Taking a brief break from the Ed Cal – this needed to be shared. Are you fucking KIDDING me? One student should change while the bullies go on about their lives? FFS.
The garden is coming along nicely, especially after today. The past hour or so in particular. Specifically the part when I wrangled and/or roped an unsuspecting male into moving heavy wheelbarrow loads of deliciously black, wormy composted horse crap through a field, up a hill and down the driveway to my garden space.
It’s about double the size it was LAST time I tried to do this whole move dirt thing (which seriously? That shit’s [no pun intended] hard work!) and after some negotiation between myself and the gentleman enlisted to move said dirt, it’ll get about 2 or 3x bigger than it is now… just not quite as long or as wide as I had envisioned. Unless, that is, I get off my ass and move some of that damn dirt myself.
I did do all the laying of the newspaper and the flinging of the dirt about, including tearing up some particularly nasty creepy prickly vine things and a few dandelions.They by the way? The dandelions? They can kiss my ass. They are a PAIN! Holy man. Dislike! Now, I’m a bit sweaty, my back is not exactly sure what the hell I was thinking and my socks are very very mucky. This dirt migrates.
The next nice (ish) day we have, so long as I’m not required to be somewhere else, I’ll get out there and more some more dirt about and see if I can’t cheat a few more square feet outta the plan. Then I just have to rejig my garden planting plot a little. And plant the garlic already. Good thing I like this planning thing. Oh, and I have to get some sticks and some twine and mark off square feet so I know where to plant stuff. Oooh the excitement!!
I like impressive women, and I am impressed by Chef Alana Peckham. She’s the only female chef competing in the upcoming Gold Medal Plate competition in Vancouver, BC on November 4th.
Raised in Vancouver, Alana Peckham studied at the Dubrulle International Culinary Arts institute. She worked at Feenie’s and Lumière before joining the staff at CRU, where she quickly rose through the ranks to become the restaurant’s Executive Chef. Alana’s cooking style is influenced both by her training in traditional French culinary techniques and by her cultural heritage as a Chinese Canadian.
As the Executive Chef of a restaurant that focuses on pairing food and wine, she enjoys the challenge of preparing cuisine that works together with wine to create a complete sensory experience for guests.
Canada’s Gold Medal Plates competition is the ultimate celebration of Canadian Excellence in cuisine, wine, the arts and athletic achievement. Celebrated in eight cities across Canada in 2010 and nine in 2011, Gold Medal Plates features superb wines and the premier chefs in each city, paired with Canadian Olympic and Paralympic athletes, in a competition to crown a gold, silver and bronze medal culinary team in each city, and subsequently nation-wide.
Good Luck Alana! Kick some boy-chef ass!
I’ve been sitting on this one for a while… I wasn’t exactly sure how to tackle it.
On one hand, I really liked this book; the character was engaging and interesting, as soon as she dropped the materialistic bullshit. I rather despised her (which I guess is an equally strong feeling to invoke) when she was “being herself”. The very idea that she needed to buy all the trappings in order to “meditate properly” drove me sideways.
I guess I should back up and tell you what the book is about first though, eh?
Syd Arthur is a middle-aged Jewish woman living in middle suburbia. She shops, ignores homeless people, is completely consumed by her diet and spends more money on ridiculous things than many of us can fathom spending on the important things. her daughter has just left for college and poor Syd has just discovered she’s lonely. Poor empty nester.
She starts to wonder – as all of us do – whether this is it. Is this all life has to offer? – and starts on a spiritual journey. Personally, I can’t stand the very phrase “spiritual journey” even though I admit I’m probably on my own as we speak.
Regardless, Syd tries all sorts of things that many women in her place do – she finds her chakras, does yoga and goes on spiritual retreats that as her to just shhhhh for a little while. (aka, silent retreats). Of course, her best friends she’s known her entire life think she’s crazy and try to convince her she’s just facing a midlife crisis because after all, she’s missing their weekly Mah Jongg game and they don’t understand what’s going on.
Overall… this was a fun, fast read. I would pass it onto someone else to read, and encourage them to pass it onto their friends. Probably a solid 2.5 stars outta 5. Worth a look if you come across it, but not something to search actively for.
I’ve tried about a million different diets and food fads over the years – everything from Raw to Auyervedic meal plans, sometimes going way too far into one weird method. I’ve learned that there is no one ‘fad’ for me, except for real, good, clean food.
I’ve known a couple of vegans over my life, and even attempted it once or twice, but I didn’t really quite get it. I tend to throw myself into a certain modality 100% and usually set myself up for failure.
Last February, I sat down with Bif Naked and finally got raw veganism. Bif is not 100% raw anymore — her favourite salad dressing is from the Naam and uses some cooked ingredients — but she has maintained a vegan lifestyle for more than 15 years. She’s eaten raw for approximately 10 years and for five of those was a fruitarian.
“People explore vegan, more and more, even if they don’t know they’re doing it,” said Bif. I realize she’s right. My pasta last night? No animal products touched it. Yay me for ‘going’ vegan! When I look back, I realize that I do eat vegetarian or vegan more often than not, I’m just not trying so hard anymore.
“It’s very trendy these days to “go vegan” or become a vegetarian, but it’s not about giving anything up. It’s about being more conscious about your food choices and trying it for even one day or one meal.”
“Any cuisine can be intimidating if you don’t know it” she said. We talked about the kind of things that Bif eats on a regular basis, even if she goes out with her “meat eater” friends. “There’s always a salad I can have. There’s always something.” There’s a ton of vegetables available every single season and Bif’s always got blueberries, spinach, cucumber, avocado, zucchini, apples and bananas. “Raw is just nuts and seeds, fruits and vegetables. It’s not nearly as hard as people make it.”
Because it was February in Vancouver, as we parted ways, I asked how she stayed warm. Bif’s a tiny person, but vegans especially tend to be colder than the average human. Bif’s advice? “Eat vegan, wear a sweater.” Excellent advice.
Biffy’s Favorite Raw Zucchini Marinara Lusciousness
you need: five big zucchinis
three roma tomatos
three medjool dates
four meaty (big) sundried tomatos
two handfuls of fresh basil
(optional…oil, garlic, chilis, cayenne, salt, pepper, etc.)
cut your tomatos, place in food processor….cut sundried tomatos and dates (discard pits), place in food processor…finely chop basil leaves, place in food processor…squeeze lime juice into food processor…(add your optionals, to taste, into food processor..)..now pulse and chop, alternating, to blend to desired consistency. (I prefer mine a bit thick+chunky) at this point, I suggest placing container in fridge while you cut the ends off of each zucchini…peel rind off of each zucchini….then, the DIY way to make “noodles”, is to take that same peeler and keep peeling the sans-rind zucchinis into fine strips-peels, into a bowl or onto a plate. Continue to make the zucchini peels until you have a mound of “noodles” (use the entire zucchini).
Retrieve your sauce from fridge (cooling may have thickened it, which is great! If it started to separate and get “watery” from the tomatoes, for example, just give it a stir)…..then…top your “noodles” with the sauce, et VOILA! ENJOY!
Biffy’s Daily Morning Green Smoothie
two meaty(big) bananas
two handfuls of spinach (or kale..or chard..or romaine..or a combination of any) I prefer spinach.
two palmfuls (eyeball it…but basically two tablespoons) raw hemp seeds
one palmful (eyeball it…but basically one tablespoon) raw chia seeds…
(optional: medjool dates, raw tahini, blueberries, blackberries, or strawberries..or a combination of any/all)
32oz water (or your choice of almond milk, hempmilk, soymilk, etc.)
blend in blender until completely blended.
note: your drink may be bright green or some weird shade of mud, or an unappealing color…drink it anyway! I only use the banana-spinach/kale-water combo and I love it but some people do not find it “sweet” enough, hence my suggested options-especially the dates-as they will sweeten it.
TRY making one you will be HOOKED!!!
Excuse me for a moment. I’m having a slight…problem with this.
Earlier this morning, Guu Izakya, a popular Japanese Izakaya downtown Vancouver tweeted this:
At first, that seems pretty innocuous, right? They’re just promoting their special tonight. And indeed, bluefin tuna is exceptionally special. So special that it’s being fished into oblivion and is marked as “Not Recommended” by Oceanwise, the final word when it comes to ethical, sustainable fishing.
Ocean Wise is a Vancouver Aquarium conservation program created to educate and empower consumers about the issues surrounding sustainable seafood. Ocean Wise works directly with restaurants, markets, food services and suppliers ensuring that they have the most current scientific information regarding seafood and helping them make ocean-friendly buying decisions. The options are highlighted on their menus and display cases with the Ocean Wise symbol, making it easier for consumers to make environmentally friendly seafood choices. The Ocean Wise logo next to a menu or seafood item is an assurance that the item is a good choice for keeping ocean life healthy and abundant for generations to come.
(For more information about Oceanwise, to find out which species are considered an ethical species and to find the list of restaurants who participate in the Oceanwise program, please visit them here.
For more information about ethical fishing methods (and their evil counterparts), check out Bottomfeeder.)
EDITED TO ADD: Guu Kobachi has responded and mentioned that their tuna is sustainably caught and farmed. I think that’s great, but they should have said that up front. Especially in the social media age of honesty, transparency and engagement.
What do you say? Is fish farming a truly sustainable option? Discuss.
The world seems like it’s starting to come to a bit of a settling point these days. A centering of itself somehow. Maybe it’s just that I’ve come to a place in which I’m centering and settling in. I have certainly found a place of peace within myself and my surroundings – something I’ve not felt for a very long time.
I used to call meditation, pursuit of a spiritual self, Feng Shui, malas… you name it, the “Woo Woo Society” when Carly was going through this same place. Unbeknownst to me, she was teaching me several things. It still feels kinda Woo Woo, but I’m embracing it and loving and living each moment.
I’ve come back to my meditation practice, you see. I had purchased a gorgeous rosewood Mala from a local bookstore and when I moved out on my own the first time, it vanished. Joie told me that it was because it was not longer needed for that portion of my life.
When I was on Saltspring Island visiting, she took me to meet Gaurang, Destination Om‘s creator. Simply being around him was so very peaceful. We were there to find me a new mala and also ended up finding a motivational visualization for me to get to Nepal.
Gaurang became a Mala maker through a path that took him from South Korea to India.
I lived in South Korea teaching English and visiting temples in Rural Korea every weekend on my motorcycle. I would collect bracelets from there as a means of donating to the temples as well as having some symbol of the adventure.
One day a Swami friend of mine came to me and said “Why don’t you make malas?” and within three months I found myself sitting in Bodhgaya, India (the place where Buddha obtained enlightenment) learning from a third generation mala maker whose grandfather was the first mala maker in Bodhgaya.
The Mala I was drawn to while visiting Gaurang is now never far from me, even while I sleep. I’ve woken up with it wrapped around one hand. The goal is to unite people with their inner self through the use of malas. A mala is useful as it helps focus the mind and develop clarity and stability of the mind.
The focus of Destination Om is one of love, compassion, and sustainable existence in the ever-changing world. This, for me, has worked in ways I’m just beginning to see the fruits of, above and beyond feeling centered and happy.
Not only can you find some gorgeous Mala beads and bracelets from Destination Om, you can request custom made Malas, with everything from what the beads are made from, what kind of guru bead and the color of the thread. Simply amazing, and the only place I consider for my spiritual accessories.
New fall tv is here and there are far too many shows that I want to watch scheduled at the same time. No one consulted me about that and frankly, I’m disappointed.
What’s a cheap girl to do? I had a house stuffed to the gills with tech toys. A PVR, a giant TV, too many gaming systems, and a Popcorn Hour. Plus about 3 computers. Maybe 4. And an iPad.
Now, I’m living a little more on the minimalist side (as best I can at the moment at least) and that means a small, old TV, no PVR, no games, no tablets and certainly no fancy-ass hard drives to download stuff for me.
I’m also not willing to pay Shaw for time shifting. (That’s spendy!!)
So… instead, I found a way around it. Global TV. Sounds simple, but…
Last night, I wanted to watch the season premiere of Castle, but the premiere of Hawaii 5-0 was on too. At the same time, one on Global TV and one on CTV. Instead of trying to flip back and forth like a maniac, which does no one any good, it occurred to me: Shaw TV owns Global TV. That means that (practically) anything that shows on Global is now available through Shaw’s Video On Demand. If you have Shaw Cable, you’ve got Video on Demand.
Choice made: Watch Castle, wait a day or less and check for the new Hawaii 5-0 on VOD. Sure, you could watch it online, but if you’ve recently chopped your cable bill in almost half, you, like me, no longer have the uber fast high-speed that makes streaming online video easy. No, you have the cheap as you can get it connect me to the interwebs and leave me be price that makes streaming video annoying, choppy and a waste of time.
Cheap girls don’t time shift.
WTF? Seriously — this is real? (My first reaction after reading the following email from Change.org, the organization hosting the online petition.)
Unfortunately, this is very real, and I’m appalled. I wasn’t a big fan of Edmonton in the past (purely personal reasons that have to do with a resident and how that resident treated a loved one vs anything else), and this isn’t helping.
What’s better? “You must be a member of the “Greedy Bastards” club to win.” That, i guess, is their listener club. This place needs a lesson in “you can think it, but don’t say it.”
And, if you want to give away a trip to Russia for 13 nights and 14 days etc etc (details on the contest page) find a better way to do it. Of all the misogynistic bullshit…
See the email below and go sign the petition!!
Most radio stations run contests for listeners to win concert tickets and electronics. Edmonton radio station 100.3FM The Bear is “giving away a wife.”
Partnering with a mail order bride company called A Volga Girl, The Bear is appealing to listeners “interested in potential holy matrimony with a hot foreign chick.” They’re calling the contest “Win A Wife” and have received entries from some men who are seeking genuine companionship, but also others who desire little more than someone to be their sexual partner and maid.
Offended and outraged, Edmonton listener Elicia Elliott has started a petition on Change.org to get this contest cancelled. Sign Elicia’s petition to tell 100.3FM that women are not commodities to be won or given away and that the contest should be cancelled immediately.
Elicia’s is not the only voice speaking out against 100.3FM’s contest. Alberta’s immigration minister, Thomas Lukaszuk, has pulled his ministry’s ads from the station because of it. He said, “In some parts of the world where women make themselves available to be Internet brides or through international dating agencies … they very seldom have that choice. They are either coerced into that position by despairing economic circumstances or they are coaxed into it by illegal elements.”
Every since I moved to the Island, I’ve been on a saving money, back to the earth, frugal living kick. It’s not just a passing fad for me and instead, it’s something that I’m really focusing on. I’ve got some big plans I want to begin executing in about a year (post harvest) and I’m going to need to have some cash saved up to go do that.
Today, I started planning grocery shopping. Sounds goofy, I know. Most people don’t actually need to plan to go to the grocery store aside from having a shopping list. I’ve been inspired by some of the Canadian “Extreme Couponers” and having watched someone recently at my local Shopper’s save some cash on her baby needs. I was a little inspired.
Grocery stores in Canada and on the island are very different from those in the states with their double and triple coupon days. We have to work a little harder to make it happen here.
My plan today started out with making sure I was signed up for all of the club card plans I could. For me, this means an Optimum Card, Q Card, a Thrifty Foods card and a Save On Foods card. There might be a few more here and there that I need to make sure I’ve got, but those are my main hit list ones for the moment.
Next, I made sure I knew which stores I wanted to keep an eye on (QF, Thrifty’s, Wal-Mart, Save on, Country Grocer, Fairway Markets & Superstore), when their flyers came out (see below) and if they had a specific coupon policy. I’m finding that the majority of my local stores have a pretty similar policy to the Shopper’s Drug Mart policy. I also got signed up for emails from all the stores I shop at and set up a rule in Gmail to filter all those out of my inbox so I can deal with them when I’m ready.
I found a couple of sites who offer some good coupon/frugal living tips and grabbed their RSS feeds. All I’m doing at the moment is trying to get organized. Soon, I’ll make up a meal plan for the week and a grocery list.
After I got my head around the grocery deals and when they were available, had my coupon sites set up (which I’ll post about in Part 3, coming soon) and had signed up for forums and such, I started looking at my monthly expenses and my habits. I watch a lot of TV, I do puzzles and I knit. I garden, write and watch movies. I’m a homebody. I bake and I cook. The fact that I’m happy doing these things means that living frugally is a lot easier.
My first major step? Cutting at least 50$ off my shaw cable bill.
I was spending approximately $136 a month. That’s way, way too much for cable services even if it does include my phone and internet!
My original bill:
There’s $30.80 tax on top of that as well. That’s a whopping $167.60 a month. Are you KIDDING ME? That’s gotta change. So, I called Shaw and made the following changes:
Personal TV + Extreme Internet $84.90
Downgrade to Highspeed Lite Internet -$20
Home Phone $15
Equipment Rental $3.95
Tax on that package will be approximately $10. All of a sudden, I’ve dropped the bill by about $56 a month. That’s almost $700 saved annually.
What are you paying for on your cable bill that you don’t need? What about your other monthly bills? Make sure that your bills don’t have errors on them monthly and see what you can reduce. I know I can do a lot with $700 a year.