Saturday, 30 July 2011

Sending the kid away

to camp that is...and only for a week.

He has never been to sleepover camp before, but I went for a couple weeks when I was 11 and I loved it. He is not so sure but a friend of his is going, so he decided to give it a go. I hope he enjoys himself.

It will actually give us both a break as we have been butting head quite a bit lately. He is 14 going on 30 and KNOWS absolutely everything.

We need to head out tomorrow at around 1:30pm, it is a 2.5 hour drive and registration begins at 4pm. We will also be driving his friend and his sister who is also attending.

Jarrod and his friend Austin are going to the boy's extreme camp - they will be camping out, hiking, wake-boarding, rock climbing, and BMX biking. Austin's sister is going to horseback riding camp at the same ranch.

It is Circle Square ranch - do you remember the Circle Square kid's TV show? It was put on by the same Christian organization.

I was stumbling the net today and came accross this - very cool but the price is ridiculous!

Click the photo to go to specific page.

Hubby would have to sleep somewhere else :)

I think this is SO cool!

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

The nutritious weeds in my garden

Have you heard of purslane? It "has more omega-3 fatty acids than some of fish oils" Sound good? It is also completely free! and usually driving you mad for taking over your garden!

I first heard about purslane, also known as pigweed, when my sister in-law, who grew up in Trinidad came to visit. One afternoon while talking in the backyard, she started rooting around the garden and said she found some pigweed. Um great I thought bewildered. She cleaned it up and sauteed it up with dinner. Only she and my father in-law ate it :) At that time I didn't know how good it was for you.

I recently researched it and then looked in my current garden beds which are badly in need of weeding and lo and behold, what did I find?!

You can read here about the nutrtition puslane has.

You can find some recipes for purslane here and here, although you can also eat it raw just tossed in salads.

As I was writing this post and researching purslane further, I came accross yet another edible weed in my garden.

This one is called Lamb's quarters (also known as wild spinach) and I have a ton of it sprouting up everywhere and have been pulling it up and tossing it!

 Click to enlarge the photo and see the 
arrows pointing to the lambs quarters

You can get more info here.

"Nutritional Value
High in vitamin C and rich in riboflavin, one cup of cooked wild spinach provides an excellent source of vitamin A, folate, magnesium, potassium, vitamins E, B6, and thiamine. Wild spinach actually contains substantially more nutrients than cultivated spinach."

Here are some recipes for lambs quarters.

I have already picked some purslane - now I have to go get some lambsquarters, since I know i have a bunch out there!

I'll cook & eat some tonight and let you know how it all turns out :)

Ok I sauteed up the purslane in some bacon fat and some garlic. I did the lambs quarters the same way. I mean you could pretty much cook dirt in bacon fat & garlic and have it taste good right?

The taste test...they were ok. Not horrible, not delicious either. I think I would leave out most of the lambs quarter stems next time, even the smaller ones were a bit woody.

I don't think I will be foraging in my garden again any time soon, but it is nice to know, if I had to, I could.

Want to know more about edible weeds? Here are a few sites with info.

Monday, 25 July 2011

Book Review - My Life & Lesser Catastrophes by Christina Schofield

Publisher's blurb:
Fresh, Surprising Memoir of God's Goodness in the Midst of Disaster
Just after her thirteenth wedding anniversary, Christina Schofield woke up groggy and disoriented, surrounded by nurses in a hospital. She and her husband had hit a gravel patch while on their motorcycle and crashed into a ditch. With the exception of a concussion, she was fine. But Allen had broken his neck. He was now a quadriplegic.

With her entire life flipped upside down, she began an astonishing journey of tenacious faith amid increasing doubt. Full of dark, silent hours and a woman's honest questioning of the God she thought she knew, this is also a story full of miraculous answers to prayer and head-scratching, awe-inspiring encounters with her loving Lord.

With candid warmth and transparency, Christina shows readers that even in their darkest hours, God's goodness shines through.

My review: I'm really not sure how to rate this book. It started out fine. A tragic event befalls a family and the following upheaval it causes is tangible. I can completely understand how someone who previously had such a strong relationship with God would find themselves doubtful.  However, I am not a devote christian and cannot really relate to this woman's struggle.

I found the book engaging, heartfelt and funny in some places. It was an easy light read about a tragic serious event. I did find parts of the story irritating, specifically where the author puts her daugther's life in the hands of God instead of seeking medical help.She seems to live her life through rose coloured glasses and blind faith in God. Would I recommend it? I don't know.

"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.   Available at your favourite bookseller from Chosen, a division of Baker Publishing Group".

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Book Review - Pattern of Wounds by J. Mark Bertrand

A brutal murder.
An unraveling conviction.
To catch the killer, Roland March must decipher the

It's Christmas in Houston, and homicide detective Roland March is on the hunt for a killer. A young woman's brutal stabbing in an affluent neighborhood bears all the hallmarks of a serial murder. The only problem is that March sent the murderer to prison ten years ago. Is it a copycat--or did March convict the wrong man?

Alienated from his colleagues and with a growing rift in his marriage, March receives a series of taunting messages from the killer. The bodies pile up, the pressure builds, and the violence reaches too close to home. Up against an unfathomable evil, March struggles against the clock to understand the hidden message in the pattern of wounds.

My review: I liked this book, It has a decent storyline. It is easy to follow and realistic. I didn't find it overly "preachy" as I do some Christian published books. The characters are real, make mistakes and are not sugar-coated in goodness and perfection. I would recommend this book to others. The last page eludes to another book. 

Update: I have found out this is book 2, book 3 is coming and I should go find book one to get the back story :)
"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.
Available at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group". 

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Book Reivew - The Blessed by Ann H. Gabhart

Publisher's blurb:
Trapped by obligation, one woman longs for the freedom of true love.

It is 1844 and Lacey Bishop's life is a tangled mess. When circumstances move Lacey to a nearby Shaker village, she is not prepared for the new life that awaits her. In the midst of her deep loneliness, Lacey works to fit in with this odd group. But everything shifts when she finds herself drawn to a Shaker man in a village where such relationships are forbidden.

Can Lacey ever find true happiness in this mysterious place?

My review: I enjoyed this book. The story flowed well, the characters were likable and believable.

It provides a lot of info on the Shaker way of life which is interesting in itself.

"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.
Available at your favourite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group

Sunday, 17 July 2011

Life update

Sorry I haven't been around lately - it hasn't been because I was working - still no job and not a lot of prospects.

Not a lot happening. Just regular life I guess.

I have hopped back on the lowcarb wagon and my rash has reappeared.

I have developed this weird ailment. One day about 3 weeks ago, while doing the paper route with J, I had what felt like a bee sting on the back of my right calf.

There was no bee or any type of bug. I was wearing long shorts, so thought maybe there was something in the fabric poking me - nope.

It happened about 7 more times in the next 1/2 hour. A single sharp pain - I scraped my skin to make sure there wasn't actually something there - the pain was always in the same place.

This has continued several time a day since then. Out of the blue, doesn't matter what I am doing, walking, standing, sitting, laying down - I will get this single bee sting sensation - it really HURTS and it is always in the exact same spot!

I am going to make a Dr's appt tomorrow as it is driving me nuts - anyone have any ideas?

It was extremely hot today (over 40C with the humidex) and so I spend most of the day inside, doing laundry and reading.

Friday, 1 July 2011

Happy Canada Day!

Happy Canada Day!

I hope you all have a fun, relaxing day with family & friends.