13
Feb 16

Friday miscellany that spilled over into Saturday

A hot cup of tea and some random thoughts to head into this long weekend.
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There is something so liberating, so absolutely and completely fucking amazing about cruising down the highway, alone in your minivan (shut up), blasting Bon Jovi and sing-yelling along with every word. It is in those moments that I miss my mini skirts and hair scrunchies.

When your five-year-old daughter is beside herself with joy because she was given FIVE heart-shaped lollipops from her classmates and that means that she has enough to share with all of her brothers so that no one is sad, means that you’re doing something right. Or she’s just a better person than you could ever hope to be.

I feel like we go through A LOT of fresh produce in a week. I added it all up and I think it only accounts for 1/3 of our grocery spending. So what the hell are we getting for the other 2/3’s? It’s not as though we’re a heavy meat-eating family, I never buy pre-made frozen meals (save for the occasional frozen  ’emergency’ pizza). So, where is that other 2/3’s going?!?

I am probably not, but it is beginning to feel as though I am the only parent left who sends her children to school to learn how to read, write and gain knowledge in areas, like history, geography and science? I ask because more and more I’m hearing from my older boys that they are being allowed to play and watch others play pc and online games during ‘free time’ or indoor recess and there’s talk about having a dedicated ‘technology time’ during class time. And during technology time, they won’t be learning how to script, program or design, they’ll be playing games like Happy Wheels on iPads, laptops and iPods. This makes me CRAZY. Teach my kids how to read and write cursive script, don’t teach my kids how to PLAY blood and guts games on fucking tablets. 1) I don’t want my 9 year-old playing or watching games that are rated 12+, anywhere and 2) I don’t want any of my kids thinking that school is a place where ‘anything’ goes. Because at home, we have RULES and standards that are expected to be, and for the most part are, followed. And this includes the appropriate use of technology. If I want them to melt their brains and diminish their attention spans, then I will park them in front of a screen at home where I can watch their decline instead of just dealing with the aftermath of their day in the ‘education’ system. This. Is. Not. Okay.

I have logged back onto Facebook. It is a huge time-suck, but I think I’ve figured out the work-around (those “x’s” on the left side of the tab totally work!). The reason I logged back in was that I realized that I enjoy sharing things on the blog’s FB page and enjoy reading the feedback those posts receive. I also quite enjoy all of those Britain’s Got Talent audition clips as well. Of course, the first time I logged back in I saw something that set my teeth on edge, so I did what I do – screenshot it, edit out identifying information and post it on Instagram. Because I’m also mean and  immature like that.

It’s now -26C, down to -42 with the windchill and one of my kids has a birthday party to go to this morning. Having to leave the house today is cruel and unusual punishment, but he really wants to go, so, off we go.

Ugh. Feck me, I'm too old for this weather. If I wanted to deal with these temperatures, I'd go and stake a claim in the Yukon. Get it together, weather.

Ugh. Feck me, I’m too old for this weather. If I wanted to deal with these temperatures, I’d go and stake a claim in the Yukon. Get it together, weather.

~A.B.

 

 


11
Feb 16

How the meaning behind all of those ‘Words of Wisdom’ becomes clear once we are too old for it to truly matter. And stuff.

Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm. ~ Sir Winston Churchill

There are expressions that I have heard my whole life. Many of them you have probably heard as well. For the most part, I never gave them much thought and just accepted them as either not applying to me or as applying only for ‘old’ people (younger me was a much bigger asshole than older me is, believe it or not), or I would figure that I was already doing the right thing, so the expression was a nice pat on the back to me for possessing  awesomeness by nature. I was wrong. So very, very, wrong.

Do unto others as you would have done unto you, is TRUE. Assholio behaviour to others begets assholio behaviour back at you. And it sucks any way you slice it. So, a cure for this would be this new expression: Be nice or leave.

Smile and the world smiles with you, cry and you cry alone (thanks, Grandma!) is TRUE! People gravitate towards happy people. People who smile. People who are friendly. Nobody goes out of their way to hang out with someone who is gloomy, negative or upset all the time. But, on the other hand, nobody goes out of their way to hang out with fake, artificially happy people, so find a way to be genuinely happy more often than not and good things will be sure to follow.

Misery loves company is also TRUE. So while is would appear to be a bit of a contradiction, misery really does love company. Miserable people love, need, and strive, to bring as many people down with them as possible. They feed off the misery of others to keep their own misery thriving. To ensure that they never have to make a change for the better or take a chance, they need more misery. Don’t be one of them.

You’re only young once is also, disappointingly TRUE as well. Best of all, young people are too young and stupid to full appreciate what this means which leads us to:

Youth is wasted on the young. Too. Fucking. True. Being young, I thought I knew everything. I was the coolest the know-it-all, I was infallible and living life with no regrets (while also making sure that I didn’t actually make any, you know, HUGE strides in life or taking any real chances, because, young and LOSER). You know what I say to that now? Idiot. Stupid, naive, twit. Youth was most definitely wasted on the young in my case. I’d do a much better job with it now, believe you me.

You never get a second chance to make a first impression is, TRUE. And that is also why I just keep blogging away. I blew any chance to gain respect or admiration for my writing with the first post I published, so, I have nothing to lose if I just keep on pounding away at this keyboard and hitting publish a little too often, do I?

Onward and upward we go, my friends.

~A.B.


08
Feb 16

I will have you know that I am an excellent speller. Automatic spell check is just a dick

I can spell. I promise, I can. I was never graded lower than 8/10 on Mrs. Ceni’s spelling tests in the third and fourth grades and my spell-tastic star only continued to rise from there. That is what we call ‘proof,’ right?

So, now that my spell-tacular credibility has been solidly established,  I will also swear that IT happens almost every time I blog. I write, I review, I edit, and I re-read, I spell check (both using program and the human-eye kind) and when everything is perfect(ish) I hit publish. And that is when  IT happens. Somewhere between the final edit and review and the post going live, that craphole Spellcheck leaps in and deletes, changes or moves a letter so that I look like a slack-jawed, illiterate dolt.

Honestly now, Spellcheck, cut it out. You are killing my self-esteem and ruining my reputation. I may have to break up with you. And you know what? It is most definitely NOT me. It’s you.

Off to dig through the basement and find my old Smith and Corona typewriter. 👊🏻

Off now to dig through the basement and find my old Smith and Corona typewriter. 👊🏻 I’ll work out the actual ‘how to publish a type written blog’ issue later…


05
Feb 16

Giving up organic milk

I have wavered back and forth on the organic milk issue for years. For the most part, I did not buy organic milk because the cost is more than twice that of regular milk. But in the last few months of 2015, I switched the family over to a more organic based diet and that included organic milk. And wowzers! Did my grocery budget scream in pain. With four growing children and two grown men in the house, the milk consumption, at times, is unreal and as we rolled into 2016 with the increasing food prices, I have had to re-evaluate my choices somewhat.

Yesterday afternoon, I was speaking with a friend, who feeds her young family more organically than I, and she said that she has never bothered with organic milk in Canada because regulations in Ontario dictate that our dairy farmers are not permitted to give our bodicious Ontarian bovines hormones or antibiotics. If medications are necessary then the cow in question is removed from the production line for a period of time until an ‘all clear’ sample is obtained. Hmmmmm. This makes a difference in my assessment of the situation (and may make a BIG difference to my grocery budget).

So much of the information we receive is American, where they have different laws and food safety standards. Here in Ontario, there is a wealth of information available on the Dairy Farmers of Ontario website. Links to provincial regulations, standards and farming-related issues are published for all to read.

A few things to keep in mind, when deciding if you’re going to purchase regular or organic milk (at least in Ontario), are:

1. Milk is the most heavily safety-tested food in the Canadian food supply system. Ontario dairy farms are inspected regularly under Dairy Farmers of Ontario Raw Milk Quality Program to ensure that Ontario milk meets provincial standards. Inspectors ensure that all surfaces and equipment are clean and that milk is cooled efficiently. Inspectors also look for Grade A management practices such as good cow housing, sufficient pasture area and exclusion of milk from cows that are being treated for illness with drugs or antibiotics. (DFofON website)

and:

Other jurisdictions permit the use of synthetic hormones to meet market needs [which is not allowed under Canadian regulations]. Instead, Ontario’s dairy system meets the highest safety and quality standards in the world, while ensuring farmers can reinvest in safety to produce efficient, high-quality dairy products that other dairy systems simply do not provide. (DFofON website)

and finally:

In dairy farming, medication is only used if it is required to treat a specific illness. When dairy animals become ill, the problem is diagnosed and, with the help of a veterinarian, a treatment program is established. Her milk is discarded since it is illegal to sell or offer for sale any milk that contains antibiotics or other pharmaceuticals, and she is milked separately from the rest of the herd until she has complied with strict withdrawal periods for her specific medication.

In Canada, there is a stringent dairy inspection program in place to test milk. Samples are taken at each farm for quality and composition. As well, each truckload is tested for antibiotics at the dairy. Any milk that does not pass the test is discarded immediately and any producer whose milk is found to contain antibiotics faces heavy financial penalties. (Facts and Figures on the DFofON website)

So, right now (and this could change tomorrow because – over thinking issues and then changing my mind is my speciality) I am going to return to buying regular Ontario produced milk, bypass the organic milk option and expense and not purchase (the much less expensive) milk next time we grocery shop in the U.S.

Just a little love note my Paxton gave me last year. Seeming a fitting addition to this post 😜

Just a little love note my Paxton gave me last year. Seems a fitting addition to this post 😜


04
Feb 16

January – wrapped up late. As happens

In keeping with my modus operandi the first monthly wrap up is a week late. Yay, me! Points for being absolutely and completely consistent and predictable. 😏

But, on the unshitty side of that, I did actually learn a few things in January that I can now make note of so that I may be able to avoid having to learn them again. This month, I learned (remembered/was told/came to understand) that:

No matter how old we get, we need our parents to be parents and no matter how old our children get, we still need to parent them. The parent-child relationship is not an eighteen year commitment. It is a LIFETIME commitment. The relationship changes over time, the requirements on both side ebb and flow, as do the needs to be met, but the obligation, the instinct, the need to parent and have parents is eternal. My 21 year-old needs me just as much as my 11, 9, 7 or 5-year-old do, the only difference is that we now have to negotiate an adult-child-parent relationship. My baby he may always be, but a baby he is not. And when the shit hits the fan or I’m feeling completely lost and alone, I turn to my parents to help me, because who has cared for me and loved me for as long as they have? I have a husband who loves me, I have children who love me, and I am grateful  and blessed to have both. But I still need my parents (I think that this realization means that I will be required to officially turn in my ‘spoiled adolescent card’).

Neither the length or colour of my hair, the shape of my body, the fit of my clothes nor the wrinkles on my face are allowed to determine how good I look, how good I am, or how good I feel. And I am SO done with holding myself back because I need to wait until something fits, looks better, is smaller, smoother or brighter. In January, I wore, wait for it, Jean Jeggings for the first time in my life. They were a Christmas gift from Mr. K.B. I’m not sure if he really believed that I would ever wear them, but yes, with my fluffy body and my thick, too short legs, I ditched my beloved, tried and true track pants and walked around wearing Jeggings. And I didn’t wear a hoodie or knee-length sweater to cover it all up. I wore a regular length shirt. And you know what? The world did not implode. In fact, my husband LOVED it. And I felt good to try something new, to step outside my comfort zone, to be aware of the fact that this is the body that I have and I need to appreciate it for what it is NOW, not hate it for what it is not or resent it for what it should/could be. It’s healthy, it’s functional, it provides comfort and cuddles, hell, it has created and sustained LIFE. More than once. So, no more hating on it. Every scar, every pound, every line, wrinkle and stretch mark have been hard-won and I’m done hating on them, for they represent much of what my life has been about – my family.

It takes not one kilowatt of energy less* to be growly, frowny and grumpy than it does to be smiling, positive and encouraging. It really doesn’t. In the schools right now, the buzz word is ‘self-regulation’ and they are really pushing just how important it is that children learn how to self-regulate at as early an age as possible. I discounted this as something that I learned how to do long ago, so didn’t give it much thought for myself. But, as it turns out, not so much. I still have a lot of work to do to achieve true self-regulation of my emotions. And food. And emotions. And chocolate. Shit. You get the picture. But that’s okay, because I am aware of it now. And I am working on improving. So I don’t have to flagellate myself relentlessly when I screw something up or handle something like a three-year-old two hours past nap time. I can do it better next time. See? No more self-inflicted emotional bruises. Because, learning.

Well, this pretty much exhausts January 2016 for me. I learned a lot. I cried a lot. I thought a lot and I made lots and lots of lists. Because lists are my happy place. Even when I don’t cross everything off, I still love me a good list. Now, onward and upward into February. We have a whole extra day this month. I’m still trying to decide how I want to use it. Probably doing laundry. Because I’m fancy like that. 🙃😂

~A

*Edited to change out the word ‘less’ for ‘more’ in the third lesson learned because who the hell wants to expend MORE energy being a growly grump than a positive ray of sunshine?


03
Feb 16

Six simple steps to take after you quit trolling and scrolling Facebook

Okay. So. We’re taking  break from Facebook (or Twitter or Snapchat or Instagram or whatever (anti-)social media floats your burrito.

Argh. So what now?

einsteinshow

Einstein says…

1: Put down your phone, tablet or close your laptop. Just turn that shit OFF.

2: Look up, find a window and peak outside.

3: It’s fucking GORGEOUS out there. Snow, sun, rain, whatever. It’s ALIVE. Space for days and, depending on where you live and the window you’ve found to peer out of real PEOPLE to look at, meet, talk to, insult or ignore. Your choice. For reals.

4: Now, look around your home. Do other people live there? How are they doing? Is there anything you could do that would help them out, take out the garbage, shovel the snow, lend an (undistracted) ear to listen about their day? Once you’ve figured out who the other living beings are in your domicile, take a few minutes to re-acquaint yourself with their 3D versions, instead of the 2D digital versions you’ve become accustomed to ‘following’ or ‘liking.’ Practice looking each of them in the eye and smiling at them. It will be awkward and uncomfortable at first, but it’s like riding a bike, you’ll survive.

5: Now that you’ve discovered the other humans in your home, look around at your walls, furnishings, bookcases and the like. Any hints there as to what hobbies or interests used to hold your attention before the social media bug crawled under your skin and infected your soul? Are there real books, printed on paper collecting dust on shelves? Are there piles of Star Wars figures, abandoned mid-sort, just begging to be cleaned up and displayed? Maybe you have a tote or twelve of wool and yarn waiting to be needle-worked into swanky penis-warmers or those adorable areola showing breast-feeding beanie caps for newborns? No? Well, whatever you have, there is something REAL and TANGIBLE waiting for  you to rediscover your passion for it. So go and REDISCOVER it. Go now. I’ll wait.

6. Hi again. Okay, so now that you have turned off your devices, looked around the world, checked out the other life forms in your immediate physical vicinity, re-acquainted yourself with your home environment and rediscovered your hobbies, check this out: You can do this EVERYDAY. That’s right! It’s the original wash, rinse and repeat sequence. Instead of the time spent on Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat and the like, you can experience REAL people, conversations, adventures, laughter and drama EVERY SINGLE DAY, if you choose to. By not opening that app, typing in that URL or responding to that notification, you are CHOOSING a life free from the chains of a shallow, spirit-damaging, depression-causing, false drama inducing VIRTUAL world for the depth of real world living.

Congratulations, you win 🎖

❤️
~A

 

 


02
Feb 16

Is social media holding us hostage? Nope, not me. Bye, Felicia.

On the topic of social media, volumes have been written, discussed, debated, studied and meme’d. Until now, I have not taken the time to throw my thoughts on the subject out there for discussion, but I feel that it is time. And I am also overdue to make a change in my life.

I was late to the social media party (big surprise, right?). Everyone had a Facebook account before I ever logged onto the site. Everyone had Twitter, Instagram, and Google+ long before I decided to look into what they were all about. And honestly, it is all bullshit. Sadly, the memes are true. The articles citing how much time people waste on social media are true. The studies showing how social media is adversely effecting mental health are bang on the money. Social media is not only documenting, but encouraging, promoting and accelerating the demise of the basic principles of human decency.

#Truth

#Truth

I consider Facebook (never even looked into that Myspace thingamajig), and Twitter to be the O.G.’s of social media being as those are the sites with which I am the most familiar. Facebook, to me, was a way to re-connect with people I grew up with or people who I had met along the way but who, because of circumstance or geography, I could no longer see face-to-face. It was a way to share family pictures and have a laugh. It was a way to be nosy without being obviously nosy (less obvious anyway than binoculars and a Whisper2000 headset). It satisfied the voyeur in me and it was never supposed to attempt to encroach upon other areas of my life. It was entertainment.

Twitter, I have come to conclude, is mainly an outlet to complain about everything. 140 characters of hate. 140 characters to tear other people down. 140 characters to make yourself sound cute or funny or kind or clever or hard done by or tough. It is not a site that I’ve ever been a big user of personally (the blog has an account), but it is also not a site that has ever provided me with anything other than sadness, aside from Jimmy Fallon’s links to The Tonight Show (❣) clips. I had one Twitter rant about some blatant law-breaking not being enforced one night but in hind sight, I should have blogged that story. Next time.
IMG_3665Everything that is wrong, (and in fairness, very occasionally a few things that are right) with humanity is laid out for all to see on social media. For every “thanks for paying for my coffee at the drive thru this morning, you made my day so I paid it forward!” post, there are fifty “thanks for cutting me off on the highway, motherfucker. If I see you again, I’ll run you and your family off the road, shitdog.” posts. And that truth, that naked hatred,rage and ugliness is what makes me cringe. It is what makes my stomach hurt. It is what makes me want to shut it all out and not see it anymore. But not seeing it does not make it go away. Not reading the petty or dishonest posts does not make them less ugly or vicious. Knowledge is power, the more you know the more you grow, keep your friends close and your enemies closer, karma is a bitch, and so on and so on. Sure, these ideas can be applied to social media, but what power does it give me to know that people are behaving horribly to one another? Does knowing that there is a ‘pay-it-forward’ movement in the Tim Horton’s drive thru this morning make up for all of the fake, ugly, angry or merciless posts? For me, it just does not. And so I am (willingly, happily and a little bit shakily) walking away from all of it for a while.

When she wrote this, the magnitude of ways to waste time was beyond the scope of the imagination. No matter how much we tell ourselves that we're enjoying zipping around (anti) social media, it's still wasted time.

When she wrote this, the mindless multitude of ways society would invent to waste time was beyond the scope of the imagination. No matter how much we tell ourselves that we’re enjoying the time we spend zipping around (anti-) social media, the truth remains that it IS still time wasted.

I am reclaiming my time. I am reclaiming my hobbies, interests and heart. I am reclaiming my leisure time and my right “not to know.” In the end, I am reclaiming the substance and depth in my life over pettiness and superficial bosh.

Until further notice, I will not be on Twitter. I will not be on Facebook. I may not even be on Instagram very much. I will continue to write and of course blog (because I love writing, blogging and connecting with like(wonky)minded people and I need to continue to do so as part of taking care of myself). Links to new blog posts automatically publish on social media sites, without my involvement, but if you need to get in touch with me, text, email, or comment on the blog because I am now on a social media hiatus for an as yet undetermined duration.
IMG_3666

❤️
~A


19
Jan 16

Have I been doing it wrong or are they doing it wrong? My world is upside down now. How do you do it? No, not that it.

One of the things that I enjoy about going over the border to the US is that it gives me the opportunity to tour through American grocery stores and snag amazing deals and products that I just cannot get here in Canada. I love going to Aldi whenever I’m in the US. I would love going to Whole Foods and Trader Joe, but I haven’t found those in Buffalo, yet. (I’m sure the stores are there, but our GPS is woefully out-of-date.) But back to Aldi, I find that their prices are generally great and it has rare to find a product that is not as good, if not better than the pricier, brand name equivalent. But there have been exceptions. This newest one is the most disturbing one so far though. Because it awakens in me all kinds of insecurities and conspiracy theories that I spend quality waking hours fighting to deny. Thanks, America.

The problem: I may have been doing raisins wrong for all of these years. How is that even possible? Am I getting mind-fucked by Corporate America (Like I really need them toying with my already fragile mind, right?)? I present the photographic evidence:

image

image 1st image: Southern Grove, Aldi’s brand, purchased in the USA. 2nd image: Sun-Maid Raisins, purchased at Costco in Canada.

And why, if both of these companies are claiming to sell California raisins, why do the Sun-Maid ones taste so much better? Why does the Aldi packaging go on and on about no added sugar? And why the need to announce “100% real fruit” in its own text bubble on a canister of raisins? What else would a package of ‘California Raisins’ contain? Just stating that on the packaging makes me think there’s all kinds of stuff in that canister other than raisins. But the really real question, and the heart of my despair is this: Just WHO, exactly, is refrigerating raisins?!? Are people doing this? Is this a thing? Have I been haphazardly storing our raisins in the cupboard, just begging for disaster? Who do I believe? Aldi, a European-owned chain in the USA or Sun-Maid, an US owned company who imports their product into Canada, so must meet Canadian standards. I’m telling you, I am in utter anguish.

And this, my friends, this is an excellent example of why I do better hiding under my desk with a bar of chocolate, a bag of chips, a good book and my iPad. The outside world and I just can’t seem to get in sync. Under my desk, I can selectively avoid these types of life-altering disasters.

 

Don’t forget to come and hang out with me on FacebookInstagram or Twitter. Some thoughts or moments make it to all four sites, others only exist on the site I post them on, so make sure you’re not missing out on anything (rants, updates, cute moments and homicidal-like rages), like or follow along on those sites too. 🤓
~A


16
Jan 16

Parenting: I’ve learned that there are only degrees of failure. And that’s okay.

When I first became a mother, I was young. Not Loretta Lynn young, but young enough to still have a head full of delusions of grandeur and invincibility that only come with youth, or serious mental health issues or head injuries. At that time, it was my youth at play. Now, well, the jury is still out but the youth defence is out of the running. Since I wanted to be a mother SO badly, I just knew, no, really I KNEW that I would do everything right and that  my child would be totally amazing and surpass any of my wildest ambitions or aspirations for him.

20 days into this whole motherhood thing, and it's a piece of cake. Easy-peasy. He's a little squirmy, but nothing I can't handle. (March 1994)

20 days into this whole motherhood thing, and it’s a piece of cake. Easy-peasy. He’s a little squirmy, but nothing I can’t handle. (March 1994)

Seven days later. I'm still smiling, still too dumb to know what was coming my way. While he is very clearly starting to understand just what a newbie he's been stuck with and when the realization hits, it hit hard. Poor bub.

Seven days later. I’m still smiling, still too dumb to know what humbling lessons are in store for me. While he is very clearly starting to understand just what a newbie he’s been stuck with and when the realization hit, it hit hard. Poor bub.

I turned my nose up at ‘old ways’ of parenting. Let my baby cry? That’s barbaric! That’s abusive! Never! Force him to sleep in a crib, alone? Make him deal with it alone when he is very clearly sad, hungry, dreaming of monsters, gassy, teething, fussy, lonely, etc. Nope. That this better, smarter, mother. No. He was going to know that Mummy was there. That Mummy would protect him from *everything* bad, scary or painful and encourage and lead him towards everything healthy, good, smart and successful. No public school for my baby when it came time for kindergarten. He was too sensitive, gentle, clever, kind and the other kids would just ruin him. No way. Private school only. Single mother, constant university and college student, living in my mother’s basement, sending my child to private school, because he was THE BEST. There was no better boy or child anywhere. See? I told you, I was completely delusional.

Two months in and he knows. He already knows. I, however, wouldn't figure it out for around another twenty years or so.

Two months in and he knows. He already knows. I, however, wouldn’t figure it out for around another twenty years or so.

And then the years past and I got married, puberty hit (him) and I moved us from Scarborough to Keswick. All in the same year. And KABOOM! Toss in a new-found interest in girls and all the other treats that come with hormonal changes in adolescent boys, and it sank my battleship. Like, totally and completely torpedoed that fucker. Granted, I was fairly unprepared for how all of those changes would affect all of us, especially my relationship with my son and his with me but still the world fairly imploded. And it no longer mattered that I had sent him to private school for all of those years. Or that I had enrolled him in art lessons, music lessons, rep baseball, swimming, martial arts, skating, etc. It no longer mattered that I fed him a healthy diet of fresh foods, little-to-no refined sugar, no artificial sweeteners, colours, additives or preservatives. It no longer matter that I paid three-times more for natural, organic shampoo than regular drugstore shampoo for him or that I breast-fed him for over a year rather than formula fed him. None of it mattered or made a bit of difference. Life as I thought it would be was no more. Humbling lessons to learn indeed.

Fast forward again and he is now only weeks away from turning 22 years-old, older now than I was when I gave birth to him. He is not at university and about to finish his last year with his degree in hand, nor is he away at college, and either of these two scenarios is where I thought we would be today and what I single-mindedly determined the plan to be in the beginning. No, it is not where we have landed and he is making his own path through life now. Whether I agree or disagree with his choices, whether I think that he should just listen to me and do what I say because I just fucking know better than he (being twice his age and all), just does not matter. He is going to be the person, the man, the partner, the friend, the son he chooses to be and I honestly believe that is the way it was going to be no matter how I parented him.
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And now, with over two decades of parenting experience behind me and more decades of experience to come, I believe that is how it is with all children. We do our best. We make the best choices and decisions we can in the moment, with an eye to the future, with our hopes, dreams and ambitions for them in mind. We love them, we guide them, teach them, discipline them and care for them. We screw up, make mistakes, do or say things we regret, and we sometimes act in anger, even when we should know better. But at the end of the day, they will be grow into being the kind of people they are meant to be. Each and every one of them. Some will be doctors, lawyers, activists, or leaders. Others will be villains, lazy, shiftless, or deadbeats. And still others will be somewhere between the two extremes. Neither society superstars nor the dregs of society, but rather somewhere safely in the middle, you know, where most of us live. I mean, let’s face it, our world is not full of wonderful, motivated, helpful people, but rather it is a place with all types of people, good, neutral and bad and all of those people have parents. Just like we have and we now are. And we can no more take credit for our children who become doctors than we should carry the blame for the children who become villains. After all, can we reasonably blame or credit our parents for how we all turned out as adults or the choices we’ve made along the way? I know that I (sometimes regretfully) cannot.

Today, as an adult child, I honour the hard, sometimes (okay, most of the time) thankless job that my parents had raising me (and the job they still have parenting me, the over-grown baby that I am, although I try to thank them more now). Today, as a parent of an adult child, I love and cherish my grown child, not just for the child he was or the history we share, but for the man he is becoming. His life and future are in his hands and I am excited, interested, and terrified to see where his journey takes him. But I will always be here, in his corner, ready to offer him the benefit of my experience when he asks, guidance when he’s lost, and Tylenol when his head aches from the stress and pressure of ‘real life’ adulthood. ~Sigh. 🤕

 
 

Don’t forget to come and hang out with me on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. Some posts or moments make it to all four sites, others only exist on the site I post them on, so make sure you’re not missing out on anything (rants, updates, cute moments and homicidal-like rages), like or follow along on those sites too. 🤓
~A


09
Jan 16

Whole Wheat and Honey Sandwich Bread – Recipe

This past holiday season, I rediscovered my passion for baking bread and NOT spending money on chemical-laden, mass-produced, over-priced bread at the grocery store. So, in a nutshell, I rediscovered my intense carb-addition and my frugal grooviness at the same time, and I found them both at Wal-Mart. That place really does have everything. Um, or maybe not.

Anyway, I have not taken step-by-step pictures of this recipe, but it’s pretty straight forward and forgiving (I mean, it forgives me constantly), so we should be good to go with just the recipe, straight up. I’ll do my best to answer any questions that come up though, just leave your question in the comments. 🤓 I will tell you that I do all of my mixing and most of my kneading using my KitchenAid stand mixer and dough hook. I’m just a wimp that way. Also, I do not have a record of where I first found this recipe, but I’ve changed it a bit here and there over time to make it work better for me.

Now get into my tummy before I switch back to a raw foods diet again. Nom, nom, nom.

Now get into my tummy before I switch back to a raw foods diet again. Nom, nom, nom.

Whole Wheat and Honey Sandwich Bread (makes 2 scrumptious loaves)

Ingredients:

2 1/3 cups of warm water (110 – 115F)
4 Tbsp butter, melted and cooled (can substitute coconut or other oil for the butter)
4 Tbsp honey
1 Tbsp yeast (or two of those little packages of yeast, which makes 1Tbsp + 1/2tsp)
2 1/2 tsp sea salt (adjust to taste, but do leave some salt in the recipe, the yeast needs it)
3 cups whole wheat flour
2 3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (give or take).

Directions:

  1. Combine one cup of the whole wheat flour, all-purpose flour, yeast and salt into the bowl of a mixer.
  2. Add warm water, honey and butter/oil. Mix on low-speed until combined. The on medium speed for about three minutes.
  3. Add the remaining two cups of whole wheat flour and the all-purpose flour (a cup at a time) and mix, using your dough hook attachment, until the dough is no longer sticky – when it comes away from the sides of the bowl cleanly, you’re good. Knead in the mixer until smooth and elastic – about five minutes or so.
  4. Take out the dough hook and cover the dough, in the bowl with a damp tea towel. Let rise in a warm place for about 45 minutes (an hour if your house, like mine, is chilly).
  5. Punch the dough down, divide it in half and roll each half out into a rectangular shape. Roll each half of the dough up and place in a well-greased 9×5 inch bread pan. Rolling the dough will give your bread a nicer crumb, better structure and make your loaves look purty.
  6. Cover the loaves with a damp tea towel (again) and let rise in a warm place for 30 minutes (or 45 minutes in a chilly place), or until doubled.
  7. Bake in your preheated (because you read ahead – aha!) oven (350F) for 30 minutes. Since tapping the bottom of loaves baking in a bread pan is cumbersome and dare I say it, impossible, you could use an instant read thermometer into the long side of the loaves. Fully baked bread should be 205F. Turn out of the pans and cool on a wire rack. Slice and serve!
Freshly sliced bread. This is only half a loaf though, since the other half was quickly and savagely consumed.

Freshly sliced bread. This is only half a loaf though, since the other half was quickly and savagely consumed.

P.S. My spellcheck is acting up again. I’m not entirely sure why, but it wants you to use a ‘doe hook’ to mix your bread. But I said, “No way, screw you, Spellcheck. We are NOT using a ‘doe hook’ on this blog. Not today!” So now I’m not sure if my spellcheck is a carb hater or an animal hater, but either way, it looks like I will need to remain vigilant about monitoring any and all changes and dropping the hammer liberally on the pro-offered suggestions. Never trust your spellcheck. I’m fairly certain it’s just out to get you and will mess up everything you type. Probably on purpose.

~A.