I celebrate secular Christmas - and in our family the reason for the season is food.  And more food.  And maybe a little more after that.  And don't forget snacking!

Whatever and however you are celebrating this time of year, I hope this season is full of love, family, friends, and happiness!  And food.  Lots and lots of food.

Gary getting into the Christmas spirit.

Posted by Jen B On Friday, December 24, 2010 1 comment
My Aunt and Uncle raise cattle.  Earlier this year they sent one of their cows to slaughter and filled their freezer with it.  Cows are giant and they produce hundreds of pounds of food, so she gave some to my Grandma, who in turn gave some to my Mom.  This past weekend, Mom shared some with me.  It started with "do you want a pound of hamburger?" and ended with a giant bag of glorious meat!  My Mom is beyond generous and spoils me to pieces whenever I go over there.  This time of year her house is especially full of food, treats, cookies, and candy and I reluctantly (ahem) help her through it so it is all gone by New Years.  The gift of meat is above and beyond what I expected though.  It was given to me with love, is farmer fresh, and knowing that the cow was raised locally (and by family) adds something to the quality of the meat for me.  Thanks, Mom.

Awesomely the gift of meat included some T-Bone steaks.  John fought the cold and BBQ'd them up for an amazing meal the other night.
Mmmm.... Winter BBQ

These steaks were thick and giant.  I couldn't believe how much of my plate they covered.  We served them with a side of perogies (go big or go home!) and steamed carrots.  My cup runneth over.
Now that is a lot of meat!

I couldn't eat all of mine so I saved half for lunch the next day.  Steak and eggs baby!  If I don't weigh an extra 15 pounds by the end of the holidays, it won't be from lack of trying!
Protein power lunch

Posted by Jen B On Thursday, December 23, 2010 No comments
I awoke drunk with sleep last night at 2:00am or so to step outside and check out the total lunar eclipse.  Half asleep, I struggled into my boots and coat, but I was still able to enjoy the majesty of the event.  The eclispe happens over a few hours, so I only glimpsed a portion of it, but it was cool none-the-less.  I fell instantly back to sleep and awoke again at 3:30am.  At that point it was in total eclipse mode with a reddish/orange hue.  Beautiful.

Here is the one (half asleep) photo I took with my point and shoot.  There are much better photos all over the internet today.
Lunar eclipse at 2:06am Dec 21, 2010 - view from the front yard

Posted by Jen B On Tuesday, December 21, 2010 No comments
I'm at my Mom's this weekend and she has been doing lots of holiday baking.  Yesterday she made her world famous Nuts and Bolts and today she is whipping up her equally delicious caramel corn.  Here is a shot of what goes into the "caramel".  Mmmmmmmm....
Mmmmmm... Sugar and fat... A winning combination!!

Posted by Jen B On Sunday, December 19, 2010 2 comments
I'm in Barrie today, but just barely.  It was snowing heavily the whole drive down and it has only gotten worse since I've been here.

I know I live in Canada.  I know it is winter time.  I know that piles and piles of endless snow should not be a surprise.  But it has been snowing for DAYS now (DAYS!!!) and it is starting to make me a little bonkers.  In the country, everything is contingent on the weather.  If it is a snow storm you can't go out, even if you need groceries.  Or you can go out, but plan to take twice as long and pee before you go, because you might not make it back.  It is weather like this that makes me miss the city.  No matter what the weather, you can just walk to the bus/subway and you can get where you're going.  It still might take a while, but at least you're not risking your own vehicle, and it is probably a lot safer being in a giant bus versus my little Mazda.

One of these days I am going to pick up a pair of snow pants and try to enjoy all this stupid snow.  Until then, I am taking to my little blog and complaining about it!

Posted by Jen B On Wednesday, December 15, 2010 No comments
You know all those people who go to the mall and curse the Christmas music blaring from every store sound system? I am not one of those people.  I love Christmas music.  I hate being at the mall in December, but it is not because of the music.  The music I like.

This year I am filling the house with Christmas cheer via internet radio.  John let me know about something called SHOUTcast, and it has an entire page of Christmas radio stations.  The one that I keep returning to is called Christmas Melody.  It is a crazy mix of songs that will transition from Elvis to NSync to The Andrews Sisters to Pavarotti to John Denver. It also includes comedy songs and original classics - it is fabulous and I have been playing it non-stop.

Listening to Christmas songs all day makes me think about favourites.  Jingle Bells is pretty classic - it is catchy, fun to sing, and is full of memories of elementary school sing-a-longs.  What's not to like?  There are so many fun songs - Santa Claus is Coming to Town, Frosty the Snowman, Holly Jolly Christmas, Feliz Navidad, Jingle Bell Rock - it is hard to choose the best, as there are so many that I like.  The following is a list of a few tracks I absolutely must hear over Christmas and some that I try to avoid altogether.

My Christmas Favourites:
Rocking Around the Christmas Tree - Brenda Lee
Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas - The Pretenders
Baby it's Cold Outside - I like the Tom Jones + Cerys Matthews version, but any will do.
Wonderful Christmastime - Paul McCartney
Christmas Time is Here Again - The Beatles

My Least Favourite Christmas Songs:
12 Days of Christmas - Bob and Doug McKenzie -- The beer in a tree thing drives me nuts!
The Christmas Shoes - NewSong -- The worst of the worst.  Completely gag-worthy.
River - Joni Mitchell -- I actually love this song but I find it way too depressing for Christmas.

What are your favourite Christmas songs?  Which ones drive you crazy?

Posted by Jen B On Saturday, December 11, 2010 6 comments
Gary loves boxes.  She also loves to dominate anything new.  Putting up the tree around here involves the extra step of cat-removal.  Good thing she is cute.

A new box, eh?  I better check this thing out...

Now where is the comfy spot?

I could hang out here all day...

Posted by Jen B On Saturday, December 11, 2010 2 comments
Because sometimes you get more.  Or you save more over time.  Or both.

I'm really frugal so I'm always looking around for the best deal, and sometimes the best deal is more expensive on the front end.

Being the proud owner of a new used car, I want to do everything I can to take care of it and extend its life.  Now that it is winter time, that means rust proofing it from salt.  Rust proofing is new to me, so I called around to a few places to see who could do it and how much it cost.  Walmart and Canadian Tire were two places I knew of that did it, and I found out they both offer a treatment for $89.99 that covers the entire car, not just the undercarriage.  I made an appointment at Walmart (they had the earliest time available), but they told me the appointment could be conditional on the weather.  The technician let me know that if it was too snowy/slushy, they weren't able to remove the snow/slush from the car before they did the oil application.  It was a snow storm the day of my appointment, and they said I was welcome to still get it done, but they would have to spray the oil OVER the snow/mud/salt that was on the car, so they recommended I reschedule for a less snowy day.  I don't think there is going to be a less snowy day until March.  I called Canadian Tire and asked if they remove the snow from the car before application.  They told me that the heat of the garage melts the snow off and then they apply the oil.  The snow melts off on its own?  How long does that take?  Doesn't anyone have a hose and some warm water to rinse the car off?

Krown does.  I was complaining to my brother about getting rust proofing done in the snow, and he told me to "just go to Krown".  I'd never heard of them, but Bro said they are the best.  I called the Barrie location and they are indeed the best!  When I asked if they clean the snow from your car first, they said they spray it off with hot water.  No letting it melt away on its own?  No just putting the oil on over top of it?  Nope.  They clean the snow from your car before they apply the oil treatment.  That is all I wanted.  The price was higher - $119.95 - but that also included drilling into the car so they could put the oil deep into the vehicle.  They give your car a rinse after the application, and they guarantee the price you paid for the life of your car.  So even if their rate goes up, I'll always pay $119.95 on the Mazda.  The best part was the staff were super friendly and helpful and it only took 25 minutes.  I mentioned that my brother went there too and they gave me $10 off for a family rate.  Seriously?  It was a bonus that has me singing their praises and now my Dad is going to go there next year too.  I was really impressed with the whole Krown experience and it was only twenty dollars more than the other places.  For the professional service I received, I think it was well worth it in the long run.

Also this week I paid more up front for new Christmas lights.  My previous lights were regular bulbs and half the strand was dead when I plugged them in.  I only used them twice and I already had to replace them.  I went in to get a new strand last night, and I had to decide between the $5 regular strand and the $15 LED strand.  The LEDs use less power and are said to last ten times longer than the regular strands.  I gave them a try and I frickin' love them! They are so bright and festive.  From what I have been reading about LED lights, I am pretty sure when I plug them in next year they are still going to work.   And the year after that and the year after that.  I had to pay $10 more up front, but I'll save money on my hydro bill and by not having to replace them as frequently.

Pay more now, save more over time.  Sounds like a plan.
Posted by Jen B On Friday, December 10, 2010 No comments
I bought my fifth box of clementines of the season this week.  And my 17th pomegranate.  These fruits are only in season from late November to mid January, so I am trying to shove twelve months worth of love and appreciation of these yummy treats into the two short months they are available by consuming as many as possible.  Plus they are both my absolute favourite.  I love, love, love them.

I love pomegranates because they satisfy some of my key snacky cravings: perfect crunch, finger food, and takes time to eat.  I pull my pomegranates apart (like this), and make my way through seed by seed in one big, messy, fulfilling snacking adventure.  They are incredibly tangy, juicy, and fun to eat.

My favourite way to eat clementines is in groups of five or more.  My average is eight per sitting.  Last year I went through about 12 boxes of them without really trying, so we'll see how many I get to this year.  Clementines are easy to peel, generally seedless, and full of yum.  Such a great snack.  I wish they were available all year round!

Posted by Jen B On Thursday, December 09, 2010 4 comments
Exiting the grocery store this afternoon, I began to walk down the row of cars where I remembered parking.  I scanned the row of cars and it was easy to spot mine: the one with the headlights left on.  Shit.  I picked up the pace with my groceries in tow, believing that the extra three seconds I gained by running would ensure the battery was not dead.  I threw myself in the car, did a chant of "please don't make me learn the hard way", and attempted to start the car.  It worked, thankfully.  No boost required.

One of the only flaws I have found in my car is that there is no alarm bell if you try to exit the car with the headlights still on.  I'm not used to turning the headlights on and off, so I need an alarm to yell at me or I am not going to remember.  In lieu of a bell, my friend Duct Tape and I have placed a friendly reminder in the form of the word "Lights" on the inside car door just above the handle.  Here's hoping that this visual aid will help me avoid a car battery failure in the future.

Posted by Jen B On Thursday, December 02, 2010 2 comments
I'm at my parent's place for a few days - involving myself in family events that will conclude with buffet lunch at Mandarin on Wednesday.  I am having a glorious relationship with food lately, where my cup has been continuously running over since about Halloween and I am indulging in every minute of it.  I might take a break from feasting after lunch on Wednesday - as I will have to resume this lifestyle at Christmas and I don't know if I can keep up the pace until then!

This multi-day visit to my Mom's is the first one where I didn't need to get someone to drop me off and pick me up.  I just drove my car over here and parked it.  When I am ready to leave, I will just drive it home.  It is a simple thing to be happy about, but I am still celebrating having a car of my own.

Which leads me to my "Going to Mom's Car Mix".  These are the tracks that will be taking me to and from my parents place.

Going to Mom's Car Mix

 1. F*ck You - Cee Lo Green
 2. Telephone - Lady Gaga feat. Beyonce
 3. Opportunities (Let's Make Lots of Money) - Pet Shop Boys
 4. Crash - Dave Mathews Band**
 5. Rudie Can't Fail - The Clash
 6. Murder of One - Counting Crows
 7. Where the Streets Have No Name (I Can't Take My Eyes Off You) - Pet Shop Boys
 8. Under Pressure - Queen and David Bowie
 9. In Your Eyes (live) - Peter Gabriel
10. Home and Dry - Pet Shop Boys
11. You Can Close Your Eyes - James Taylor and Carole King
12. Sail Away - David Gray
13. Alejandro - Lady Gaga
14. September - Earth, Wind, & Fire
15. Bennie and the Jets - Elton John
16. Pendulums - Sarah Harmer

**While listening to the mix in the car, I realized it was a little unnerving to sing along to the lyrics "crash into me."  Version 2.0 of this mix would replace 'Crash' with '#41' (also by Dave Matthews Band). 
Posted by Jen B On Monday, November 15, 2010 1 comment
I turned thirty last week and so far it has been great.  I made myself a giant turkey dinner and basically feasted for days.  Just my style.

There is a lot of hoopla around birthdays ending in zero - and the suggestion that you need to do something big.  So I talked to my dad about it to see if he wanted to help me do something 'big'.

Me: Hey Dad - your only baby daughter is turning thirty!  How about sending me to Cuba for my birthday?
Dad: You know what?  I have a gift card for Swiss Chalet that I got for Christmas.  I thought we should have that for your birthday.

He wouldn't be my dad if had replied anything different than that.  We had birthday Swiss Chalet take-out last Wednesday with my bros and it was absolutely delicious.  It was 'big' enough for me.

My turning thirty is a big deal for my parents - I'm the baby of the family and the baby is now thirty!  Yesterday I was chatting with dad on the phone and all of a sudden he said:

Dad: I realize you are now over thirty so I am not going to call you my baby anymore.  Because you are not a baby.  ...  So what should I call you?
Me: You should call me... Power of Attorney.

And we laughed and laughed.  Sometimes dad sets them up and I knock them down.  Plus I really could do some good if I was in charge of his finances... like a trip to Cuba! :)

Posted by Jen B On Tuesday, November 09, 2010 2 comments
It was a beautiful sunny day out there today so we went exploring in the forest behind the house.  It is wonderful being outside at this time of year; the air is so fresh and the bugs are minimal.  The woods are wonderful too - I find bushwhacking to be really fun exercise!  Plus there are many neat and interesting places to explore in the woods.  Sounds like an adventure!
Sunny day on the marsh #1

Sunny day on the marsh #2

More marsh.

Look what a beaver did!

Good job beaver!

Here's another beaver take down!  And this is a big one!

Nice marsh reflection #1

Nice marsh reflection #2

Posted by Jen B On Monday, November 08, 2010 No comments
Today is my 100th post on the blog!

In honour of the 100th post, I finally wrote an ‘About Me’ page.  Feel free to check it out!

Over the past seven months I've blogged on many different topics, and I still find it neat that people land on my blog after Googling something they are looking for.  The following are a few of the posts that people land on most frequently by Googling!

Chocolate Bars Take the Cake - People often click on this post after googling “chocolate bar birthday cakes”, "chocolate bar pieces in cake," or “how to make Kit Kat cake”.

Beans: Dry vs. Canned - People have landed on the blog by searching: "canned chick peas vs dry benefits", "chick peas dried vs. tinned", and "dry vs. canned kidney beans".  Some people actually stay and read it too! 

Also, around the time of Oro Fair this year, my Oro World's Fair First Place Ribbon Banana Bread post got popular.  I also frequently return to this post myself, as this is one of my favourite recipes.  This banana bread rocks!

A Big Giant Thank You to everyone who reads this blog! Thanks also for all the wonderful comments - weather on the blog or in person.  I really appreciate all of your feedback!  You rock!

Posted by Jen B On Tuesday, November 02, 2010 3 comments
Monday is municipal election day in Ontario and I hope you get out there and vote!

I live in Tiny Township, and this year voting was done through Vote By Mail ballots.  I found that out on Friday.  I have never voted in a municipal election in Tiny, so I was not on the voter list and did not receive a Voter Information Package.  I called the Tiny Township office on Friday to ask where the polls were going to be held on Monday and I was simply told that it was Vote By Mail this year.  I said that it was obviously too late for me to vote by mail (because there is a reason they call it snail mail), so I asked what to do instead.  I was told that on election day (Monday), I can get a ballot at the Tiny Township office and put it in their ballot box.  So the Tiny Township office is the one and only polling station then?  That doesn't sound good.

Maybe it is because I am used to casting my vote in Toronto, but it seems like a really bad idea to only have one venue for voting.  Tiny Township has over 18,000 residents who are eligible to vote.  Is there enough space for everyone who will be coming to vote?  Does the township office have a room to vote in?  Is there enough staff to assist people?  I imagine they are assuming that most people mailed in their ballots and that people casting their vote at the office will just be those who aren't on the voters list.  Unfortunately, if the people I know are an example of Tiny voters, I think there are going to be plenty of confused people at the township office on Monday.

Two people I know who are on the voter list and got a Voting Information Package in the mail, didn't even open the envelope.  They both assumed they didn't have to care about it until election day.  That seems fair to me.  People are really apathetic about voting in general (voter turnout is less than 50%), so I don't think it is too much of a stretch to think that people wouldn't give a shit about their Voting Information Package until the day they thought they had to (election day!).  I didn't even care about asking where to vote until the Friday before the Monday election, and I think voting is really important!  Who knows how many people just left their ballots in a pile of mail on their kitchen table, only to open them sometime this weekend and not understand what to do?

Another person I know received their voting package and opened it, but thought the information about voting by mail was just that - information.  They assumed they could take their ballot to the polling station on election day.  I looked over the package.  It does have instructions on how to vote by mail, but it never tells you why you should.  Nowhere does it say: "Hey Look! There is NO POLLING STATION in your area! We want you to vote by mail this year! Please mail this back to vote!!"  A lot of people just expect to do what they did last time (go to a polling station) so unless it is specifically spelled out, I imagine some people just ignored the vote by mail option and assumed there was a polling station somewhere.  I know I thought there was.  Isn't there always a polling station somewhere?

Oh yeah, there is...  The Tiny Township office.  I wonder how full and crazy it is going to be when I get there on Monday?

Even if there are long lines, make sure you get out there and vote!  It is worth it to make sure your voice is heard.

UPDATE:  The township office wasn't all that busy when I went to vote.  There was a steady flow of people dropping off their ballots in person, as well as a few I overheard saying "I just opened it this morning..."  The woman I was behind in line said her parents opened theirs that morning, and if they had known, they would have mailed it last month.  I asked the election clerk how many ballots they got back through the mail and she said it was over 6000.  About 9000 people vote, so that left about a third of voters dropping off their ballots/having to vote at the office.

Posted by Jen B On Sunday, October 24, 2010 1 comment
I had suffient warning before I tried the KFC Double Down.  My brother didn't like it.  My friend James didn't like it.  I had a pretty good idea it was not going to be good or worthwhile.  However I am a craver of pretty disgusting foods from time to time and this had the potential to be a disgusting food that I would enjoy.

The Double Down experience was a let down from the start.  The staff didn't anticipate so many people ordering the sandwich and it took an incredibly long time to prepare.  Believe me, I want my food cooked, but it took over twenty minutes from the time we ordered it to when we were back in the car with our 'sandwich'.  Twenty minutes was too long of a wait for something that was probably going to be gross.  So this kind of doubled our disappointment.

Next was the price.  We got one Double Down sandwich to split, and it was $7.90.  No fries, no drink - just the sandwich for $7.90.  I think that is really expensive, and my frugal brain only let me buy it because it was a novelty and (most likely) a one time thing.  Plus John and I split it - so it was only a $4 extravagance.

So it cost too much and it took to long to make, and when we finally got home to eat it... it was mediocre.  It wasn't as awful as everyone said and it absolutely wasn't as good as it could have been.  It was just mediocre.  And it didn't do much to quash my hunger.  We split the sandwich, so each of us only got half of the 30g of fat and the 1700mg of salt, but even if I had eaten a whole one, it just didn't seem like a lot of food.  Maybe I am biased by the $8 I spent on it, but there are many other things we could have spent $8 on that would not have left me hungry.  And would not have been mediocre.  If I could do it over I would have gotten a rotisserie chicken from the Real Canadian Superstore deli - it's the same price and a hell of a lot more satisfying.

Our Double Let Down

Posted by Jen B On Saturday, October 23, 2010 4 comments
I don't want to alarm anyone, but it snowed here today.

Don't worry, it was nothing like this photo.  The snowflakes today were actually so light that I couldn't capture any on film.  Regardless, it is a bitter reminder that the winter pictured above is coming.  Hopefully not until January, but it is coming.

Anyone know where Summer went?

Posted by Jen B On Thursday, October 21, 2010 No comments
Hundreds of blackbirds were flying around in the backyard this morning.  Kinda made me think of that Alfred Hitchcock movie...

Posted by Jen B On Monday, October 18, 2010 No comments
When I awoke this morning I noticed the car was looking a little slumped to one side and further investigating revealed that the drivers side front tire was completely flat.

First: Thank goodness it was flat at home and didn't happen while I was driving.

Second: I realize I would have no idea how to change a flat tire if it happened to me on the road.

Since I now own a car, I am going to be driving a lot more often, and I need to be prepared for emergency/problem situations that may arise.  I have common sense and I took a driving course (12 years ago...), but I still have some serious learning to do.  Right now I feel like a grandparent who is first learning how to use the computer; I'm worried that everything I do or touch is going to break it somehow.  I need to get over that.

On Friday we thought the tire was low but we didn't bother to check the gauge or fill it up (it was late, I was tired).  I drove it on Saturday and I felt it was pulling to the left (a sign the tire was low), but I still didn't check it.  Then this morning, the tire was flat.  We used a motorized air pump and filled the tire. We waited a few hours to see if we had a fast leak on our hands, but it stayed inflated so we drove to the local gas station and used their heavy duty pump/gauge.  Each of the tires was filled to roughly 32psi (our optimal pressure).

Tonight we drove into town and bought ourselves a digital tire gauge.  I was really hyper about the tire the whole ride there and the whole ride home.  It has continued to stay inflated.  The digital gauge is awesome - this is a necessary technological advancement.
So hopefully our tire issue is just that we drove on a low tire and by neglecting to fill it up on the two days we noticed it, it rebelled by going flat.  Or there is a slow leak and it will have to be fixed.  We tested the gauge of all the tires tonight and we'll test them again tomorrow, so if the one tire does have a leak we should be able to tell.  I have learned my lesson about air in the tires though, and I will happily be checking the gauge regularly.  As for everything else there is to learn about car ownership/car maintenance/emergency car situations, I am reading my owners manual and taking it one day at a time.

UPDATE:  Ten days later and the tire hasn't gone flat again or lost more pressure than any of the other tires.  We've been driving around a lot since then, too.  I went through a phase where I was afraid to use my car because I thought the tire was going to blow up, but it hasn't given me any reason to continue to think that.  So far so good.

Posted by Jen B On Sunday, October 17, 2010 No comments
I am a rather sentimental person and I have been waiting to go for a substantial drive in the new car until I had the proper mix.  This is a major event in my life - it must be honoured with music.  I have also never had a CD Player in a vehicle before, so a killer mix is also required to mark the occasion of my technological advancement.

Songs were selected based on theme (cars, traveling), certain words (driving, miles, road, etc.,) or if I have a specific memory with the song relating to driving (i.e. the song was featured in a movie where someone was driving).  I think it is a stellar mix and am excited to go for a spin with this soundtrack!

First Car Mix

 1. Drive My Car - The Beatles
 2. Cars - Gary Numan
 3. Life is a Highway - Tom Cochrane
 4. Power of Love - Huey Lewis and the News
 5. Kings Highway - Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
 6. Take it Easy - The Eagles
 7. End of the Line - Traveling Wilburys
 8. Helen Wheels - Paul McCartney and Wings
 9. King of Wishful Thinking - Go West
10. Get Out of My Dreams, Get into My Car - Billy Ocean
11. Highway to Hell - AC/DC
12. Driving Rain - Paul McCartney
13. A Thousand Miles - Vanessa Carlton
14. Groovin' - The Young Rascals
15. Cruisin' - Huey Lewis and Gywneth Paltrow
16. Drive - The Cars
17. One Headlight - The Wallflowers
18. Too Fast Driving - Lisa Loeb
19. Big Yellow Taxi - Counting Crows
20. Casey Jones - The Grateful Dead

Posted by Jen B On Saturday, October 16, 2010 2 comments
The following things were inside the car when I first sat in it as the new owner:

1. Travel pack of Kleenex and car manual in the glove box

2. A quarter in one of the cup holders

3. A matchbook and a dime in the ashtray

4. Snow tires in the trunk (only a year old!)

5. A third tank of gas

6. Freedom

Posted by Jen B On Friday, October 15, 2010 No comments
We bought our first car this week!  We have spent the past while borrowing cars and catching rides, and it is such a relief to have a car of my own!

We bought a 2003 Mazda from a super-nice private seller who was a friend of a friend of a friend (the middle friend was the car's mechanic, so the car had great references!).

Expect some car-centric posts this week - I am really excited about my new wheels! :)

Posted by Jen B On Friday, October 15, 2010 3 comments
My brother Tommy and his wife hosted Thanksgiving on the weekend and as a 'thank you for coming' I got 50 lbs of potatoes!  And not just any potatoes.  These were farmer fresh (picked earlier that day) and grown by Tom himself.  I am a lucky girl.

Now all I have to do is find a way to get through all 50 lbs!!  We already used some for the turkey dinner I made on Monday night, and we are having home made french fries tonight.  Good thing I like potatoes and there are so many ways to prepare them.

What is your favourite way to eat potatoes?

Posted by Jen B On Wednesday, October 13, 2010 2 comments
Enjoyed turkey and Thanksgiving fun with my family yesterday.  On the way to dinner, Mom and I stopped at Zerhs to pick up a pumpkin pie and dinner rolls.  And so did the rest of Barrie apparently.  There were no pumpkin pies on any display table, no dinner rolls on any shelf.  We saw someone asking the guys in the bakery, and they still had a few pumpkin pies in the back.  We scored the third last one.  A few minutes later a man successfully got the very last pumpkin pie in all of the store.  All smiles, he held up his winnings and said: "Twenty bucks! Who wants it?"  He wasn't really trying to sell, but he did make price gouging hilarious!

A little later we asked the bakery guys if they had any dinner rolls in the back.  Not only did they have them, they were fresh and still warm from the oven.  The major bonus of our pie and dinner roll hunt was how happy the guys working in the bakery department were.  They were in their late teens or early twenties, and they seemed to genuinely enjoy so many people asking them for help and then being able to provide what was sought after.  One of the guys even chased down a customer with a pie he found.  What a delight to interact with people who actually like their jobs!

Another bonus? Pumpkin pie tastes amazing.  Happy Thanksgiving everybody!

Posted by Jen B On Monday, October 11, 2010 No comments
Beautiful sunset out there tonight.

Posted by Jen B On Monday, October 04, 2010 No comments
Here's some highlights of the sights at the 2010 Oro World's Fair.  If you notice slight blurriness on the right side of some of the photos, that is compliments of my five year old nephew who put his adorable little fingers right on the lens.  Good thing he's cute.

The midway.
Caramel Popcorn was purchased here!
Local farmer's tractors on display.
Demonstrating how they used to saw logs back in the day.
My nephew Earl checks out a calf.
My sister-in-law won first prize for her 'Hungry Man Lunch' display.
The parade begins with a police escort and the fire department!
Oro-Medonte fire truck.
At this point the parade went to the dogs.

The crowd watches as the tractors join the parade. 
My brother driving my uncle's tractor.
The finale of the parade is the march of all the elementary school students.
W.R. Best was my school and I got to carry the banner in grade 7.  Represent!
The parade ends with the clumping of school children (a.k.a chaos)

Posted by Jen B On Monday, October 04, 2010 No comments
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What I'm Currently Reading

2015 Reading Challenge

2015 Reading Challenge
Jen has read 0 books toward her goal of 30 books.

2014 Reading Challenge

2014 Reading Challenge
Jen has read 0 books toward her goal of 25 books.

2013 Reading Challenge

2013 Reading Challenge
Jen has read 5 books toward a goal of 25 books.

Suggested Reading

Suggested Reading

Good Eating

Active and Outdoorsy