Success!

Dec. 30th, 2016 04:29 pm
mousme: A view of a woman's legs from behind, wearing knee-high rainbow socks. The rest of the picture is black and white. (Baker's 12)
I've been preparing to host an "Un-Christmas" lunch since, oh, the beginning of December. I invited my parents and [livejournal.com profile] fearsclave and his wife, Carolyn, and started menu planning three weeks ago and cooking last week. Because I rarely entertain, when I do, I want it to be memorable. I flatter myself that today went really well, overall. My parents get along really well with [livejournal.com profile] fearsclave and Carolyn, and the four of them had a great time laughing about living "near the North Pole," etc. Carolyn got to see how well Maggie and Ben were doing (I adopted two of their cats over the past year, when they couldn't keep them anymore).

This morning I got up early in order to finish the last of the preparation: a last-minute vacuum/tidy of the house, then make the mashed potatoes, mulled wine, wild rice, and green beans. I didn't get it all done before the guests arrived, and we ended up eating about half an hour later than planned, but it all pulled together at the last minute.

The meal itself was a great success. I started out with a beet salad with goat cheese and candied walnuts. It's the only dish which I managed to capture in a picture. The rest of the food got eaten too quickly for me to be able to snap a picture, but there were lemon tarragon roasted cornish hens, balsamic glazed green beans with almonds and cranberries, tourtière, mashed sweet potatoes flavoured with maple syrup, and wild rice with raisins and almonds. For the cheese course we had brie with truffles, bleu d'Auvergne, and Oka, and for dessert I made apple pie and rice pudding (for the gluten-free guest). We finished it off with coffee, and I think all of us may die happily of food.


I was too busy running around trying to get everything on the table and everyone fed and taken care of to get many pictures, but I did get a few, and my parents took some as well. Hopefully between the three of us we'll have a nice record of the day.

Carolyn, my mother, and Darroch. I tried to get a picture of my father, but he keeps making faces at the camera.


Ben wanted in on the action, and kept climbing into my chair when I wasn't in it.

So, in short, I declare success. My parents gave me a sewing basket for Christmas (at my request), and it's glorious: huge, and red with white polka dots. I love it, and I want to get started on sewing something ASAP. Maybe I'll mend the dog's newest favourite toy: a no-longer-squeaky stuffed hedgehog, which he eviscerates on a regular basis.

I got my parents a framed set of my favourite pictures of them taken over the past two years, and they loved it. So I now get to pat myself on the back for a well-done Christmas, all around, even if it wasn't on Christmas itself.

I am due to write a year-in-review post, which I used to do regularly and then sort of forgot about. Tonight, however, I have a D&D game to prep, so it will have to wait.
mousme: A view of a woman's legs from behind, wearing knee-high rainbow socks. The rest of the picture is black and white. (Friendly (Ratatouille))
I had dinner yesterday with [livejournal.com profile] guruwench and her "hunny N" as she calls him. I'd forgotten to post last week about my breakfast with her and [livejournal.com profile] le_maistre_e, and was subsequently thwarted for days by my lack of a functioning computer. Still, it was a lovely breakfast, and it served to remind me that I actually have friends who live in this city with whom I can socialise! It was very exciting.

So last night after work I hied myself over there, and proceeded to snorgle all their cats (except for Kira, who was not overly pleased at the new invasive human in her home). N made a delicious jambalaya, [livejournal.com profile] guruwench made an equally delicious berry crumble for dessert, and we spent over four hours talking about cats and geeky things and work and cooking. N has promised me his recipe for jambalaya, and this is very exciting indeed.

After last night's dessert-y indulgence, I am back to the yummy salads I prepared for myself. I discovered this evening, much to my dismay, that my cunning plan of pre-chopping and pre-packing veggies for my snacks is not a great plan. My cucumbers went horrifically mushy. I think it's that I tried putting them all in sandwich bags ahead of time. Next week I'll pre-chop but keep them in Tupperware so they don't, um, disintegrate. :P So right now I'm uncomfortably hungry, because it's not quite dinnertime yet. If I eat my food too early, I'll be hungry later, and being hungry at 03:00 is way worse than being hungry at 21:00.

The plan is to look up some more creative salad recipes for next week. I'm not the type of person to get bored of eating the same thing over and over again, but I think a little variety will do me good, especially in the nutrition department. I want to try new and different and hopefully inexpensive things. Experiment a little. Or a lot. So that'll be on the menu for this weekend (both figuratively and literally!).

I didn't go walking either yesterday or today, partly to give my ankles a break. They have not been overly happy with me for the sudden burst in activity of late. Today's lack of a walk was also partly because of inertia and tiredness and procrastination. I did do those 10 minutes of yoga I've been threatening to do for days, though, so I feel pretty good about that. My conclusion so far is that I am in terrible shape. Even 10 minutes of very basic yoga poses made me work for it, though it was definitely doable. It was a little more difficult because I kept having to move out of position to see the video in order to figure out how I was supposed to be positioned. Practise should help with that, at least. I'm hoping to get to a proper 30-minute routine by the end of the month.

Unfortunately I had some errands to run today, so I wasn't able to do the sleep-until-I-can't-sleep-anymore thing that I try to do on the transition day between day shift and night shift. It's the only time I can really try to make up for the sleep deficit I constantly live with. On a good day when I'm working I can manage my full eight hours. Usually it's closer to six. When I work night shifts I average about five hours of sleep, but it tends to be very broken because my room is very bright and my landlords tend to be very loud when they're home. On my transition day I sleep about 10-11 hours, but that's because I don't sleep before my night shift, so it averages out to about 5 hours a night. I generally get 7-8 hours when I'm home in Montreal, but that's only because I don't get up at the same time as [livejournal.com profile] pdaughter and Bean, who are usually up at 06:00, or whenever Bean decides it's "sunny time." Last week I started getting myself up earlier, but the earliest I managed was 06:20, which was still long after [livejournal.com profile] pdaughter got up (though Bean slept until nearly 07:00 that morning!). So this week I am going to try harder to train myself to get up when it starts getting light out. Hopefully that won't backfire on me when I need to sleep during the day on my night shifts.

Honestly, these days I find myself almost wishing I suffered from insomnia, because at least then I'd get stuff done instead of sleeping. Almost. The thing is, I love sleep a lot. If I could get more of it, I would, but what I need to do is require less of it. All my life I've been the type of person who needs about 9 hours of sleep a night to feel properly rested and be a fully functional human being. These days, though, I need to be the type of person who not only gets by, but thrives on four hours of sleep per night. I've been resisting setting an alarm, because I'm paranoid that it'll go off and wake [livejournal.com profile] pdaughter on the one day that Bean decides to sleep in, but without an alarm I seem to be physically unable to get myself out of bed. I don't suppose anyone has a trick they use to wake themselves without an alarm?

So that's the daily report on me. Riveting, n'est-ce-pas? Now I have to get back to work. Maybe next time I'll tell you all about the new TV shows I've been watching, if you're lucky. ;)
mousme: A view of a woman's legs from behind, wearing knee-high rainbow socks. The rest of the picture is black and white. (George (tongue))
I wasn't up all night, but it feels like it. I made poor life choices and decided I would stay up to watch Hannibal, which continues to delight me. However, at 21:30 my landlady walked through the door, so not only did I stay up past my bedtime but I didn't even get to reap the rewards of my poor life choices. I am bitter about this. Also tired.

I had a visually pretty intense dream right before awakening. Dream behind the cut. It gets a little gory, be warned. )

Aside from horrifically bloody dreams, yesterday was pretty good overall. I walked during my lunch break and had another delicious mason jar salad for lunch. I'm still working on the food/better nutrition thing. I thought I was doing okay yesterday, since last week I'd brought too much food to work with me. By the time I got home last night, though, I was very hungry and thus overdid it a little at dinner. So I'm going to have to tweak the amount of food I bring to work with me so I'll have something to eat later in the afternoon. Apparently all my willpower goes to hell in the evening/at the end of the day, which at least is consistent with studies on willpower. I just have to work on not needing to rely on willpower to get me through the last few hours of the day. More on that when I figure it out, I guess.

My coworker is back from his sick leave, but he's only back part-time. He'll be here during the week, four hours a day only, at least until the end of June. So I still get my nights and weekends to myself, which is pretty keen. It's a win for me for now, though my boss has made noises about moving someone over to my shift, which is not as awesome. I don't feel a particular affinity for either of the two guys he's thinking of putting with me, and I'd honestly rather be left to my own devices at work rather than have to learn to work with another partner. That being said, I'm paid to work here, so if that means learning to work with a new partner, so be it.

Since I'm alone this weekend I'll have to do my walking after work, which is fine. It just means I'll have to make sure I get out there and walk when I get home, rather than collapse in a puddle. See above: less willpower at the end of the day.

The yoga has also not happened yet, due to my poor life choices/going to bed too late. I have at least found a nice yoga-for-beginners routine that seems doable. Oh, and before I forget, I should think about the things I am grateful for today:

1- Bananas. No, seriously. Yummy, portable, not messy, and a great source of potassium. Also, it sounds funny when you say it a lot. Bananas!

2- I am grateful that I live in a place in which food is not only plentiful but generally inexpensive and nutritious and comes in a variety that many people can only dream of.

3- I got interrupted by work before I could get to #3, so I guess I'll say I am grateful that I have work to do that I find rewarding.

And that's it for now. Stay tuned for more riveting updates. Possibly with less blood next time.
mousme: A view of a woman's legs from behind, wearing knee-high rainbow socks. The rest of the picture is black and white. (Meer!)
Sorry, been AFK for a few days. Since Sunday, at the very least. It's been a bit of a busy week, what with Easter and Bean having the Gastro That Would Not Go Away, though [livejournal.com profile] pdaughter is the one who ended up dealing with the latter for the better part of the week, as I had to head back to Ottawa for work on Tuesday afternoon. I suppose that, aside from that, it hasn't been much busier than usual, though it felt that way.

Cut for complaining )

Food! And also nutrition! And general health stuff! )

Coffee...

Feb. 15th, 2014 09:45 am
mousme: A view of a woman's legs from behind, wearing knee-high rainbow socks. The rest of the picture is black and white. (Gahoogy hoo!)
For the record, coffee does NOT do to me what is has done to the cat in the icon. I often wish it did, because I feel like I'd be a lot more productive.

First off, in baking news, [livejournal.com profile] pdaughter made Valentine's cupcakes for her French class. We also got cupcakes. Look at this image and tell me you are not jealous. Yes, the chocolate heart is made by hand too, because she's just that awesome.

IMG_2654


More Valentine's Day stuff under the cut )
mousme: A view of a woman's legs from behind, wearing knee-high rainbow socks. The rest of the picture is black and white. (A Little Help From My Friends)
I actually got out of the house today, for reasons other than errands! It's been a while since I saw someone who wasn't [livejournal.com profile] pdaughter, not that her company isn't lovely, of course. I just hadn't seen people apart from coworkers since Capricornucopia, which was three weeks ago. I'm trying to not go for long stretches of time in which I see no one, because otherwise I'll become a complete hermit, which is no good for anyone.

Pretty sure my friend is actually on LJ somewhere, but I don't know his handle. Oops? I'll have to ask him next time I remember. It's probably [livejournal.com profile] bullonir, knowing him... *checks* Yep! I am good. Not that he's updated since 2008, but whatever. Anyway, I drove to his place on the South Shore, we had lunch and then went out for coffee and a cupcake at a local cupcake shop. It was delicious. I should upload the photo here to show you, it was gorgeous on top of being super scrumptious. Anyway.

We had a really nice chat. He's my former shift partner from Montreal, the guy who got me into comic books and Breaking Bad, and to whom I introduced Supernatural and Fringe among other things. We geek out over Avengers and things, but we have a lot in common outside our geeky mutual interests. Like me, he was a temporary employee for a long time (and still is, unfortunately), and he has a young family too, so we share many of the same concerns when it comes to the kids' well-being. We also know what sort of toll working shifts takes on our mental and physical health, and on our romantic relationships, too. It's not easy, living with someone who's not there half the time out of necessity, just as it's not easy to be the person who's absent because of work.

So we had a good, productive chat, as well as delicious food. We got caught up on work things and family things and general gossip. He's also a writer, so we touched briefly on how things were going in that department too. All in all, a really great time, and we have a tentative date for the next time we're both off on a weekday to watch the last episodes of Breaking Bad together, since neither of us has seen it yet.

I was going to run some errands in Vaudreuil on my way home, but after an hour's driving I arrived just in time for rush hour, and I realised that if I tried to head to the Smart Centres I would be stuck in traffic for at least another hour if not more, and that I'd be getting home after dinnertime, which is no good. So errands have been postponed until tomorrow morning, and I have pulled dinner out of the freezer. Well, it'll be dinner supposing I don't get "Me not like it!" as a reaction. Bean has been off his food all week due to being under the weather, which has only strengthened his knee-jerk reaction to refuse any food I put in front of him. He's much better about accepting food that Mama makes, but 90% of what I make gets met with "Me not like that/Me not want that!" He's old enough now, though, that he generally doesn't get presented with other options. When he was sick it was a different story, since it was important to get something in him, but in general dinner is dinner, and we're not a restaurant.

This is one of my weekends at home, but as far as I know there aren't any firm plans. I have a game on Saturday (more people! In less than a week! What is happening?), but apart from that I'm not sure. Next weekend we have friends of mine coming for a quick visit with their daughter, who is about a year younger than Bean, and whom I haven't seen in absolutely forever, so I'm looking forward to that a lot.

So, that's today in a nutshell. A little more exciting than my usual fare, am I right?
mousme: A view of a woman's legs from behind, wearing knee-high rainbow socks. The rest of the picture is black and white. (Skillet)
As promised, an entry with pictures of the cooking day. Most of them are behind the cut.

Food pr0n! )
mousme: A view of a woman's legs from behind, wearing knee-high rainbow socks. The rest of the picture is black and white. (White People)
After being off the bandwagon for a year, I'm getting back up on the horse, in order to properly mix my metaphors. ;)

First off, I'm going back to healthy eating, roughly following the guidelines of the Paleo diet. I will let [livejournal.com profile] fearsclave extoll its virtues to you at length. For me, suffice it to say that the idea of eating mostly fruit, vegetables and sources of protein seems like a pretty healthy choice.

Also, at [livejournal.com profile] fearsclave's prompting, I signed up for Fitocracy, which so far is quite a lot of fun. The basic idea is that it treats your fitness activities and workouts like a video game: you get a certain amount of points for your activities, and at a certain number of points you level up. There are also quests and achievements, which is a nifty feature. I'm levelling up slowly, and right now have to be careful not to push myself too far lest I do myself some sort of injury that would sideline me for weeks. Still, it's fun to come back after a long walk and find that you've gone up a level because of it.

I've been going for walks/runs with Sergent, who is thrilled with the added exercise. He's of the opinion that we're not going fast enough, and I'm doing my best to increase my speed little by little. I'm hoping that by the time spring rolls around I'll be able to run for 30 minutes straight with him, and increase that to an hour by the end of the summer. We shall see. Right now we're doing a sort of prelude to the Couch to 5K program, because my ankles are not yet up to running even the few short intervals required for the first day in the program. I figure I can probably start running in earnest next week.

In related news, I bought myself a small bench press with some sand-filled weights from a guy on Craigslist. I loved weight lifting when I was going to the gym regularly: it was by far my favourite part of my workout. Therefore this weekend's project is --while I'm not passing out from working a nightshift-- to clean out the basement enough to set up a small area to use as a home gym. I bought myself some coloured foam mats for the floor, and with time I'd like to set up a bunch of equipment down there. I have a few free weights as well and a small TV, so I figure I can make it a pretty appealing little area. I need to find some mirrors to hang so I can keep an eye on my form, too, but that will come later.

In short, I am getting a kick out of getting back into shape. I promise I won't bore you with all of that here, except for sporadic and non-specific updates. If you're interested, I'm writing more in-depth about it at [livejournal.com profile] rocking_thing, but it's mostly numbers and tracking and whatever. Not all that interesting. ;)

Or, hey, if you're interested in Fitocracy, I am happy to figure out how to send out an invitation. Just drop me a line. :)
mousme: A view of a woman's legs from behind, wearing knee-high rainbow socks. The rest of the picture is black and white. (Doesn't mean what you think)
Y'know, I've noticed that what few entries I've posted lately have all sounded as though I'm horribly, horribly depressed.

I'm not, for the record. :)

There's just not much going on in my life. I've settled into a pretty quiet, not-very-social routine. I go to work, I cuddle the cats, watch DVDs, drag myself to the gym. Apart from that, I haven't had much energy to do anything else.

I actually cooked last night, for the first time in a while. I've been a bad camper since before Christmas, keeping the food-from-scratch thing to a minimum. I've been at the very least trying to keep the pre-made foods to a minimum also, but that essentially means I've been surviving on omelets and pasta, with the occasional real food thrown in after spending a day cooking with [livejournal.com profile] luvenditti.

So now I'm going to try to get back on the bandwagon in earnest. Easier said than done, but I'm going to give it the good ol' college try.

I have errands to run today, including taking Gretzky back to the vet for her two-week checkup. She's pretty much fine now, although whatever infection she's got going in her eye hasn't entirely cleared up. I'm guessing the vet will want to continue with the eye drops —much to Gretzky's disgust. She is not a fan of eye drops, and wriggles like a mad wriggling thing whenever I try to apply them. Since we've been doing this for two weeks —three times a day at first, now twice— she's come to view my ministrations with a weary resignation.

Then it's other, more boring errands, tidying up, and tomorrow it's back to work. Fun times.
mousme: A view of a woman's legs from behind, wearing knee-high rainbow socks. The rest of the picture is black and white. (G'quon)
I am taking a page from [livejournal.com profile] owldaughter's book and writing a weekend round-up. It'll be easier than going back and writing individual entries.

Friday

After work I headed out to pick up my costume for Sunday's party. I got a car from Communauto, went to Laurier st., got the costume (lost my little paper, but they were nice and understanding) and drove back to get my dry cleaning...

...

... only to realize that I left my wallet on the counter of the costume shop across town. There was swearing. Lots and lots of swearing. It was 17:00, right in the middle of rush hour on a Friday afternoon, and I think I may have aged five years from sheer stress. I lucked out: they found and kept my wallet for me, and on my way out I met my old friend B, whom I hadn't seen in a very long time. So, bonus. I even managed to pick up my dry cleaning with five minutes to spare before the place closed.

After that I hied myself to the Parental Units' for dinner, where W., the mother of my childhood friends, had also been invited. We had a very nice time, although W. was in fine form, which meant I had to run interference for most of the evening because she seriously gets on my father's very last nerve. Damages his calm something fierce.

Went home and collapsed, after watching a couple of DVDs.

Saturday

Awoke on Saturday morning, feeling god-awfully tired and wondering what god I had angered that I would feel that tired after sleeping for so long. Then I saw that it was 10:00 and that I was LATE. So I jumped out of bed in a complete flap and made a beeline for the phone to call [livejournal.com profile] luvenditti to let her know I'd overslept and was going to be late. She answered the phone and sounded bemused, but agreed to meet me a bit later than we'd planned. She called back about three minutes later to see what the hell was wrong with me, and by then I had figured out that I wasn't late, but that my alarm clock was poorly set.

Not a great start to the day, but things improved swiftly after that. Saturday was a cooking day with Lu. I am not allowed to discuss much of what we cooked, because it is part of the Soopar Seekrit Menu for her next dinner party, but let me tell you it was SINFULLY DIVINE, OH GOD.

We also made stew and meatloaf and pizza. So. Much. Food. In between bouts of cooking we also watched part of the latest episode of Glee (meh), Eastwick (cute) and The Mentalist (so much love).

After the day of cooking we called it an early night. Turns out spending all day cooking is tiring. I went home, watched a few episodes of Supernatural, and then turned in for the night.

Sunday

I got up early-ish to do a minimal amount of tidying before [livejournal.com profile] tcaptain and [livejournal.com profile] maya_banana came for breakfast, and then realized belatedly that I had nothing for her to drink, since she can't have tea or coffee. One hasty phone call later, and they agreed to pick up some orange juice. They arrived resplendent in their costumes, and we set to breakfast with enthusiasm.

Breakfast was not a success. I was off-beat the entire time, and managed to burn the pancakes and came rather too close to setting fire to my kitchen for my own comfort. Luckily they were very understanding with me, and the bacon turned out delicious, so it wasn't a total waste.

[livejournal.com profile] maya_banana helped me get into my costume, since it's one of those Victorian dealies that hooks together in the back, and once I was all put together (photos will be forthcoming as soon as people who took them send them to me, I promise!), we headed out to Hurley's, where the murder-mystery Blood, Sweat and Gears was taking place.

I had a blast. I was playing Priscilla "Prissy" Swinton, who was invited to this scientific exhibit along with her husband Dunstable. The guy playing my husband never showed, but it turned out not to matter. I decided that Prissy was an amiable twit, and so I wandered around being insipid and saying stupid things in the loudest, most fatuous fake British accent I could muster. I *broke* people. Repeatedly. My rule of thumb was to think of the most inane thing to say at any given moment, and then to say that. It worked like a charm.

By the end of the evening I was exhausted. I have no idea how the people running the show managed, because it felt as though I had been there for ten hours instead of four. It was a great time, though, and I understand that there will likely be repeat performances in the future.
mousme: A view of a woman's legs from behind, wearing knee-high rainbow socks. The rest of the picture is black and white. (Baker's 12)
I have filled a large pot with rhubarb, and I barely made a dent in my supply. Methinks this might take longer than I thought...

Oops.

Oh well, at least I can get other stuff done while it cooks. I also snagged myself some corn on the cob for lunch. Yum.

:::ETA:::

Dammit, I burnt some of it by mistake. Ergh. I hope it still tastes okay...
mousme: The face of a green woman forest deity against a black background (Green Woman)
The garden is booming. The tomatoes have made an appearance, and a few of them have ripened without my noticing. I have ninja tomatoes, apparently.

The peppers are sulking, but while they haven't grown, they have produced flowers, so I am cautiously optimistic.

I got one tiny cucumber off one plant, and the other plant has a cucumber on it too. I hope that next year the harvest will be better.

The herbs survived in spite of my not weeding the garden for about a month. The tarragon isn't very happy but it's hanging in there. The mint had a battle to the death with the bindweed, the clover, and the grass, and came out the victor once I cleared out the debris. I'm vaguely frightened. ;)

My garlic disappeared. I think something ate it. There is *one* bulb left.

The basil has gone nuts and is three feet tall. The carrots that [livejournal.com profile] moonandtree planted are doing well, as are the beets.

[livejournal.com profile] moonandtree and I got a lot of weeding done today. I am taking a break right now because I'm hot, tired and thirsty, but depending on how the rest of the day goes I'm going to try to get out there again to spread some cedar mulch where we weeded, to discourage the weeds from coming back too strongly again.

I also harvested the rhubarb, which I think I left a little late. I lost some of the stalks to... well, rot, I'm guessing. Still, I have a TON of rhubarb. I see canning in my immediate future. Gotta pull out my canning recipe for rhubarb and make sure I have enough jars for it.

Today's to-do list includes dishes, laundry, gardening, finishing the baby blanket, and getting in some writing. If I have time I'll be canning the rhubarb. If not, that will happen tomorrow at the latest. Oh, and I have to call my mother before she convinces herself that I've decided never to speak to her again.

In non-domestic news, I appear to have some sort of weird summer cold. I had a horrific sore throat all day on Thursday and it got a bit better yesterday, but today I woke up slightly congested and with the feeling that someone had settled a wildebeest on my chest: not quite an elephant, but big and heavy and inconvenient nonetheless, and the occasional racking coughing fits aren't as fun as you'd think. I'm feeling better now —being outside in the warmth helped— but I can feel whatever it is lingering in the background.
mousme: A view of a woman's legs from behind, wearing knee-high rainbow socks. The rest of the picture is black and white. (Pooh & Piglet at Sunset)
Unfortunately, the Scots are still here, so no updates for now. I'm having a great time, though, and I'll miss them terribly when they're gone.

I made them their first lobster ever tonight, in a court-bouillon. Very successful lobster, if I do say so myself. Then we had pastries from Le Pain Doré, and tea, and watched three episodes of "Escape to River Cottage" which they thoughtfully burned for me and brought over from the UK.

Life is awesome, and now I must go collapse into bed.

Whew.

Aug. 5th, 2009 10:41 pm
mousme: A view of a woman's legs from behind, wearing knee-high rainbow socks. The rest of the picture is black and white. (Pooh on stairs)
[livejournal.com profile] mangafairy and G (who has no LJ) arrived safe and sound last night. Their plane was even four minutes early! It was very exciting. :)

Given that we were all falling over with exhaustion, we made our way home with only a quick pit stop to buy some juice and some extra fruit (you can never have too much fruit), and arrived here in time to collapse in various heaps about the place. I made a chicken curry with spaghetti which was well-received, and then after a bit of chit-chat we all passed out for the night.

The morning started out quietly with a nice breakfast of fruit, cereal and croissants, and I was amused that none of us had the same thing to drink: I had coffee, [livejournal.com profile] mangafairy had tea, and G had hot chocolate (a Brit who doesn't drink tea!). We headed out to the ecomuseum where we met up with [livejournal.com profile] joane and [livejournal.com profile] shenlo and their gorgeous tadpole Jenny. [livejournal.com profile] shenlo's parents were there as well, and we spent a lovely couple of hours exploring the wildlife preserve.

Upon returning home I harvested some lettuce from the garden and made a salad for lunch (sadly all the other veggies were store-bought), and then [livejournal.com profile] mangafairy and G went on an explore of downtown Montreal while I went to the gym (I am attempting to be disciplined about this). They were very sweet and bought me a small box of Godiva chocolates. All that work at the gym! *sigh* ;)

We arrived back in plenty of time to greet [livejournal.com profile] jonofthewired, who managed to make his way here by public transit after his train arrived. After introductions were made all around, I settled everyone in with a small platter of fresh veggies and some ranch dip, which is apparently unknown in the UK, so G was quite impressed with it. I harvested some basil from the garden and made pesto, which I mixed into some linguini and then added a bunch of steamed broccoli, just to make sure the guests got enough vegetables into them.

Everyone has gone to bed already, and I am headed that way myself. [livejournal.com profile] joane and [livejournal.com profile] shenlo will be arriving in the morning, and once we've had a restorative cup of coffee (or whatever), we will be traipsing off to WorldCon to register and begin attending the panels and events that have caught our eye already. Very exciting!

I hope everyone is having a good week. I won't be around much to read or comment until next Wednesday, I wouldn't think, but I'll try to post regular-ish updates. I forgot my camera today, or there would be photographic evidence of all that's been going on.

Good night!
mousme: A view of a woman's legs from behind, wearing knee-high rainbow socks. The rest of the picture is black and white. (That went well)
I had an epic battle to the pain with the chicken I wanted to roast today.

1- Burnt the rice for the stuffing.
2- Cut open my finger cutting up bits & pieces for the stuffing.
3- Nearly dropped the chicken.
4- Got tackled by four cats all wanting the chicken for themselves.
5- Put the chicken in the oven but forgot to stuff it.

The chicken is now roasting, but egads! Cooking shouldn't be this strenuous. :P

Food joy

Jul. 7th, 2009 12:34 pm
mousme: A view of a woman's legs from behind, wearing knee-high rainbow socks. The rest of the picture is black and white. (Skillet)
The only thing that would have made today's fillet of trout better would be if I'd caught and cleaned it myself. As it is, since I have few (read: no) opportunities for fishing, baking it in the oven with a bit of sesame oil and a sprinkling of sesame seeds was a stroke of genius.

Absolutely delicious. I don't know why I don't cook fish more often.
mousme: A view of a woman's legs from behind, wearing knee-high rainbow socks. The rest of the picture is black and white. (Skillet)
Dear flist,

As part of my 101 Things in 1001 Days project, I am trying to broaden my cooking horizons. So for the next three months, the plan is to cook a "new" and "exotic" dish every week.

I could always go hunt down recipes on the internet, but I find that my experience is always best when I get recommendations from my friends.

So, dear flist, do you have any fun/new/exciting recipes that I could try? My regular culinary experience is North American/French Canadian, with occasional forays into cooking with curry and various stir-fries. What can you suggest that will make me break out of my culinary rut? (Dish names are good, and bonus points if you can provide the actual recipe)

:::cross-posted to [livejournal.com profile] recipe_trade:::
mousme: A view of a woman's legs from behind, wearing knee-high rainbow socks. The rest of the picture is black and white. (Carpet Ship)
One day back at work, and it's like I never left. So I came home, heated up some chili (which is divine, by the way, thank you for asking: I added in some hot peppers whose name escapes me, and some spicy Italian sausage, just because I could), and am treating myself to a White Russian (see icon). I may have a second one. I may need to buy more vodka at this rate. Never let it be said that I am not true to my mother's heritage. It's proper Russian vodka, too, none of that shitty Absolut stuff.

I am recovering from a day of too many people talking to me all the time and forever and ever amen. People I had to listen to, because that's my job. By the end of the day, though, I was snarling at the phone as it rang. I did my job courteously and professionally, but in my head all I could think was "Shut up and go way! Shut up shut up shut up NO I WON'T RUN THOSE FIVE PLATES FOR YOU AGAIN BECAUSE YOU WEREN'T PAYING ATTENTION THE FIRST TIME, YOU ASS!" Not that the guys were being addle-pated idiots today or anything. ;)

If these little breaks away from work drive anything home for me, it's just how much of an introvert I really am. Sure, I like seeing all my friends (love you all: mwah!), but most of the time I spent in the last ten days was alone time. I puttered on the internet, I ran errands, I wrote letters, I read books and watched some movies. Essentially, I recharged after months of dealing with people. Droves of people, in my space, all the freaking time.

Human contact is good for me. I know this. Left alone for too long, my mind starts going in circles and occasionally tries to kill me. So, not good. But on the whole, seeing friends once a week is more than sufficient for my "seeing of other human beings" quota. Less if it's a large group of friends or a particularly extroverted/exuberant friend. Not surprisingly, most of my friends are introverted to varying degrees.

I think this might be a large part of why I'm no good at relationships. Who on earth wants to be saddled with someone who can't stand human contact for at least 50% of their waking life? On the plus side, it's not like I hate being on my own. I love having my own quiet time, and I like my own company: I'm pretty interesting, after all, and I can make myself laugh like no one else can. ;)

But yes. Other people are work for me, with friends and family being pleasant work and with other interactions being just work. Even pleasant work takes its toll, though, and there are days when picking up phone messages or looking at email seems like a daunting task, never mind actually responding in a timely fashion. Since not doing it guarantees I'm going to lose important friendships (my parents will never give up on me, thank goodness), I've been making slow but sure progress over the past few years, and I disappear less than I used to, but I still do disappear occasionally.

Work doesn't help by keeping me constantly busy and exhausted and away from home, so that by the time I get home it's late and I have no energy and have only a few hours before I have to turn around and do it all again.

Why am I writing this? I have no idea. Maybe it's the vodka. Time for me to start winding down for the evening, since I have to go to work tomorrow. You're all shocked, I know, but there you go.
mousme: A view of a woman's legs from behind, wearing knee-high rainbow socks. The rest of the picture is black and white. (Skillet)
It feels good to be back in the kitchen to make something other than toast and soup from a can. Not that these things aren't good, mind you, as are grilled cheese sandwiches (a variant on toast) and the occasional plate of spaghetti.

That being said, I am very happy to be actually cooking again. Real food, using herbs and spices, even! Given that I got a late start on my cooking today, I'm making good progress. I started at 16:00 or thereabouts, and have roasted a chicken (Greek roasted chicken... mmm...) and made chili, which is now in the crockpot, stewing in its own juices.

I now have the makings of shepherd pie going (the meat is doing the last of its defrosting, which was poorly-timed on my part), and after that I shall make tuna casserole if time permits.

I have two other meals I want to make —a chicken stir-fry and a shrimp stir-fry— but those will have to wait until tomorrow night, I think, when I get home from work.

Lest you all wonder what the heck I'm going to do with all this food, the answer is simple: I'm going to freeze it in convenient individual portions and bring it to work with me. I am heartily sick of having to go out for my meals at work almost every day. It's expensive, and the places around work aren't actually all that good, especially at the astronomical prices they charge. I mean, $10 for a sandwich and a drink? Pah!

Right. Back to the stove I go. :)
mousme: A view of a woman's legs from behind, wearing knee-high rainbow socks. The rest of the picture is black and white. (Fizzgig)
Schroedinger's power supply is doing it again. The computer doesn't recognize that the power supply is plugged in, and I am once again running off battery power.

The last two times it did this (it appears to do it at random intervals), the problem fixed itself after I left the computer alone in a corner to think about what it did. So I shall be trying that for a while.

Of course, [livejournal.com profile] ashforestwalker came today to set up for painting tomorrow (I shall have gorgeous new colour in the front rooms as of tomorrow night! YAY!), and so all my furniture is bunched up in such a way that I can't pop in a movie or anything to pass the time. I guess I shall be forced to read in bed. Oh no!

After losing first the internet and then my cat, I have run out of emotion for this latest chapter in the saga. I am pretty sanguine about the whole mess, all things considered. It figures, though, that the minute I acquire functional wireless internet, that my computer would throw a hissy fit.

In better news, I am having supper with [livejournal.com profile] moonandtree, who has promised me the World's Best Salad. It was supposed to be a barbecue, but since it's pouring rain out there we've taken a raincheck on that.

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