Trip to Bavaria

BBQ 16

I haven’t written lately because the WordPress App on my iPod wouldn’t let me.  I normally write on the fly, as do many of you, I think, so I haven’t written.  I just uploaded the new update, and now the App won’t open at all.  I thought it was about time that

1. I complained about it, and

2. I let you know what was happening

Becky announced one day that she was bored.  This is probably something that most of you with children can appreciate, but this is something new for Becky.  She was typically  happy to watch movies all day ( not that I ever let that happen) or go along with whatever activities were suggested to her.  She’s a pretty easy-going kinda gal, so “bored” meant there had been a change.  She had developed enough cognitively to now need greater intellectual stimulation.  Wow! This was a huge step forward, but also a bit of a scheduling nightmare.

First of all, Becky decided she didn’t want to cook anymore.  After two years, I had to let our chef go. Now what? I had a HUGE panic attack.  ‘What was I going to do with her seven days a week? What was I going to do with her for the foreseeable future? How was I going to manage with her for five years, or longer?’ I don’t know. We are brainstorming regularly, and have some ideas, but there is no clear path yet. We need definite days and times for community activities in order to hire new staff, but we just don’t have that sorted yet.  We are left with no staff and no plan while Becky tries to figure out what she wants.

The title of the post is the name of a Scottish Country Dance, where everybody is moving at once, in different directions, and often chaos ensues. Everybody ends up laughing.  It feels very chaotic right now, but I can’t see anything humourous.

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It has been a long, long winter. Becky and I have been stuck in the house for four months! The reasons are varied. Becky had surgery, the lift broke, frigid temperatures, I hurt my back, and the lift broke again.

This week, a new lift was going to be installed.


Unfortunately, the technician seemed unable to remove the old lift. Becky was in tears and I felt ill. We would have to wait a few more days.

We heard nothing from the company, even after I called and left a message. This was not looking good. I called again on Friday morning and this time I reached a live person. They were planning on finishing the installation that afternoon.

We were still afraid to get our hopes up, but at 1:30 pm they pulled in the driveway. At 3:00 pm they pulled out. Look what they left.





What a relief and what happiness. Now Becky can enter and exit the house independently. I can now leave her again for short periods of time. Naturally we celebrated by going for an ice cream.

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Happy Easter!





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Black Lentil Soup with Herbes de Provence


So here it is, finally, a recipe. This one comes from the food delivery box we received last month. It uses two of the ingredients which are noted in the recipe title.

You will need:
1tbsp olive oil
1 carrot, chopped
3 garlic cloves, we crushed them
1 c Black lentils
1 tsp salt, which we left out
5 c vegetable broth/stock
1 14oz can of diced tomatoes, we used crushed
1 onion, chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped, which we didn’t have
2 tbsp dry white wine
2 tsp Herbes de Provence
1/4 tsp cracked pepper
4 c baby spinach

Heat olive oil in a large pot and add onion, garlic, celery, and carrots. Cook for 5 mins.


Add the wine, lentils, tomatoes, Herbes de Provence, salt, pepper, stock, and give it a good stir. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer.


Cover and cook for 40 mins. After 10 mins, we noticed the most amazing smell. Ooh, it smells good.

Five minutes before the end of cooking, add the chopped spinach.


And you’re done! Easy peasy. It results in a pretty thick soup.


Now for the taste test:
Becky – “yum”
Cheryl – “yum”

2 yums. Give it a go. It’s easy and nutritious. It was a great recipe for Good Friday as there was no meat. The herbs definitely add a lot of flavour, so try and find some.

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Surprise for Spring!

So far, 2015 has been a horrible year! Rather than moan and wail about our misfortune, I waited until there was something good to write about…and here it is.

Our food parcel arrived today! We were looking into several options during the frigid days of February. Unfortunately, many of these food parcel companies do not ship to Canada. Boo! We finally found one in Vancouver called “The Missing Ingredient”. They focus on Canadian businesses, and high quality ingredients.


As you can see, there is a real mix of food supplies. We have a jar of pasta sauce, a jar of herbs, black lentils, liquid smoke, a package of seasoning and a bar of organic chocolate. Guess which one we opened first. :-)


There were also four cards that arrived in the box.

There were two recipes including some of the ingredients, information about one of the food producers, and a cooking hint for the liquid smoke.

Becky and I were so excited at receiving the parcel, loved the surprise products, and are looking forward to cooking with most of them. (The chocolate won’t last)

This was our idea to cheer ourselves up during the coldest February on record. We just missed the February shipping date and had to wait a month, but it was worth it. We are well pleased. I think it will continue to warm us through a rather chilly March.

Bon appetit!

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New Year


This is what I did New Year’s Day; skated in Mississauga’s Celebration Square. I used to ice skate every week when I lived in Birmingham, but since moving to Canada, which is covered in ice and snow for several months, I think I have skated only three times. Once was on the Rideau Canal in Ottawa, which was wonderful, I think in Montreal one time, and New Year’s Day 2015.

My first week back at work has not been great. Temperatures plunged, so did parents tempers, Becky had several appointments, and I had to take my bus to Toronto unexpectedly. It was on a day when Becky had an appointment, but I was told I would be given another bus to drive. No problem. I dropped off my bus, a little later than expected due to snowy conditions, and waited for another bus, and waited, and waited. An hour was long enough. I asked what was going on. “We can’t start the bus we were going to give you” the mechanic said. “I have to go”, I told him. After a bit of a discussion, I finally took my bus back to Mississauga. What a waste of time and then I had race to get Becky to her appointment. It was a long appointment and I basically dropped her back at home and raced off to do my afternoon bus route. I was managing on half a cup of tea and a slice of toast, which I’d had at 6 am!

So as the days become more stressful, I think about ice skating. I remember the beautiful Christmas lights, the crisp air, and the feeling of freedom as I skated around and around without a care in the world. Lovely.

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New Year’s Resolutions

What do we think about New Year’s Resolutions? Well, basically, I think they’re a good thing , but I never make any myself because I’m practically perfect anyway ( translation: I don’t have the time or energy to work on self improvement).

I don’t need to lose weight as it hasn’t changed much in the last 25-30 years and Becky is my personal guide to becoming a better person. I also have 12 mini guides (students with special needs) who travel on my school bus every day. They all have personal challenges that they approach with smiles and generosity. I am constantly humbled in their collective presence.

So where does that leave us? I usually make a list of things I think I may achieve in the next year. It may be something as simple as; install two new basement windows, or as involved as; get a part-time job, which involved retraining and upgrading my drivers license. Either way, they are things that need to be accomplished in a certain time frame. It helps me focus what little energy, or financial surplus, I have, into something productive.

The photo that heads this post is a statue of Peter Pan that I found in a park today in St. John’s. In my head this little character sums up my thoughts on New Year’s Resolutions. They are mostly fantasy, but we enjoy them all the same. They never grow old, so we keep making them, and mostly, we love this idea that anything is possible. “We can fly, we can fly”!

If you do make resolutions, remember that there are no Resolution Police. For the rest of you, I know you are wonderful anyway and do not need to promote change.

For Becky, her goal is to walk. This year she had some treatment that will help her achieve that. I think it is unlikely that she will attain this huge goal in twelve short months, but she is certainly capable of making smaller changes that will enable her to walk in the future. Ultimately, she will be loved whatever happens. This one physical act does not define her as a person.

As we approach 2015, part of me hopes that nothing changes as we are so happy right now. So rather than hoping for a better year, I think I am hoping for a similar year. 2014 was a good year for us, and I am sad to see it leave. Realistically, I know that change comes regardless, but perhaps it can wait a little longer….

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