some (it originally called for a turkey breast, not an entire turkey carcass, for instance), but not much.

The first year I made it, I tried to salvage the veggies and turkey scraps from the pot, but it wasn’t worth it. They were too soft, and not terribly appetizing. So now I just strain it and throw all the scraps away, confident that the good stuff has gone into the liquid.

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Hillbilly Stuffed Peppers

November 29, 2015 by

I know this isn’t the sort of thing this blog is for, but I have created a couple of recipes I want to pin, and I need them on the internet with a picture in order to do so!

So if you would bear with me … today’s recipe is Hillbilly Stuffed Peppers.

I’ve been in Phoenix for a while lately, visiting my parents. My father’s blood sugar has been a bit high, so I’ve made it my duty to find low-carb recipes he might like.

He loves Stuffed Peppers, so when I found this version of Philly Cheesesteak Stuffed Peppers, I was all over it. And sure enough he loved it! Best of all, from my perspective, it was easy to make.

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Dreaming in Technicolour

October 13, 2015 by

Oh! I just woke from the most beautiful dream. It was straight from a Mary Stewart novel!

Except without the scary suspense part.

And if Mary Stewart heroines had been in their mid-fifties, overweight and gray-haired (with, maybe, a sassy purple streak).

I had just arrived at the manor that was to be my new home. I was driving a lemon-sherbet coloured 1930s coupe, like this one, but pale yellow.

Someone (probably the housekeeper, since of course it was the kind of place that had staff) was showing me around.

The house was straight from a story book, right down to the jade green Aga stove.

At one point, a child ran through, and the housekeeper told him to go play outside, “by the leek field.” She waved toward a window, and I glanced out to see a lush green landscape.

As she was showing me through the kitchens, she waxed eloquent about a brunch they’d given recently. Among the other dishes she listed were black and white puddings.

I woke thinking “Aga stove? Lush green landscape? Leek fields? Black and white pudding? Oh, my goodness, it’s in Ireland!”

Mars always says that when you dream about houses, they represent your life. If that is to be my new life, I am so ready!!

Bully Behind the Wheel — on Steroids

October 4, 2015 by

OMG, you guys. I have an aggressive driver story to tell you that trumps all the Alberta pickup meatheads put together.

A little before 8 p.m., I was driving south on Loop 101 in Phoenix a few miles before the junction with Interstate 10 when a semi pulled into the lane behind me, much too close for my comfort.

I gave him a few minutes to back off, but he stayed right there, three or four feet from my bumper.

The lane next to me was full of traffic, and I couldn’t move over, so I tapped my brake lightly to get him to back off. Mind you — I did not slam on my brakes or even slow my car noticeably. I just flashed the brake lights as a warning that he was too close.

He turned on his brights.

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