Tuesday, 30 December 2008

Baby All I Want For Christmas Is You

It seems I've taken an unintentional blogging break and I have to say, I've enjoyed it. It's been a week now, of very minimal computer contact, and I'm getting a bit antsy. So here I am, trying to write a Christmas recap. Instead of writing about my family drama (this year's controversial topics: sesame seeds and adoption. Seriously) or Shawn's family drama (his dad was in town for Christmas Day which resulted in a bizarre competition between him and Shawn's mom for face time with the boys) I will instead leave you with Christmas-themed photos of my adorable pups. That way this recap will be more cuteness and less tears. I will say, though, that the performances by both my family and Shawn's family have further cemented my resolve to spend next Christmas abroad. Turtle, I so know you're with me on this one. 

So. The cuteness:

Wolfgang in my mom's reindeer planter


Bow gave my mom a giant teacup / planter for Christmas. How could we not put Wolfgang in it?


Stella with her Christmas present from Shawn's mom

A few things to note for the following sequence: 
- the santa hat was attached to Wolfgang by an elastic around his head.
- Stella didn't want to wear the santa hat, she wanted to eat the santa hat.
- as evil as Stella looks, she really does love Wolfgang. I think.






Monday, 22 December 2008

In The Arms Of An Angel

My Monday funk started to dissipate mid-morning when I bought snowboots. Cute snowboots that were 50% off (boots that, as it turns out, make my feet want to die but whatever, 50% off!) 

After the snowboots, a client came by the office and dropped off a box of chocolates for me. Not office-chocolates, Hillary-chocolates that I brought home and hid in my bedside table so I not only get to keep them from my coworkers, I get to keep them from Shawn too. Don't judge me; they're not just any chocolates. They're my favourite chocolates. 

Soon after the chocolates, I got a call from Shawn. He was headed downtown with his dad and brother to watch the hockey game and they decided to leave early so they could meet me for dinner. I ate french onion soup (mmm...onions and cheese!) and cheesy garlic bread (mmm...garlic and cheese!) and I would be a sad person indeed if my bad mood lasted through all that. 

On the skytrain home, I had an overhead view of the roads. During the day, the plows were out in full force and the road conditions looked fair enough to drive on. So I got in my car and headed out to the photo store to pick up the rest of my parents' Christmas present. The roads were so good that I decided to head to my parents' house for a quick visit, as they live five minutes from the photo store. I didn't take into account the fact that the photo store is on a main (plowed) road and my parents' house is not. I got stuck. I rocked my car back and forth. I got out of my car and tried to kick snow away from my tyres, to no avail. I was a block away from my parents' house so I called them, hoping my dad would walk down and help me out of my pickle. No such luck - there was no answer at their house. I got back in my car and was starting to panic when a man tapped on my window. He was not a nice looking man. He looked a bit rough around the edges and I was all alone and it was dark but I was stuck and didn't know what to do. So I rolled down my window and the man, the nicest man on earth, told me he'd help me get unstuck. And he did. It took fifteen minutes for him to push me free but he didn't complain or give up. He got me rolling down the hill and I barely managed to yell my thanks out the open window. I have no way of tracking down this man, I have no idea where he lives or what his name is, but I would just like to acknowledge that this man saved my bum tonight. And in the spirit of paying things forward, I would like to offer a package of my favourite chocolate (not the box I received today, obviously - that sucker is half empty) to one of my lucky readers. Leave me a comment telling me either your scariest car moment or your nicest good Samaritan experience (you can be on the giving or receiving end) and I'll use random.org to choose a winner. Contest closes a week from today. Or when I feel like picking a winner. 

Friday, 19 December 2008

I'm A Broken Biscuit From The Cookie Jar

Friday Faff: Christmas Baking Edition

I finished my Christmas baking last week and have happily moved onto the eating portion of my holiday season. I am currently in a cookie coma.

First, I made Angella's whipped shortbread. These were so popular that I had to make another batch. I have grounded myself from making a third batch because I'm pretty sure it's not a good idea for me to eat twenty shortbread cookies a day.


Next, I made these little gems (recipe courtesy of Martha Stewart.) They're not too sweet, thanks to the dried cranberries, and fairly easy to make. They do require some chilling time in the fridge though, so take that into consideration before making them.


Next up we have Pumpkin Gingerbread. I made a few adjustments to the recipe and it turned out really well. The recipe calls for a 15 ounce can of pumpkin but here in Canada we have 14 ounce cans or 28 ounce cans. I used one 14 ounce can because I didn't want to end up with extra pumpkin. I didn't have allspice so I cut it out and replaced it with 1/2 teaspoon of ground nutmeg. And because I am ridiculous, I added a bag of mini-chocolate chips. I used 4 small loaf tins instead of the 9x5 inch pans the recipe calls for. I baked them at 325 instead of 350 for about 40 minutes. This recipe, with my adjustments, is a definite keeper.


I made meringues because they seem so fancy and luxurious to me but they're very easy to make. I added the zest of one lemon to the mixture when I was finished whipping the egg whites with the sugar.


My mom has an awesome gingersnap recipe; I'll post it if anyone is interested.

Mom's Gingersnaps

When I lived in England, I had a hard time baking because the measurements are different. I made this cookie recipe up and have not yet been successful in replicating it in Canada (Lou, I'd completely forgotten about these until you reminded me!) They're still very tasty though; again, I will post the recipe if anyone is interested.


All my Christmas baking (minus the first batch of shortbread which we inhaled):

We packaged it all up:



and Shawn and I delivered the treat bags to our friends and family so that we couldn't continue to gorge ourselves on the yummy Christmas treats.

Thursday, 18 December 2008

What's Going On In The World Today

So, uh, I decided to write my Friday Faff post tonight instead of tomorrow and set it to automatically post tomorrow morning. Except it's showing up on my blog today, even though my post options say that it's set to post tomorrow morning. I am confuuuused. And sleepy. So if I've confused anyone, know that you are not alone. I am confused also. And unwilling to sort it out because I'd much rather go get into my pyjamas and watch television and eat shortbread. Sorry. Am lazy.

I Must Have Dreamed A Thousand Dreams

Wolfgang has been part of our family for just over three weeks. It has been a difficult transition, moving from one dog to two, not only for me and Shawn but for Stella as well.

Stella is a friendly, affectionate dog; her problem is not aggression or hostility, her problem is figuring out boundaries. Stella is boundary-less. We go to the dog park and she runs in like she owns the place. She will approach any dog - big or small, young or old - and expect them to love her as much as she instantly loves them.

We weren't concerned about Stella not liking Wolfgang; rather we were concerned that she might like him too much. Stella is a muscular 23 pounds of exuberance. Wolfgang isn't meek but he does weigh under 5 pounds (he weighed in at 4.7 lbs at our last vet visit.)

When we first brought Wolfgang home, Stella was very interested in him. When she figured out that he was sticking around, she became less curious and more frowny.


Before bringing Wolfgang home, I had high hopes of the two pups being buddies. I wanted Stella to have a playmate, a partner-in-crime. Instead, we ended up with two puppies who only paid attention to each other when they were fighting over food or wrestling. In the first two weeks, Stella was most likely to be found trying to death-roll Wolfgang and Wolfgang could be found hanging from poor Stella's jowls by his razor-sharp puppy teeth.

death-roll!

puppy teeth!

My biggest photographic success was while Wolfgang was asleep and Stella was focused entirely on a treat that Shawn was holding off-camera.


Until last night.

Last night Shawn and I were hanging out in bed watching the hockey game. Stella was curled up on the end of the bed chewing a bone and Wolfgang was sleeping on my lap. At some point, Wolfgang got up and meandered over to Stella. This is not unusual -whenever one of the pups has a bone or chew toy, the other pup tries to take it away. What was unusual was the lack of chaos that we've come to expect. When we realized what was happening, Shawn stealthily crept out of the room (as to not cause a disturbance) and returned with the camera. We needed photographic proof:

I call this shot "Victory"

Tuesday, 16 December 2008

Looking For A Victim Wherever He Can Psycho Man Psycho Man He's The Killer

Every December, the company that manages the building I work in decorates the lobby for Christmas. This is my fourth year working in this building and each year the decorations have been different. This has led me to two conclusions: either A: the company manages multiple properties and rotates the lobby decorations amongst them or B: the company has unlimited funds to supply us with new! and exciting! decorations every year. Judging from the one-ply toilet paper in our washrooms, I think option A is more likely.

Lobby decorations of years past have included the standard Christmas tree with lights, Christmas tree with ribbons, and Christmas tree with tinsel. This year? Kicks those years' asses. This year we have Christmas tree with berries and psychotic court jesters.

Photographic proof for your enjoyment (warning - may cause nightmares):

Just in case you can't tell how seriously freaky the facial expression is:

Merry Christmas! Watch your back ...

Friday, 12 December 2008

Nine To Five And Now It's Time For Me To Get Around

Friday Faff: Letters Edition

Dear People Who Left Comments Telling Me My Puppies Are Cute,
You rock! I think they're cute too. Even when I'm wiping sloppy poop off my lovely hardwood floor.
Bonus points to Mermanda for slipping in a Zoolander reference.
Love,
The One Who Is Not As Cute As The Puppies

Dear Fellow Womanizers,
Keep fighting the good fight!
Bonus points to pseudostoops for the Princess Bride reference.
Love,
The One Who Can't Get That Song Out Of Her Head

Dear Puppy Advice Givers,
Thank you! Also, I didn't mean to imply that every dog needs to be fed 3 times daily. Wolfgang is just so young that he does need his meals split up. He slept from midnight until 6am this morning and we didn't do anything differently yesterday, so who knows. Puppies are random. And frustrating. And I need to learn to roll with it.
Bonus points to Sentiment for being hilarious (Lou, you made me laugh out loud.)
Love,
The Well Rested One

Dear Tetley Iced White Tea + Blueberry,
I love you. Let's make babies.
Yours Forever,
I Know It's Not Healthy But I Don't Care

Dear Snowfall Warning,
Please be wrong.
Sincerely,
Puts Up With Ridiculous Housing Market To Live Somewhere With No Snow

Dear Friday,
Well hello, lover. It's been too long. You've been on my mind all week; I can't believe you're finally here. You're looking good. Really good. In fact, you've never looked better.
Yours faithfully,
Hater of Monday

Thursday, 11 December 2008

Wednesday, 10 December 2008

She Stepped In Dog Pooh And I'm Still Kissing Her Feet

I was all set to write a ranty, desperate post about puppy poop, but have decided to leave out all the nasty details (you're welcome) and just ask a few questions:

If your ten-week-old puppy needed a pooh at 2am (like, 2am on the dot) every morning (EVERY MORNING WITHOUT FAIL) what would you do? Would you feed him his dinner at 3pm instead of 5pm (not really plausible, what with work and all) to move up his nightly pooh to the more civilised hour of midnight? Or would you push back his dinner to 10pm to ensure his pooh stayed put until 7am? Currently, we feed Wolfgang breakfast at 7am and dinner at 5pm and oh, aren't we horrible pet-owners for feeding him only twice a day when we should really be splitting his food up into at least 3 separate meals (hey, can you tell that I already talked to Shawn's mother about this?) Anyway, he has two poohs a day - right after dinner and at 2am and wow, this is just too much math for me to figure out. Can someone please tell me when to feed him so that I can stop either a: getting out of bed at 2am to pooh the dog or b: smacking Shawn on the side of the face until he wakes up so he can get out of bed at 2am to pooh the dog. All suggestions will be considered. Unless your suggestion is to quit my job so that I can feed my dog three times a day at evenly-spaced intervals.

Moving on, if you'd like to read about human pooh instead of puppy pooh (or if you would like to read something that is classified under "birth control" in my books), I suggest you read Angella's post about her daughter, Emily.

And because links are fun, you should then head over to Kristin's blog and leave a comment. If 500 people leave comments telling her brother to cut his hair, he's going to do it. Let's do this, people!

Tuesday, 9 December 2008

You're A Womanizer, Baby

Last night I dropped by my parents' place to show off Wolfgang. Westy was there with his girlfriend (sorry Over-Thinker, he's cheating on you) so we hung out for a bit. My mom mentioned that they had received my Christmas card in the mail and she was surprised to see that I hadn't changed my last name.

(Two things: First, the reason I signed my first and last name in the card is because it was my company Christmas card. I design the company Christmas card every year and I always send one to my parents because it's the one tangible thing I do for work that I can show to my parents so they'll stop telling people I answer phones for a living. Secondly, it is no big secret that I haven't changed my last name and frankly, I'm surprised that she didn't know. I'm also surprised that she would think that I would change my last name (not that there's anything wrong with women changing their last name when they get married, it's just not for me.) End rant.)

The following exchange is just one of many reasons why my little brother cracks me up:

Westy: You didn't change your last name?

Me: No.

Westy: Gawd. You're such a womanizer.

Me: What the ... what?

Westy: You know, all about women's rights and stuff.

Me: Uhh...

Westy: What?

You heard it here first folks, I'm a womanizer and proud of it.

Monday, 8 December 2008

You Just Sit There And Sulk Sit There And Bawl

Wolfgang got his second round of vaccinations yesterday. We don't see a specific vet; there are multiple vets working at the practice we go to. The vet we saw yesterday was one we hadn't seen before. He is my new favourite vet, if only because of the way Wolfgang's name sounds when he says it in his deep German accent.

Wolfgang managed the shots without a whimper but did sulk all day.

Wolfie's pouty face
note to self: wear blush

Now that the shock of a new home is wearing off, Wolfgang's personality is starting to shine through. He is a funny little pup. Right now he is fascinated by the bathroom. We try to keep the door closed at all times so that he can't get at the bath mat (seriously, what is with puppies and bath mats? Stella ate 2 before we managed to break her of the habit.) Whenever he sees the door open, he hightails it into the bathroom and heads straight for the toilet.

I don't know what he expects to find

rethinking his love of the bathroom

Wolfgang has a mohawk because he's so badass

Stella is adjusting to the new pup. Sometimes she seems to love him. Sometimes she is very frowny.


very, very frowny

Friday, 5 December 2008

What Am I Supposed To Do When Life Gets Boring

Friday Faff: Bullet Points Edition

- I've not yet been successful in my attempt to break up with my rash.

- I've spent another $45 on prescriptions.

- I've been to the doctor twice this week.

- Shawn has managed to burn my non-rashy back skin by inadvertently getting the potent (useless) rash! killer! cream on more than just my rashy bits.

- the pills I am taking to get rid of the fungal infection that has infected my rash (I am so sexy, believe me I know) make me want to die.

- the pills are also preventing me from drinking alcohol, which wouldn't be a big deal except for the fact that tomorrow is my company Christmas party and I've never been sober at a company Christmas party before (and don't really want to start now.)

- Wolfgang woke me up at 5am this morning and proceeded to take a human-sized crap. This is particularly disturbing when you consider that he weighs only 4lbs.

- I'm glad that NaBloPoMo is finished but I'm sad that some of my favourite bloggers have since disappeared. Over-Thinker, this means you.

- I would like to eat nothing but guacamole and lime-flavoured corn chips for dinner and have not yet come up with a compelling argument as to why I shouldn't.

Thursday, 4 December 2008

Carbon's Anniversary The Parting Of The Sensory - 4

Dear Shawn,

Happy 4 Monthiversary!

In the space of one month we went from being married for a quarter of a year to being married for a third of a year. Blows my mind (both the being married part and fractions.)

We skipped the traditional "in sickness and in health" vows during our ceremony but when I came to you this month and whispered "baby, can you rub this anti-fungal cream onto my rashy back?" in your ear, you didn't turn me down. Thanks for that. I'd like to think that I'd be willing to rub anti-fungal cream onto your rashy bits, should the need ever arise, but we both know that's a load of crap. I could barely manage to help you with the bandaid that one time you cut your thumb hanging a shelf.

This month was spent being itchy (me) and being annoyed at hearing about the itchiness (you.) This month was also spent adjusting to bringing home this guy:

Yesterday we were playing with the pups and you told me that you couldn't remember what it felt like without Wolfgang, that he fits into our family so well. My heart just about melted with the cuteness. After I laughed at you and called you a vagina. Sorry about that. I know what you mean though. Life is crazy and it's noisy but it's also so much fun.

Love you (and your magic anti-fungal cream applying hands),

Hillary

Sunday, 30 November 2008

Goodbye My Friend

November 30th.

I did it.

I posted every day in November.

I am so happy it's finished and I can go back to posting randomly. 

Saturday, 29 November 2008

Oh The Good Old Hockey Game

Shawn is out enjoying a boys' night so I'm stuck at home with the puppies, trying to watch the Canucks game and not lose my mind. Contrary to popular belief, two puppies does not equal two times the fun. Two puppies equals two times the pee and two times the poop and roughly ten times the noise and craziness. Bringing home a new puppy has made me realize that if Shawn and I ever decide to switch to human babies, we should probably stick to having just one. I say this because Wolfgang has been with us for four days and I kind of don't like him. Isn't that horrible? I'd elaborate but someone (the bad one, aka the one who still has his jerkface extra-pointy baby teeth) is chewing my typing hand. 

Friday, 28 November 2008

A Ginger Sunset Is My Caress

I've started compiling recipes for my Christmas baking. So far I've decided to make Angella's Whipped Shortbread, Martha Stewart's Rosemary Butter Cookies, and my mom's gingersnaps.

I need some suggestions though. Does anyone have a recipe for lemon shortbread? Does anyone have a fabulous chocolate cookie recipe? What is your favourite Christmas cookie?

Wednesday, 26 November 2008

Crazy Insane Got No Brain

I know it's only Wednesday but I'm going to get all Friday Faff up on you. This is due to me getting minimal sleep last night. Why did I get minimal sleep last night? Our New! Puppy! had a rough first night away from his momma. That's right, Stella has a little brother. Wolfgang (gah! love it!) is a miniature schnauzer yorkie cross. He is 8 weeks old and weighs about 4 lbs and oh my word he is just the cutest little thing you could imagine. When my brain starts working again I will post pictures.

Last night was rough. We've got the pups in separate crates that we pushed together so Wolfie wouldn't feel so alone. He cried most of the night. When he tired himself out and actually fell asleep, Stella would start whining and wake him up. I predict fun times ahead.

In other faffy news, I just joined Twenty Something Bloggers. I do realize that I'm the last person in the world to join and I'm not going to lie, I am overwhelmed. Can someone please explain it to me? Is it like facebook? What is with this "friends" business?

Last, but definitely not least, the big news of the day is that Westy is coming home tonight. Last week he got traded from Penticton (400 km from where I live, so a very doable 5 hour drive) to Drumheller. Drumheller is in the middle of nowhere. It's halfway through Alberta, which means it's a 13 hour drive (through the Rockies!) from where I live. This made us all very sad. Long story short, Westy played 2 games there, realized that he hates Drumheller, and requested a trade. He flies home tonight. He's been traded to a local team so he'll be living with my parents again. So, uh, fun times ahead for him too.

So there you go, all the faffy things running through my head today. I'm hoping to skive off work early today to get home to my puppppies! And to sleep. Sweet, sweet sleep. How I miss thee.

Tuesday, 25 November 2008

Pepper Your Thoughts With Spice

Last week my mom went to a farmers' market and brought home some peppers for me and my sisters. I went to grab one last night for dinner and had a true wtf moment:


It was bizarre on so many different levels.

Farmers' markets = Nascar?

Sweet bell peppers = Nascar?

Canada = Nascar?

I am confused. Nascar is car racing, right? When I think of Nascar, I think of fast cars and people sitting around in lawn chairs drinking beer and eating barbecued meat from the back of their pickup trucks. I don't think of fresh produce.

Am I missing something?

Monday, 24 November 2008

I Know The Way You Feel Like The Rains Outside

Yesterday we took Stella to the dog park with Shawn's mom's dog to enjoy the fact that it's November and it's not raining. This November has been unusually dry; I feel like I shouldn't even type that because I'm sure to wake up to torrential rain tomorrow.


Shawn's mom's dog, Cleo, is some sort of whippet cross so she loves to run. She would do these leisurely laps around the park and Stella would be running full-tilt trying to keep up. It was pretty humourous.

Cleo waited until Stella caught up to her and then took off

These pictures are a bit too small to tell, but I tried to capture the adorable floppiness of Stella's ears when she runs. Also, the skin roll - she hasn't fully grown into her skin so she's got this extra skin flap that rolls forward and back when she runs quickly.

the skin roll

the ear flap

Stella's angry face

nose to the ground in true beagle fashion

Cleo is really patient but she does have her limits; when Stella pushes her too far, Cleo pins her to the ground and reminds her who's in charge

the park was huge but Stella just want to play in the one mud puddle she could find