Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Out For a Stroll

M and I went for a stroll tonight and here are a few things we saw:

1) Garbage
I am so proud to call this lovely, smelly city my home. All of the garbage cans in our area are beginning to overflow due to the strike, but this is nothing compared to many parts of the city...

which look like this...

and this. The picture below was taken 4 days after the strike began and it's now been 8 days, so you can imagine what it must look like.

2) Asian Legends closed?????
Say it ain't so! My favourite restaurant! Upon further investigation we found they're just remodeling. Thank goodness!

3) Sweet, sweet street meat. This is our go to meat dude, A.Y. Jafary. He's one good BBQer. I think he's beginning to recognize us. Tonight I resisted and just had a bite of M's. It took will power.

So yeah, that's what's happening. Pretty exciting, isn't it?

Monday, June 29, 2009

More Balcony Sightings

Last night while M and I were watching a movie, The Wrestler, we heard firetrucks passing by with their loud sirens. The sirens just sort of stopped and M kiddingly said, "What, did they stop right outside?" Anyway, we put the movie back on and about 20 minutes later, after hearing weird high pitched sounds, M looked out the balcony and saw that the firetrucks had indeed stopped across from our building.

We promptly got our binoculars, terrible I know, and watched the ordeal play out. The white van in the picture had hit someone and eventually the person was taken away in an ambulance.

We definitely weren't the only ones watching. Lots of people were standing around on the sidewalks, other people on their balconies, and tons of rubberneckers driving on the other side of the street. Why are people so interested in watching others' tragedies?

I hope the person who was hit is okay. He or she wasn't the only one hurt in the whole process.

Noooooooooooooooo, BASIL!!!!!!!!! In the excitement, Basil was knocked over, but don't worry I repotted him and we're hoping for the best.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Schooooool's Out...

... for summer!

You must have known this post was coming! School is officially done until September 2nd. I am so happy! This past week has been busy with packing up my classroom, moving everything downstairs to my new room, shaking hands with 30 sweaty graduates, and attending staff parties, lunches, and dinners!

Here are a few of the beautiful gifts I was given! I especially like the glow-in-the-dark lizard.

This company has it all wrong. Sending teachers back to school catalogues already?? How dare they.

My plans for summer are to... exercise, wander the city, spend a lot of time outside, and finish my wedding scrapbook!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Home Alone

I was home alone when disaster struck. Do you see what I see?

No? Then let's zoom in a little.

A little more now.


I knew these things came in handy for something! But now, the real reason for this post. I have pondered this question a few times in my life. When you suck up something in a vacuum do you believe that it can crawl back out over time? Discuss.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

For the Love of God...


For the past week or two my neighbourhood has been Iranian headquarters. Protesting and sit ins I don't mind a bit.

But people driving in circles for many, many hours honking their horns becomes quite annoying! The other night the same cars kept driving around and around. They'd stop, switch drivers and drive around some more. And honk. It's amazing what you can watch (and hear) from your balcony! Here are two of the culprits with flags on their back windows.

If there's one thing that can bother me about Toronto, it's the noise. Not a night goes by without the lovely music of car alarms and firetruck sirens. It's amazing how quiet it is when you go for a walk and turn down just one side street. It all disappears. Peace.

After four years I'm used to it and actually find myself opening the door at night because it's too quiet. But when I go to my parents' house I have to wear earplugs because the birds are too loud!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Happy Dad's Day!

Happy Father's Day to my favourite dad and to all the dads in my family!

Here's my dad with all of his babies.

My father in law, getting beautified.

My oldest brother and his kiddies.

And my middle brother with his sonny boy.

I hope you all had a wonderful day!

Under the Weather

All weekend I've been feeling like I got hit by a truck. I thought I might have eaten something bad because my stomach was killing me on Friday night. Then on Saturday I literally couldn't get out of bed - so achy and tired. I hope it's not the Swine Flu. Thankfully I'm feeling a bit better today. At least I got some reading done and am now halfway through the fourth Harry Potter book!

It's so bizarre seeing people walk down the street with these masks on. I want to ask them why. Maybe next time I will. And I was just kidding about the Swine Flu. Sarcasm doesn't translate well in writing!

Friday, June 19, 2009

I am so smrt... SMRT

I have a new addiction! The SMART board. Have you heard of it? My school recently bought one and it was installed in my classroom! Yay! Next year that room is going to be empty so each class can book it to use the SMART board. But, it is all mine for the next week and I'm loving it.

It is awesome to the A W E S O M E and every classroom should have one! Throw out the chalk and whiteboard markers! You can use it to do all sorts of crazy interactive math stuff like toss a penny, spin a spinner, and roll dice.

You can write on the board with your finger or with the special plasticy pens. It's a giant touchscreen. It's amazing. I think I like writing on it more than the kids!

I also found out today that I'm being recalled to my school, so I don't have to change schools next year! Which means more SMART board for me!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Who Knew?

Sherbet or Sherbert... that is the question.

For my Grannie's birthday party my mom made some delicious punch, which resulted in an amazing discovery. Here's what happened. Prepare yourself to be enlightened.

Me: Hey M, you gotta try this delicious punch!
M: Okay, what's in it, darling?
Me: SherbeRt
M: You mean sherbet?
Me: No, sherbeRt, you know that ice cream stuff?
M: Yes.. sherbet.
Me: No, sherbeRt.

...continue that for a few more minutes until we look on the container and by golly, it's spelled sherbet.

Who knew????? Not me, not my brothers or sis-in-laws, no one.. except for my husband who was finally right about something!

I'm shocked and amazed, aren't you?

It will always be sherbeRt in my heart.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Movie Mania

M and I have been movie maniacs lately! It's been fun!

First, after you see I Love You Man, go see The Hangover, it is HILARIOUS! It's not just (all) stupid funny either, it's actually funny funny. Stay to watch the credits. I give this movie an A.

The last movie we received from Rogers Direct was Milk. We started this fairly late at night and I didn't fall asleep, which is saying a lot! Good movie and I can't believe this story took place only 30 years ago. Sickening. A-

One time when M was jabbering away at me I heard him say he wanted to see The Orphanage, which is a Spanish horror flick. I placed a hold on it at the library and picked it up last night to watch. It was spooky. I liked it. B+

I'm not a huge fan of Disney or animated movies, but Up was quite good. I read a lot of reviews talking about how it was the best movie ever, and I can't agree with that, but it was a cool movie to see, especially in 3D. B+ or almost A-

Can you tell we enjoy movies?

Borrowing movies from the library is pure genius, me thinks. I often do this for girly movies or old classics that I know M won't want to watch. If you have never done this and live close to a library, like me, you should try it!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Grannie's Birthday Celebration

My Grannie is turning 80 on Wednesday! Happy Birthday! She looks and acts so young and is just a wonderful gal. I hope I take after her and got some of those genes! This weekend we had a big party at my parents' house to celebrate.

Here she is getting kisses from her wonderful daughters...

Grannie, with all of her kiddies.

M worked up a sweat before the party had even started!

There was lots of relaxing and

quality family time!

Too much eating, that's for sure.

I brought my mom's famous taco dip. So easy to make and always a hit at parties! I made two of these and they both disappeared. Here's the secret recipe. 2 blocks of cream cheese, 1/2 cup mayo, 2 tbsp sour cream, package of taco seasoning. Mix. Spread. Add toppings. Lettuce, tomato, cheese. Nom, nom, nom.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Freaky Encounters

The incident I wrote about the other day with the crazy dude in the parking lot got me thinking about other freaky people I've had encounters with.

The main one I can remember was actually quite a traumatic experience.

Back in Grade 11, I was picking up ice at a 7-11 before heading over to my BFF's house for a partay. While waiting, I noticed this sketchy looking man wearing a big hunting coat standing behind me in line. This was strange because it was summer. I think. I can't remember all the details.

Anyway, I didn't think anything of it, bought the ice, and went out to the blue van. I loved that van. Just as I was putting on my seatbelt, I heard the passenger side door handle trying to be opened (click click click, I can still hear it), and saw THE MAN!!!! He was trying to get in!

Thank jeebus my mommy taught me to always lock the doors after getting in a car.

I yelled something like, "WHAT ARE YOU DOING???" and started backing out of the parking spot. He was still trying to open the doors - like perhaps they had magically unlocked.

Anyway, I drove in a panic to my friend's house and called the po. And that is the end of my story.

Always lock your doors! M doesn't like that I do this for some reason, but I don't care. I don't want to think about what could have happened if my doors had been unlocked that night.

Spooky, eh? Okay, tell me your interesting encounters with nutcases.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

It's Worth it in the End

Tonight was the annual community BBQ at the school I've taught at for the past three years. I received one of the nicest compliments in my teaching career thus far from one of the parents.

This particular family moved to the community mid-way through the year and their oldest child was placed in my grade three class. Brilliant student and beautiful person. The parents were nice, just not overly friendly and I really didn't talk to them much.

I was surprised when the mother came up to me tonight and asked if there was any chance I'm teaching grade two next year, since her son is going into that grade. I told her I'm actually leaving the school and she was so disappointed, saying I was the best teacher her daughter has ever had, etc, etc.

It was so unexpected, so nice and made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside!

Now, please don't think I'm writing this because I think I'm some magnificent person. I already know I am. Kidding. But.. I find in the teaching profession you never really know how you've affected the kids, unless they say something. And often they don't. Sure I get hugs all the time and pats on my belly asking when the baby is coming, but those aren't the same as words.

I've started hating my job lately, mostly because I feel worthless and unappreciated at my afternoon school. Hearing this feedback is exactly what I needed to put things back into perspective.

Finally, the moral of this story is this - if you've had a teacher, or anyone really, that's affected your life in a positive way - tell them so! I'm going to! You just never know what impact it'll have on them.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Quinoa, I Think I Love You

This recipe is so good, you've gotta try it! I've made it a few times now and it's definitely one of my faves.

I found the original recipe here, but make changes, depending on what ingredients I have on hand. First you start by rinsing your quinoa, then roasting it for a few minutes, which supposedly gives it a nuttier taste. Next, boil your quinoa and let it cool.

While that's happening, chop up the veggies you'd like to include. Today I used cucumbers, tomatoes, and corn. I also add half a can of whatever type of beans I have, today was chickpeas. Add the secret ingredient, cumin, and some Italian dressing, and mix all together.

Add the quinoa, and badda bing, badda boom, there you have it. Deliciousness. Seriously, try this, you won't regret it!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Ridiculously Easy Tomato Soup

I haven't posted a recipe in such a long time. So, here's a really easy and yummy soup I made tonight. I know it's almost summer and who eats soup in summer? Me, that's who! Plus, I like cleaning out my cupboards and this helped.

Here's the pretty picture from the website...

And here's the not so pretty picture I took!

-1 large container of chicken broth (900mL)
-28oz can of crushed tomatoes
-1 cup of 5% cream, the lightest I could find
-salt and pepper
-1 onion
-2 cloves garlic

Saute onion and garlic in medium saucepan over moderate heat. When onions are translucent, add broth and tomatoes. When soup bubbles, stir in cream and reduce heat to low. Season with a little salt, pepper, and basil and simmer gently 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

That's it! I noticed I had some crackers so I added a couple to the bottom of my bowl, plus a teensy bit of cheese to the top, and it was good. M refuses to try it, so that means more for me!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

The Traveling Bug is Biting

I could totally live the rest of my life out of a backpack.

I've been thinking about this since Friday night when M and I were walking around downtown and noticed this bag, just sitting there, with a cell phone plugged into an outlet. It was truly the most random place for an outlet to exist!

Whenever I see backpackers I get a little envious. There's something so empowering about carrying all of your belongings on your back. I love the backpacker lifestyle. The freedom. The adventures. Spending all day doing whatever you feel like. Going wherever your feet will take you. Ahhhh....

M and I have been on two backpacking trips.. one time for seven weeks, and the next for only three weeks. That's really nothing in the travel world. We would meet people who had been gone for a year or longer. I want to be them.

I've got some uncontrollable ants in my pants. I need OUT OF HERE!!!!!!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

AYBX 755

Yesterday after work I had an encounter with a crazy.

I pulled into the No Frills parking lot, thinking TGIF, I'll just get some groceries, la di dah di dah. As I was sitting in my car, searching for a quarter for the cart, I heard BAM, looked up and saw the car door beside me had slammed into my side mirror.

I rolled down my window, and politely said, "Excuse me, can you be careful next time, you just hit my mirror with your door." The guy starts saying there's no !@%$*?# way he just hit my mirror, and I'm crazy, and he's had a horrible day, and to mind my own business, and blah blah blah. He told me his door wouldn't even reach my mirror if he opened it fully, and while he was showing me this, he hit my mirror AGAIN!!

So, after swearing at me a lot more, he pulled away, then stopped and rolled down his window, and SPAT ALL OVER MY CAR!

Oh my my.

Whoever you are - white, male, approximately 5'9, bald, chubby, and not very cute, black SUV, with Ontario licence plate AYBX 755... please, go get a refill for your meds!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Ohhhh, Harry..

I am a huge Harry Potter fan. A few years ago when M and I were traveling in Germany, we couldn't resist, bought book six, and I'm sad to admit, spent a lot of time laying in bed reading! In Germany! What's wrong with us! Granted, it was cold and rainy the entire time we were there, but still...

Anyway, one of my 36 in 365 goals was to read all of the books again before the next movie comes out on July 15th. I have to do this to refresh my memory or else I won't know what the heck is going on. It's like a new adventure every time I read one!

I have been wondering if it's possible to read all seven books in one month, and I think it's not. That won't stop me from trying though! I have returned all of my library books so I can FOCUS. I've also been thinking of ways to speed up the process, and thought I could possibly read one of the books to my class. Is that selfish?! I think they'd like it!

In the past, I have used Harry quite a bit in teaching, and the kids love it. For Media Lit, we once discussed how a book may have many different covers, created for different audiences and reasons. Below are just a few covers for the first book, and there are so many more!

It's all very interesting, isn't it, or am I just a nerd?

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

My Babies are Growing

I am overflowing with joy! Look at these puppies!

I am one proud mama.

Aren't they beauties?