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In completely unrelated news, my daughter’s team will be playing in the quarter finals at Ultimate Frisbee university championships tomorrow. It will be live streamed starting at 9:55, I think. I’m going to miss a bit because I’m going for a swim first.

I finally did it (thanks to Susan Dennis)

Susan is always going on about her tech adventures, trying new things, and being ruthless with services that don’t make her happy. I have watched in awe for ages. This week, she posted about switching her internet service, and came at just the right time for me. I had just gotten my latest bill, which was ridiculously high considering that it is for a home phone, internet and a mobile phone. I don’t even have TV. So today, I switched plans.

My home phone has gone from $50 a month to $10, and my internet has gone from $110 to $30 (it will go up to $60 in a year, but I can live with that, unless a better deal comes along). My internet speed is also doubled. The new service doesn’t do mobile phones, but the price for that plan isn’t horrible for now, and I’ll look around for something better once I stop hyperventilating about having made such a huge change.

I’m the kind of customers businesses love to have. As long as I am reasonably happy, I am intensely brand loyal. Bye bye Bell - I told you a year ago I wasn’t happy and you gave me a slightly improved deal for a year, but no warning when it was about to expire, and my package cost more than standard packages with better service. Seriously? You wanted to keep me? It would have been easy.
The plumber wasn’t too horribly expensive, thank goodness. The furnace guy will be here Tuesday. The call itself won’t be horrible but the guy hasn’t told me what it will cost to repair or replace the furnace. Miraculously, I am surviving the heat. Every fan in the house is running, and I manage to get cooler air in at night, so it’s not awful.

Recipes for July

July 9 - Juicy balls. I have no idea what is in the original recipe, but they are inspired by a recipe that Constance makes for her food group while camping. They smell like they are made by cooking meatballs in onion soup mix and water, so that’s what I did. I used about 1 1/2 lb pure ground beef and browned it in the frying pan. Then I added about 1/2 a package of onion soup mix and some water, and allowed everything to cook down. When the soup was getting to be almost like a sauce, I mixed in cooked noodles (Constance served hers on the side because some people had gluten issues). It turns out that Constance now makes them with beef broth and desiccated onion because some instant soup mix has sugar (another no-no for part of the food group).

July 18 - Cherry pie filling (https://www.allrecipes.com/recipe/218432/cherry-pie-filling/). I have no idea how this turned out because I gave the pie to my dad. He said it was good.

Carrot top pesto (http://www.organicauthority.com/3-carrot-top-recipes-because-carrot-greens-are-not-poisonous/). I accidentally left out the garlic, which is a shame because I had planned to use up some garlic scapes. However, I really liked the flavour without garlic. It may have been the lemon-infused olive oil I used when I ran out of my regular stuff.

July 23 - Swedish meatballs (https://addapinch.com/swedish-meatballs-recipe/). I really liked these, but my daughter thought they tasted funny - perhaps because I didn’t use pork, and possibly because I used garlic scapes instead of garlic.

Book challenge:
July was a book tied to your ancestry. I don’t know much about my ancestry. My mother’s family is German, via the USA and somewhere in Turkey or Russia. She said my birth father was of Norwegian background, so I chose Peer Gynt, because it was on the shelf. Trust me, the occasional music written by Edward Grieg is way better. This is one of my favourites: https://youtu.be/dyM2AnA96yE. This month’s challenge is to read a book with a yellow cover. It may be time to re-read The Art of Possibility.

Tags:

Staycation - Day 4

I'm on the bus to my folks' house to weed their garden. I'm on the bus because I have completely lost control of my car. Today the girl is going for a ride. Tomorrow she has a riding lesson and then plans to shop with a friend. I put my foot down to claim the car for something I wanted to do on Saturday, and I'm allowed to have it on Sunday as long as I get it to her workplace by 3 pm and then bus home. 

I didn't go swimming this morning because I wasn't sure what her plans were so I hung around waiting for her to wake up (she worked 14 hours yesterday so was a very sleepy bunny). Instead, I washed windows and watered plants. Sadly, I discovered that my last borage plant accidentally got decapitated when I was weeding yesterday. So much for those suckers being indestructible!

Yesterday was nice. We went out to our leadership coach's place, which turned out to be a gorgeous custom-built house facing a golf course. We had a lovely visit over beer-butt chicken and grilled vegetables. Barbecued radishes are the bomb!

I'm starting to worry that I won't come close to getting all my planned projects done. I had two specific things to work on and haven't touched one, while the other has gotten only minimal attention. I have eyed starting some new things (foolish me) and am working at others that are not time sensitive. If only vacations really were about relaxing instead of family and other obligations. Sigh.

Tags:

The Friday Five

1) Has the weather where you are finally started acting like spring is here?

It’s teasing us today. The ice is almost off the river, and my daughter wore shorts to pick me up after work. I saw two brave crocuses in my lawn this morning. We are expecting 10-15 cm of snow on the weekend, and night-time temperatures will be well below zero.

2) Do you have any special spring activities or outings planned?

I planted my tomato and cucumber seeds and got a notice for my community garden’s AGM. I have seeds and dirt in my future.

3) Have you started wearing different clothing appropriate to spring?

I broke out a more summery top, but wore it with a winter coat. I chose it because it is comfortable for travel and I have a long day today.

4) What signs of spring are manifesting around you?

Cabin fever. Lots and lots of cabin fever. Also playoff season.

5) Are there special foods you enjoy preparing and/or eating in the spring?

Salads, especially those with “weeds” from my garden. If I have to pull them up, I may as well eat them. I eat very little salad in the winter because I can’t get anything local.

The Friday Five

Since we are so close to St. Patrick's Day, how about a bit o' the Irish today?

1. Are you Irish?
2. Do you like Guinness?
3. Do you know what the symbol of Ireland is?
4. Have you ever watched Father Ted?
5. Do you believe in leprechauns?


1. No. I am mostly German on Mom's side, and I believe my birth father was of Norwegian ancestry.
2. It's not my favourite but it will do. My taste in beer runs either to really dark (and Guinness isn't dark enough compared to what some friends brew) or light and fruity.
3. I do. It's a harp, on a green background. It is also on my SCA heraldry.
4. No.
5. Only whan I'm out in the woods or my imagination is running wild late at night.

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The Friday Five

1) Who made you feel good this week, and how?

My team at work. They did things on private time that support our work (women and girls' rights). I admire their dedication.

2) What did you do this week that moved you closer to reaching your goals?

I baked cupcakes - I have been fundraising for the Humane Society.

3) What did you most enjoy doing this week?

I went for a ride on Fancy and felt like I was doing all the things right that we had practiced in my lesson. As a bonus, she didn't try to bite me. Sometimes, she can be a good horse.

4) What did you learn this week?

I learned some new veil moves and dance steps at bellydance class.

5) What’s the funniest thing that happened to you this week?

In yet another example of "Ottawa is a small town" it turns out my substitute bellydance teacher knew a very old friend of mine who died a couple of years ago. I first met him and his wife back when I was still in university.

Copy and paste to your own journal, then reply to this post with a link to your answers. If your journal is private or friends-only, you can post your full answers in the comments below.

If you'd like to suggest questions for a future Friday Five, then do so on DreamWidth or LiveJournal. Old sets that were used have been deleted, so we encourage you to suggest some more!

**Remember that we rely on you, our members, to help keep the community going. Also, please remember to play nice. We are all here to answer the questions and have fun each week. We repost the questions exactly as the original posters submitted them and request that all questions be checked for spelling and grammatical errors before they're submitted. Comments re: the spelling and grammatical nature of the questions are not necessary. Honestly, any hostile, rude, petty, or unnecessary comments need not be posted, either.**

Colton Boushie

Colton Boushie was a young Cree man from Saskatchewan, who was killed last year by a farmer when he went onto the farmer's land to get help with a flat tire. Some of the kids in the car had been drinking. There had been thefts at nearby farms and these kids may have been trying to steal from the farmer. No matter. Boushie was shot in the head at close range while sitting in the driver's seat of the car. The farmer claims his gun went off accidentally. Tonight the jury acquitted the farmer of all charges. The jury was all white (anyone in the 750 person jury pool who looked like they might be indigenous was objected to by the defence). Of all provinces, Saskatchewan has one of the largest indigenous populations as a percentage of its total population. Race relations were already difficult there, and things have gotten worse throughout the trial. I happened to catch the live updates as the verdict was announced, and the courtroom erupted - not in a good way. It has been several hours now and I don't even want to turn on the news to find out what is happening. I fear that Regina may look like Baltimore post-Freddie Gray.

I am beyond angry, and also deeply ashamed of some of my fellow Canadians.