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Mar 30, 2009

Wassup, Weather Gods?

Seriously. Can I plant my four year old's bean stalk in the garden yet? I don't want to kill the darn thing.

We have a magic window sill that can grow just about anything. Two years ago, A's preschool bean stalk grew up to the top of the window, so tall that I had to support it with straws taped together. I moved it out to the garden and before I knew it, it was over my head (maybe there's some truth to that Jack story ;) We were eating beans off it for a couple of months.

Now J has one too, and it's looking like it wants to go outside. I honestly don't know if he remembers A's beanstalk, or would even care if his went outside and died, but it would bug me.

So I ask you, yet again, southern BC weather peeps, are we DONE with the cold and snow already???

Mar 29, 2009

April 1st Virus Info

Will it be dangerous, or is it just a hoax?

Here's an article from the Calgary Herald (my McAfee declared this a safe link) with more info:

Apparently the virus is already in 12 million PCs world wide, and on April 1st these PCs will communicate with the remote version of the virus for new instructions.

Macs are not at risk at all, and PCs that are newer with their Microsoft updates current are at less risk.

I don't know about you, but I'm disconnecting my Internet on April 1st. My question is, will the virus still be active on April 2nd?

I guess we'll find out! Good luck, everyone...

Mar 27, 2009

Broccoli For Headaches?

Who knows. All I know is that I have had a head splitting migraine all day. I read somewhere that foods high in calcium, such as broccoli, can help. Desperate for relief I dove into the fridge and found the broccoli. Mmmmm. Fresh, too! Crunch crunch crunch...

...and now, about an hour later, my headache does seem to have subsided. Oh it's still here, don't get me wrong, but I'm sitting up at my laptop instead of lying on the couch my eyes closed.

Mind you, I have the TVNC (two very noisy children), so we'll see how long this lasts...

Mar 25, 2009

Praying For Stellan

Click here for his story:

Prayers for Stellan

Mar 22, 2009

Mellow Yellow Monday #11


Here's mine for this week! It's a favourite snack of my kids...

Coffee Brewing Tip

If you`re looking to perfect your coffee brewing technique, here`s something to try:

Use two filters, and a coarser grind.

The reason: over extraction makes coffee bitter, and a grind that is too fine results in over extraction (but a grind that is too coarse with one filter results in weak coffee).

However if you use two filters, the water doesn`t pass through as quickly, and the coffee will be more full bodied. That, combined with a coarser grind to reduce bitterness, makes a better tasting cup.

I read this tip awhile ago, and the results were so good, I haven`t looked back. You may have to experiment with the way you grind your beans - I know for myself, over-grinding was an ingrained habit that took awhile to break. I use a re-usable filter, combined with a paper one as well. I compost my used grinds and paper filters, so at least that makes it a bit more green.

Have fun, and happy brewing!

Mar 21, 2009

Cat Proof Your Plants

Heh heh...

Here's a solution to my cat plant-litter problem!!! Sprinkle some of this stuff in the plant soil, and presto... no more cat plant luuuv!!

Hmmm. I wonder if it actually works. It supposedly smells like Coyote and Fox urine, to scare the cats away, and it's non-toxic. Sounds good in theory, 'cept... I wonder how they add the scent?

Mar 20, 2009

Cats Run My Life

Since the acquisition of our scrumptious new leather couches (ahhhh!!! they still smell intoxicating), I've been, um, "working with" the cats to create an environment that is couch safe and still pet tolerant. One of my strategies has been to lock the cats in the basement at night, when they're not subject to human supervision.

They have places to sleep, and I provide them with litter. Apparently I've failed in this regard, because they've made alternate arrangements. Specifically, one of my plants.

It's kind of my own fault, because I (duh) have not removed the plant. And once the soil has been peed in, that's it. It's cat territory. There's no amount of cleaning or scooping, or disinfecting the surrounding laminate that will dissuade them from their target.

"Ha!! It's ours now, so give it up, you sad and sorry human!!"

Regretfully, I think the only solution is to move the plant outside, and take my chances with the elements. It'll either grow, or die. So be it.

Here's my issue: if I move the plant outside, then what? Will they continue to ignore the litter I've provided and move on to the next plant? Will they systematically go from plant to plant in their relentless pursuit of human dominance? Will they ultimately prevail and continue to rule???


Mar 19, 2009

A Tale Of Two Couches

Four, actually, if you want to get technical... there were two, um, old tattered ones and now there are two delicious smelling new leather ones!!

We have cat issues. Our cats, between the two of them, have virtually destroyed the old couches (hence the "tattered" description). They weren't just couches, they were cat beds and scratching posts as well. And, um, cat urine dribble catchers. Blech. Let's just say they're not fit to be passed on to anyone or sold.

We took the ultimate risk of bringing NEW LEATHER into a house with two clawed cats. Two cats with claws, and only ONE spray bottle. Did I mention the leather? It's not cheap. (Nor is my daughter quiet, as she rambles on about one of the cats while I type this. I take no responsibility for grammatical errors while my attention is so divided :p )


I had heard many leather couch and cat stories, ranging from "Omg, my cats destroyed it!" to "it was fabulous - they ignored it." I have to confess I was skeptical, and for the first few hours after the couches were delivered, a little stressed out.

I'm happy to report that so far, knock on wood (you too please? any wood you have handy?) it's been a non-issue. The cats have come forward ever so tentatively to sniff the couches, but that's been about it. I'm starting to feel hope!!

Can they really leave the leather alone? Is that even possible?

DH has agreed to spend $$ on a "cat condo" - you know, one of those atrocities that they can climb on, sleep in, or scratch that are more, uh, rec-room style as opposed to front room decor? Hopefully that will give them an alternative spot to "cat" on. (Whaaat?? Hey, if "google" can be a verb... ) I think safeguarding our new yummy chocolate coloured leather is worth nasty-cat-condo-ing a corner of the room.

Wish me luck.

Mar 17, 2009

Happy St. Patrick's Day!!

May the luck of the Irish be with you!!

Mar 16, 2009

Manic Monday #159

Click here to play:

Are you a saver or spender?

Both. I alternate. I live in a constant state of financial confusion.

Do you prefer to walk around barefoot in your home? Socks? Shoes?

Socks, absolutely. Shoes would add to the mess and barefoot would, um, be too in touch with it. Socks allow me to be in denial about the state of my floors, without actually making them dirtier.

Do you talk to yourself?

Excessively (do I get points for confessing?). It can be embarrassing when I'm caught ;)

Mar 14, 2009

Slumdog Shame

I don't know about you, but I find this a bit disturbing.

According to this Vancouver Sun article, the child actors who starred in the Oscar winning film Slumdog Millionaire (a film which has already made $45 million showcasing poverty in India) have returned to their own lives of poverty.

Rubina Ali (who played Latika in the film) was paid a mere $1,000 to act in the film and has now returned to life in a hut that she shares with her parents, brother and sister. Azhauddin Ismail (who played Salim) was paid $3,500, and now lives with his family under a plastic sheet by railway tracks.

The film's producer has supposedly arranged for $50 per month to be given to the children for food and books, and has told their parents about a trust fund that has been set up for their future, but has not given them any details supporting this.

Assuming this is true, you would think that a film that has generated that much success could provide better for its young stars, rather than getting away with what appears to be the bare minimum of compensation for their contribution.

Hopefully there really is a trust fund, and now that the media has gotten wind of the kids' scant remuneration, the monthly book and food allowance will increase...

Mar 13, 2009

Norton Nonsense

I just tried renewing my Norton anti-virus protection. No it hasn't expired yet, to any hackers out there. (I'm not paranoid, I just don't like excluding any readers ;)


Although it had me under "Canada" in the country field, it wouldn't let me proceed any further until I entered a valid US zip code. (sigh). Ok, soooo... even though it defies logic to enter a US zip code under "Canada", I entered the only one I could think of. Please don't laugh.


Yes, you're right. I entered:

It accepted it!!! So there ya go, Beverly Hills folks, the province of BC Canada is now included in your popular zip. I feel a shade cooler already...

Mar 10, 2009

Cleaning Sea Monkey Tanks

So here's my task for today: cleaning out the kids' little Sea Monkey tanks.

Let's just say I'm glad I'm not a Sea Monkey. They, um, swim around in their own poop, for heaven sake. POOP.

I'm OK with the algae, because that is supposedly what they eat. J's tank has a nice layer of green at the bottom (but not A's - it's a little strange since both tanks have gotten identical treatment and sun exposure). Not only that, the algae doesn't go floating around in the tank, making the water all cloudy, with the... you guessed it. Poop. (Watching them poop was slightly amusing at first but having to finally clean up after it is not).

Here's the dilemma. They need their same, treated water, so I can't simply refill the tanks with new stuff. What I've done instead is dumped the monkeys, grungy water and all, into a clean bowl, and am waiting for all the floaties to settle to the bottom. Then I ever so carefully, scoop by scoop, return the monkeys and their treated water back to the tanks.

The problem is, every time I scoop, it stirs up the gunk at the bottom and re-mixes it with the water. I can only do about 2-3 scoops before I have to walk away and let it sit again for about half an hour.

This might take all day. If anyone has any alternate suggestions that might work, feel free to leave a comment :)

(translation.... heeeelllp!!)


Mar 9, 2009

Mellow Yellow Monday #9


Lil' J let me borrow some of his hot wheels cars for this pic :)

Mar 8, 2009

NOW We Get The Snow...


I've given up trying to figure out or predict this year's weather. At the moment it's 4C and it's snowing like mad! Sticking and everything. Glad I didn't pack away the snow pants. Yeesh.

Mar 7, 2009

No Snow!

Woke up today to beautiful blue skies and no snow on the ground. It's windy though, so God only knows what that'll bring, lol...

Mar 6, 2009

More Snow?

In March? In Vancouver? You've got to be kidding me! That's what they've forecast, anyway. It's supposed to start at about midnight, so we'll just see what happens. Yikes.

Mar 5, 2009

Outside The Box

Yet again I've learned something from my child.

Today he was playing "Mission", on Wii Play. In this game, you have a tank and your objective is to destroy the enemy tank before it destroys you. With your controller, you can move, drop bombs, and fire shots. To aim your shot, you point with the controller.

J doesn't do this. He doesn't aim his shots. Anyone who's played Wii knows that the controller pointers can be a bit finicky for an adult, never mind a four year old.

What he does instead is, using the arrow keys, maneuvers his tank around the enemy tank so that his cannon is facing the right way for him to fire (instead of moving the cannon).

He is amazingly good at this. Better than me, in fact. He can dodge shots like nobody's business, ducking back and forth, and circling around until his cannon is lined up, and then BOOM! He fires (and racks up points).

It's interesting to me, how he can completely disregard and important aspect of the game (aiming the cannon), and yet still beat the computer consistently because he is proficient enough in another area (maneuvering).

So here's my lesson: (pay attention, Jeanne ;)

Sometimes not confining yourself to a traditional approach frees you up to learn an equal or better alternative...

Mar 1, 2009

Mellow Yellow #8

This is the keyboard on my son's Lightning McQueen laptop :)