Sunday, 1 March 2015

This Hectic Life

Missed a few weeks of posting because February has been a CRAZY month.

At the beginning of the month I travelled to the SCBWI Midyear Conference in NYC. I've been to this conference several times before but I think it gets better all the time.  I met a ton of fantastic people and learned so much during the workshops.

On my downtime (which wasn't often) I managed to check out the 'One Hundred Books Famous in Children's Literature' exhibit at The Grolier Club.

I also managed to hit the streets to play my hand at some photography. I took about 500 different pictures and I'm not posting them all - just a couple

Sunday Morning at 5:30 am my friends and I hit the Matisse exhibit - yes that was the only time we could get tickets. There were still a lot of people there. There I learned that if you even take out your phone to text someone the guards yell, "NO PHOTOS!" 

I flew home only to stay long enough to do laundry and I was off to Quebec City for their Winter Carnival.

The hectic month continued with school visits, weekend trips to help family, day trips, and organizing and opening registration for our SCBWI Canada East conference in Montreal. Whew. 
March onward. 

Sunday, 1 February 2015

So some of the things I've been learning over the past week:

Keeping up with the tae-bo - though now it's more exercise than learning how to do it. Not that I am a tae-bo expert or anything just that there's only so much on the video and no actual classes around here. Also keeping up with the Spanish.

I've been learning different recipes - which is always an ongoing thing. Normally because when I cook and find something I love I can't always find the same recipe after. But this week I learned how to make puff pastry. Basically the recipe goes as -
roll out the pastry (if you don't make your own you can buy it).  I pizza rolled it but if you buy already made it comes in squares which you can separate and use - no rolling involved.
top with grated cheese - I used asiago, havarti, and applewood.
add chopped veggies - I used spinach, kale, cherry tomatoes, red onion - would have used olives but my daughter didn't like them.
Then I added some crumbled bacon and feta cheese on top.
Baked at 400 for about 15 - 18 minutes. Here's a picture - a bad one but it was taken quickly and last minute. I was hungry.

My daughters and I are learning about photography (composition, lighting angles etc) so we headed to the beach and took a bunch of photos.  I hope you aren't expecting rolling waves, beach bodies or even water in these pictures. It was DAMN cold to the point where we were almost saying screw composition, lighting and angles and just take a bunch of pictures of whatever our popsicle fingers end up deciding to thaw enough to press a button. Okay...

Sunday, 25 January 2015

Life has been busy but I am continuing with Spanish lessons,  and working at learning photoshop.

Some other random things I've learned this week,

1.  Accidentally using oil paints instead of watercolour will ruin what you're working on, but luckily I don't mind throwing shit out and beginning again.

2.  If your oil is not the perfect temperature donuts burn on the outside and are goo on the inside

3. Yo-Yo Ma's Bach Cello solos are perfect writing music and if you play it loud enough and close the office door you can't hear the telephone, or doorbell so you are not interrupted - YAY.

4. When you offer to knit a few headbands and hats for your daughter to sell to raise money for a mission trip to Nicaragua you learn that she is a very good sales person and you'll end up making more than you expected - it's a good thing.   FYI headbands sell more than hats.

Saturday, 17 January 2015

Sorry I haven't posted the past few days. I've been on an emotional roller coaster.

Wednesday and Thursday I was learning as per planed. Managed to get this.

I am officially entered in the Red Cross database. I think everyone should learn first aid. You only have to do what you are comfortable with.

Thursday and Friday I learned something I never wanted learn. 

We noticed blood in our dogs urine - the only real sign he was sick other than the fact that he ate his food more slowly. Labs do not eat slowly. He still ate treats and our food quickly. We took him to the vet only to find he had a large mass beside his stomach that was attacking his liver and spleen - he was anemic and his blood showed Cancer. I learned quickly Labradors do not act sick even when they are very sick. Our options were that we could bring him to Guelph and do surgery and then chemo and he may live a little bit longer (he was a 12 year old Labrador) or we could take out his spleen and he may live for three months on pain meds and we could take him home and he may live a day or two but would likely not last the weekend. 

We decided it was time to say goodbye -  even though it was harder for us to let go now and not have him a few more months it was easier on him not to have to be in pain for his last months. We took him home for the night so my oldest daughter could be with us to say goodbye the next morning. We fed him prime rib for dinner, peanut butter and chocolate cookies for dessert. We gave him lots of love (not that we didn't do this normally) - he was still peppy and active however he would stop a lot to rest so it made it harder for us because he didn't act really sick even though he was. We took pictures and let him paint - mostly on the floor. 

The girls slept beside him during the night and in the morning we brought him back to the vet to say goodbye. 

One of the hardest things a person can do is say goodbye when they know it will be forever. 

I keep waiting to hear the click click of his nails against the now painted floor and seeing his wagging tail or waiting for him to knock my feet off the chair so he could get under them. We are mourning  but we will go on remembering what a great dog he was. We will grasp the memories of our goofball Sunny tight in our minds. The paw prints he left are now sealed on the wood floor and we are going to get a 'family' tattoo with his paw, his name and his life. As that should be our family tattoo. He was one of us and will remain with us forever.

Run free my beautiful yellow dog. We will always love you.

Monday, 12 January 2015

Still learning

I am continuing to go out of my way to learn everyday even on days like today when I'm busy driving around town to appointments and such. While my daughter was in her doctors appointment I ran through some Spanish lessons. I'm learning my marks are uch lower when I have to do them on my phone or iPad where I don't bother to put in the right accent on the word. I still pass however I am quickly informed Oops you forgot the accent. I would remember the little dot if I knew where that particular letter was on my phone keyboard. Changing my phone language to Spanish would like not be an option especially when I need to flip between Spanish and texting.

The response text from my daughter would likely be WTF?

Friday, 9 January 2015

Today between writing a new picture book draft, working on my novel, scbwi emails, Tae bo and Spanish lessons I managed to try a couple of new recipes. For lunch due to a snow day my daughter was home so instead of the easy slap together pb sandwich I learned to make Paneras cauliflower/cheese soup. You can find it here:
http::// It's really easy doesn't take long and is really good. It would be fantastic with fresh breadsticks.

This evening I also tried the recipe for the ultimate chocolate chip cookies. There are a lot of places that claim to have these and really it's a personal taste thing but these were the best I've tasted in a long while.

Happy eating 😊

Thursday, 8 January 2015

A new workout

I've done all sorts of workouts before. I enjoy yoga, working out on the elliptical and in the summer riding a bike but today I tried Tae Bo. Using a video - not in a gym. I really wanted to try it before I signed up for any classes. If there are even Tae bo classes around here. I'd have to check. Either way,  I really think I'm going to like it.