Sunday, July 31, 2011

Sunday potluck

There weren't very many people at church this morning - around 45. Probably because it was a long weekend and a lot of people were at camp. However I invited the entire congregation home for lunch. We had around 30 who came. It was an easy lunch though - we barbequed, and had the salads we made yesterday as well as a green salad. It's nice to be hospitable, especially when it's simple to do.

I now have 21 different salad recipes, which means that we can do five different ones a week and have a four-week rotation. I've done up a spreadsheet with the rotation on it; trying to have a nice variety of salads that are mainly vegetables, pulse-based salads (ones with beans, peas or lentils in them), grain-based salads; ones that are super easy along with ones that take a fair bit more chopping and preparation.

The Current Quinoa is one of my particular favourites.

Currant and Quinoa Salad Yield: 12 cups
1 1/3 cups quinoa, rinsed and drained
3 cups water
¼ tsp salt
Boil water and salt. Stir in quinoa. Reduce heat & simmer, covered for about 20 minutes, without stirring, until quinoa is tender and liquid is absorbed. Transfer to large bowl. Cool. Add:
2 cups lentils, rinsed and drained
1 cup diced red pepper
1 cup currants
½ cup parmesan cheese
½ cup slivered almonds
¼ cup thinly sliced green onion
6 Tbsp canola oil
5 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
2 tsp raspberry jam
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 ½ tsp sugar (or substitute)
1 ½ tsp salt
1 ½ tsp pepper
1 garlic clove, minced

Lentil and Brown Rice Salad
1 c. dry lentils
1 c. dry brown rice
2 c. peas
1 c. chopped onions
1/2 c.chopped celery
1 tsp. salt
1 tbsp. soya sauce
3 tbsp. vinegar
1/2 c. oil
1 tsp curry powder
1/2 tbsp sugar
1 to 2 handfuls chow mein noodles

Cook lentils, rice and peas. Let cool.
Combine lentils, rice, peas, onions and celery in a large bowl.

Combine salt, soya sauce, vinegar, oil, curry powder and sugar in a pot. Bring just to a boil then pour over lentil mixture. Let sit overnight. Just before serving, add chow mein noodles.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Saturday - new salads

We experimented with two new salads today; and tried some variations on some of our tried and true ones. One of our favourites is the Sweet Potato Black Bean - however, I wanted to try it today with a change in the vinaigrette. So we tried it, and it's definitely a keeper. We changed the 1/4 cup lime juice to 1/4 cup concentrated orange juice, and omited the sugar. Mmm good!

The two new salads we tried were a parsnip salad and a buckwheat salad. Company's Coming has a parsnip salad in their salads book, and we tried it before and didn't really like it, so we made up our own. Because we had already opened a can of frozen orange juice we used it in the vinaigrette, but we wanted it to be a lighter colour to complement the parsnips, so we used rice wine vinegar.

Parsnip Salad – makes 8 cups

6 parsnips, grated

½ turnip grated

½ cup grated carrot

3-4 chopped green onions

½ cup chopped celery

¼ cup chopped parsley

½ chopped red pepper

½ cup raisins


½ cup oil

¼ cup lemon juice

½ cup concentrated orange juice

2 tsp chopped garlic

¼ cup rice wine vinegar

1 tsp salt

We also tried a buckwheat salad, that had possibilities but we decided that the buckwheat is too strong for a salad. If we make it again we're going to try it with millet instead. So here it is:

Millet Rice Salad – makes 4 cups

1 cup brown rice

¼ cup wild rice

1 cup millet

Cook grains. Cool. Add

¼ cup dried cranberries

¼ cup raw pecans

1 small bunch fresh parsley, chopped

3 radishes, thinly sliced

2 green onions, chopped


2 TLB oil

1 TLB lemon juice

1 TLB soya sauce

2 TLB concentrated orange juice

They had a lot of tomatoes half price at the store today, so we ended up making a Greek Salad with chopped tomatoes instead of cherry tomatoes. Cleaning out the fridge I discovered several cucumbers and a big bag of sugar snap peas so we also made a Marinated Asian Vegetable. We added the cucumbers to it even though the recipe didn't call for it, and used sugar snap peas instead of edamame. They look so pretty that even though I never put pictures on my blog, I have to today.

Friday, July 29, 2011


I went into work for a little bit this morning. Had a mouse greet me there - twice. I don't really care for that type of greeting; however would rather meet a mouse at work than at home. Frankly, I'd much prefer anyone else greet it than me though.

This next salad is really huge - because it's a layered salad, it's best made in an attractive bowl; it's a good one for potlucks. However it also tastes really good in a pita.

Layered Moroccan Salad Yield: 16 cups

1 ½ cups prepared chicken broth

1 ½ cups couscous (roasted garlic & olive oil)

Boil broth, add couscous and stir. Remove from heat. Let stand, covered, for about 5 minutes until liquid is absorbed. Fluff with fork. Transfer to extra-large glass bowl. Chill, uncovered, for about 30 minutes until cold. Combine the next 9 ingredients in medium bowl:

1 cup mayonnaise

1 cup plain yogurt

¼ cup each chopped fresh mint & parsley

2 Tbsp liquid honey

1 Tbsp ground cumin

1 tsp ground cinnamon

½ tsp salt

1/8 tsp pepper

Add ½ mayonnaise mixture plus 540 ml can of lentils (rinsed and drained) to couscous. Stir and layer the next 5 ingredients in the order given and top with the remaining mayo mixture.

2 cups thinly sliced carrots

2 cups sliced English cucumber (with peel)

2 cups cherry tomatoes

Scatter with ½ cup each of dried apricot, dried cranberries & seeds or nuts. Serve with lettuce if desired.

This next one is a variation on your basic marinated vegetable salad, because it uses Asian vegetables and an Asian-type marinade as well. The original recipe called for edamame however it's not recommended for people with thyroid problems, as Ruth has, so we've substituted chickpeas, which we get for free anyway.

Marinated Asian Vegetable Salad

Yield: 9 cups

2 - 3 cups chick peas or edamame, cooked

398 ml can cut baby corn, drained

350 g package of firm tofu, cut into ½ inch cubes

1 cup baby carrots, halved lengthwise

1 cup celery, sliced diagonally

1 cup diced red pepper

1 cup grape tomatoes

1 cup snow peas, trimmed & halved


1/3 cup apple cider vinegar

¼ cup canola oil

4 tsp fish sauce

1 Tbsp finely grated ginger root

1 Tbsp sugar (or substitute)

2 tsp chili paste


Thursday, July 28, 2011


Rachel had a good day yesterday; mostly sitting around - as there's a lot of that involved in being an extra for a TV show. Emmet and I enjoyed the morning together; we went to the farmer's market and the library and then his Friesen grandparents had him for the afternoon. It feels strange to have nothing in particular on my plate for today -but I'm sure I can handle it.

Here's the next two salads:

Marinated Vegetable Salad

1 bag mixed vegetables OR

1 small cauliflower cut

3 cups chopped broccoli

2 cups cherry tomatoes

2 cups celery cut in sticks

3 carrots cut in sticks OR 2 cups mini carrots

1 can mushrooms (the canned mushrooms work better because they don't blacken over time)

1 green pepper cut in strips or rings


½ cup oil

¼ cup red wine vinegar

1 tsp chopped garlic

¼ tsp salt

¼ tsp pepper

2 tbsp lime juice

The Greek salad is one of Ruth's favourites - mind you, I don't think you can ever go wrong with feta cheese and garlic. Feel free to add more feta; it kind of depends on how much cucumber you put in.

Greek Salad

1 pint grape tomatoes

1 or 2 diced English cucumbers

½ red onion cut in rings

½ cup diced feta cheese

1 can pitted black olives

1 diced red onion


½ cup oil

¼ cup red wine vinegar

1 tsp chopped garlic

¼ tsp salt

¼ tsp pepper

2 tbsp lime juice

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Recipes for Wednesday

Bean Salad

1 can mixed beans

1 can green beans

1 can yellow beans

1 can baby corn (cut)

½ red onion chopped OR 1 jar marinated onions

1 chopped green pepper or red pepper

Drain all the cans, rinse the mixed beans.


½ cup oil

¼ cup cider vinegar

1 tsp chopped garlic

¼ tsp salt

¼ tsp pepper

¼ cup sugar or sugar replacement

We used to purchase a large (commercial size) container of low cal Italian dressing and used it on all of our salads for the vinaigrette, but we've found that we prefer to make our own salad dressings; they taste better and give each salad its own distinctive taste. We do purchase the 10 lb sack of red onions though, because we go through a lot of red onion.

Lentil and Black Bean Salad

1 can black beans
1 ½ cups cooked lentils

¾ cup corn

½ cup chopped red onions

½ cup green pepper

¼ cup parsley


½ cup oil

¼ cup cider vinegar

1 ½ tsp Dijon mustard

1 ½ tsp cumin

1 garlic clove

½ tsp salt

¼ tsp pepper


Rachel is going to be an extra in a movie today - they need pregnant women for a scene. So I'm babysitting Emmet for the day. We'll see how this goes. It may be a long day; on the other hand, it may go perfectly fine.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The next two recipes

Vegetable Pecan Salad

2 cups broccoli florets

1 cup cauliflower florets

½ cup snow peas, trimmed

1 large red pepper, thinly sliced

3 green onions, sliced


½ cup canola oil

2 TLB red wine vinegar

2 TLB balsamic vinegar

1 garlic clove, minced

1 tsp sugar

1 tsp ground coriander (optional)

¼ tsp salt

¼ tsp pepper

1 cup pecan halves

This next salad is one of my personal favourites; we always make really big salads because we're splitting them at least three ways, plus serving them for potluck Sunday dinner, however this one can be easily halved:

Sweet Potato Black Bean Salad

Yield 12 cups

6 – 8 cups sweet potato, cooked and cubed

2 cups red pepper, chopped

2 x 540 ml can black beans, rinsed and drained

½ cup thinly sliced red onion

¼ cup parsley, chopped


½ cup canola oil

¼ cup lime juice

2 Tbsp red wine vinegar

2 tsp sugar (or substitute)

1 tsp salt

2 small garlic cloves, minced or ¼ tsp powder

A good memory, but short

OK, we had a wind-up meeting for Mission 6:10 last night. I remembered it this morning. Oops! Oh well, I wasn't in town anyway; Bram and I had gone to Moose Jaw to visit my mother-in-law. She's doing ok; wasn't as with it as the last time we had visited. We had caught a ride with Ruth, who had to go on to Caronport to do some business with some friends there - so it was after 8:30 by the time we got back to Regina, and the meeting was at 7 pm, so I'm sorry I missed it.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Monday - already late July

Where has the time gone! Bram flies up to Yellowknife tomorrow, I think. I still don't have flight particulars.

Here's another salad recipe though - an old family favourite. Unfortunately, neither of my kids like coleslaw, but I can confidently state that it's one of Walter P's favourites.

Coleslaw Forever

1 bag coleslaw mix OR

½ bag coleslaw mix and

½ bag broccoslaw mix


¾ cup vinegar (I like to use apple cider vinegar)

½ cup canola oil

3/8 cup sugar (or Splenda)

1 TLB salt

1 TLB celery seed

Mix dressing together; heat in microwave until sugar dissolves; pour over salad.

This salad mixes up well in an empty ice cream pail; it makes 1 gallon. It will keep for several weeks.

Actually, since neither of my kids like salads very much at all - I don't have much competition for the salads in the fridge. Here's another one that Ruth and I tweaked to make it our own:

Cauliflower Salad

1 head cauliflower, cut into florets

3 apples, cored and diced

½ cup lemon juice

3 grated carrots

½ cup sunflower seeds

½ cup parsley, diced

3 green onions, chopped

Cut up cauliflower quite small; dice apples and turn in lemon juice to prevent browning. Add remaining ingredients. You can use whatever lemon juice is left over as part of the vinaigrette.


2 TLB lime juice

2 TLB red wine vinegar

½ cup canola oil

1 tsp garlic, minced

¼ tsp salt

¼ tsp pepper

2 tsp Splenda

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Fixed it!

I've got Skype working properly now - got the microphone to work (just changed the settings). This makes Rose happy. It's also much easier to visit that way.

Recipes 2 and 3

I think we had around 50 for lunch today - it's really hard to count when there's that many. However we did have the group that came up with the Steiners from Arkansas plus the Williams and the Kings, Friesens and the Pradzynskis; the Vance boys, etc. The salads went over very well. It was interesting though - different people liked different ones. I'm now up to 16 salad recipes - and Ruth and I realized that we didn't have our broccoli salad recipe typed up yet - so that will make it 17.

I'm busy IMing with Rose on Skype. Her microphone works but I can't seem to get mine to work, so she talks and I IM back. It's a good thing I type quickly.

OK, here's a salad we tried for the first time yesterday - and were very impressed. You can't tell it's not potato salad (and as I'm allergic to potato salad, I think it's a great recipe because I can eat it).

Fake-um Potato Salad (Cauliflower)

1 large head cauliflower or 2 small heads chopped small and steamed
4 hard boiled eggs, sliced
½ cup parsley chopped
3 green onions chopped
2 large dill pickles or 4 small dill pickles, chopped
2 stalks celery, sliced
4 radishes, chopped
½ cup mayonnaise or salad dressing
¼ cup dill pickle juice

Because potato salad is obviously a summer salad, I'll do another salad as well:

Nutty Wild Rice Salad

3 cups cooked wild rice (I use a mixture of wild and brown rice – about 1:4)

1 cup cherry tomatoes

½ cup chopped fresh parsley

½ cup diced yellow pepper

1/3 cup chopped green onion

1/3 cup craisins

¼ cup coarsely chopped pecans

Raspberry Dressing

1/3 cup canola oil

3 TLB vinegar (I use rice vinegar)

2 TLB raspberry jam

1 tsp Dijon mustard

1 minced garlic clove

¼ tsp salt

¼ tsp pepper

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Saturday Salad Making

We made five salads again this morning - actually six, if you count the jello salad. However, in our effort to make all salads that we hadn't done in the last two weeks, we ended up making all marinated-type salads. In any case, we now have in individual cookbooks (little photo albums), fifteen different salad recipes. Today we made: Marinated Vegetable salad, Lentil Black Bean Salad, Fake-um Potato Salad made with Cauliflower, Bean Salad, and Greek Salad. We also made up a huge batch of Swedish Meatballs for potluck tomorrow, and Ruth made up some low carb chocolate banana cakes (also for potluck) and some lentil casserole. I will still make some lazy man's cabbage rolls (meatless ones because I'm not going out to purchase more meat when I still have lots of lentils on hand, and they're free!).

So, I figure I need to post at least one recipe at day for the next few weeks. For today:
Moroccan Chickpea Barley Salad
Cook Barley:
1.5 cups barley
1.5 cups chicken or veggie broth or water
1.5 cups water
1 tsp salt and canola oil

Combine cooked barley with:
1 - 15 oz can of chickpeas, rinsed and strained
1 cup nuts or seeds (we usually use either slivered almonds or sunflower seeds)
1 cup diced dried apricots
2-3 chopped green onions
1 cup chopped parsley
zest and juice of one lemon
1 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp cardamom
1/4 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1 to 1.5 tsp curry powder
salt to taste

You'll notice this salad doesn't actually have a dressing or vinaigrette. It doesn't need one - keeps fine without it, and is very nice.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Mission 6:10 windup

OK, to start with, here are some links about what's been happening:
From CTV: a news clip
From CBC: a news clip
From CJME: a news clip

We finished up last night. We had the last night of VBS, wound up the various construction projects that had been going on and everyone ended up at the mural for a time of prayer and dedication. The group from Greenville Oaks flew back to Texas leaving at 6:20 this morning.

It has been a very busy and intense week. A lot of good has been accomplished. There are some really great photos out there of the various projects, but I'm not great at taking pictures so you'll have to look elsewhere for them. If you're friends with Carla C on Facebook, she has a lot of pictures. I'll try to get some links from the group at Greenville Oaks as well and post that when I get them.

Some of the highlights for me:
  • Spending the afternoon with my sister, Glenda and visiting with her.
  • Being on a mission trip with my sister and her family; listening to Glenda's testimony.
  • Getting to meet the East Indian family in the park and making a new connection there.
  • Visiting with many of the group from Greenville Oaks and sharing stories.
  • Not having to plan meals for nearly a full week!
  • Listening to Oscar's testimony.
  • Being able to do many small things, like picking up snack for VBS each day- that made the week run more smoothly.

Thursday, July 21, 2011


It was threatening rain and the wind was blowing really strongly all day yesterday. The forecast was 70% probability of rain and it looked really threatening. I was praying to the God who controls the wind and the rain because if it rained it would affect the mural as well as most of the construction sites and the VBS in the park. The strong wind would also affect the VBS in the park as it would be very difficult to hold the VBS and the kids wouldn't come out for it.

So it didn't rain all day, aside from a few windblown sprinkles.

When I drove over to Glen Elm to pick up things to bring to the park, the wind was still blowing very strongly - in fact I could feel it buffet my van on my way back to the park. However at the park the wind was calm, even though we could see the tops of the trees bending over in the wind. We had a good session - about 45 kids, and we weren't disrupted by the wind at all. Now there was a bit of disruption by the film crew. Apparently they were filming a horror movie just down the street 1/2 a block from the park and they had the big trailers and the film crew out - so there was a big distraction; and the kids were really hyper last night, but things went well regardless. The Lord continues to answer prayer.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Mission 6:10

It is the week for Mission 6:10. It has been extremely hot - 33 yesterday and Monday, and although it's cooled down to 21 today, it's still extremely humid. This has hampered things a little, but things have been going well.

There is a group up from Greenville Oaks church from Allen, TX up for it; joined by a smaller group from Canada, and a few from Arlington, TX. This year we are running three VBS's - one at Glen Elm, one in North Central in the park at 7th and Pasqua, and a middle school group running in the city core. I'm the coordinator for the VBS in the park - but all the planning, etc. was done by the group from Greenville Oaks. Monday night was our first night, and we had 65 kids! Last night the number was down to 42 - however with the extreme heat, we're still thankful for all the kids who attended.

In addition to the VBS, there are several other projects on the go. There's a group painting a mural on the side of the Jolly Roger (the notorious bar in North Central) - this is preventing it from being a site for graffiti - and creating a positive presence in the community. In addition, there's another group doing construction and fixing up of several homes in the community for residents who needed some assistance. The teens are painting dumpsters, going on a prayer walk, meeting kids in the community and helping in a community garden for their service projects. It's all been very hectic, quite inspiring, and way too hot out.

Tomorrow is the last day. It's hard to think that it will end so soon, but it has been and continues to be a great time for all of us.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Monday, again

OK, Mission 6:10 started Friday night and I immediately got very busy. Last year it was hosted at Western; everyone slept in the dorms, and it was very close to where I live. This year it's hosted by Glen Elm, the teens are sleeping there and the adults are sleeping in a hotel right by there, and I get to drive across town 2-3 times a day. I find it makes a big difference. However, things are going well.

We had the carnival last night, which was our way of advertising the VBS for this week. It was very hot, but things went very well. Ashley R (Tate's girlfriend) organized the carnival, and she borrowed a farm truck with a water tank on the back from her sister, and so we were able to have a massive water fight (with sponges and pails) as part of the fun at the carnival (after the face painting, the clowns, and the other games had grown a little stale) and everyone had fun. We had one teen who I think likely had a little heat stroke by the end of things, but everyone seemed to do very well. The VBS starts this evening.

Both NW and Glen Elm congregations had potlucks yesterday to welcome the crew from Texas that were up for Mission 6:10. NW had theirs as a bbq, with members bringing salads and desserts. I brought salads (of course) - the ones we had made the day before. We had made: coleslaw forever, vegetable pecan salad (had both broccoli and cauliflower in it), cauliflower salad, nutty wild rice salad, and potato salad. We had also made a diabetic jello salad with strawberries in it. Then I ran errands the rest of the day, up until time for the carnival. I'll do the same thing this morning - try to be over a Glen Elm for the leader's meeting at 8:30 - then hopefully I'll have a little down time for a bit.

Last night after I got home (around 9 pm) I phoned Rose and had a bit of a visit with her but collapsed into bed by 9:30. Rose likes phone calls and e-mails; if you email me, I'll give you her phone number or if you know my cell number, her's is the same only the last digit is 3 instead of 2.

I open my windows at night to allow things to cool off a bit - it didn't do much cooling off last night; it was still 76 in the house when I got up this morning. However I've closed the windows again because it can only get hotter outside.

Time to go pick up things before I head over to Glen Elm.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011


It's been a quiet, lazy day. I'm enjoying it. I went downtown to pay some bills that I needed to do in person; checked out the farmer's market and the library while I was there came home and haven't done much else. It's kind of nice to do that sometimes. I have the Pradzynski's over for supper as usual for Wednesday, but I checked through my freezer and found a premade meal to toss into the oven for that. Oh yeah, I reread a book that I've read before and enjoyed, and bagged up some clothing to take to Value Village. This evening there's a Prayer Walk for North Central. I'll enjoy that.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011


I woke up at 3 am this morning and wasn't able to go back to sleep, so got up and worked on some of the stuff I promised I'd get ready for Mission 6:10 - the summer youth mission camp that will start this weekend. Got three prayer walks done (two totally done; one well started) - was only asked for one, but that's the way it goes. I'm feeling a little wonky - could be from turning my night and day around. I've tried an afternoon nap, but it's not the same.

I hear Daryl and Kristen have a new baby girl born last night, but that's all I've heard. When I have more info, I'll share it.

Rose and Bram received their report cards yesterday. They did extremely well! Bram has a 90% average and Rose's is in the high 80's. Bram received credit for 12 classes over two semesters! That's pretty impressive in and of itself, not to mention that his lowest mark was an 84. Rose took five classes second semester, three of them 30 level courses, on top of working just about full time at Safeway.

Monday, July 11, 2011


It feels like the first day of my holidays today. Actually last week was - but I was at camp, cooking; which was fun, but I had my time scheduled for me, so to speak. Today I'm (sort of) free. This doesn't, of course, mean that I'm actually free - I have things I need to do, but I can choose when and how to do them. I slept in this morning until 6 and didn't actually get up until after 8 (I love to luxuriate in bed in the mornings).

Bram has the week off before Mission 6:10 next week. I'm sending him off to see if he can find work for this week. (Probably not, but there's no point in not asking).

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Sunday evening

I've just written a letter to my daughter, I need to write one to my mother-in-law, and I'm feeling the urge to go to bed. Before any of those, however, I think I'll do a quick post.

It's been a good day and a very good weekend. I had many of the usual crowd over for Sunday dinner. I counted 34 afterwards; there could have been others that I missed, but that was a good-sized group anyway. It was easy - just barbecue and the salads we made yesterday, plus various desserts brought by various people. I'm so thankful for a house I can easily be hospitable in, and the courage to invite people over (it's really hard for me to invite people, so I'm also glad people just come over), and friends, family and fellowship.

Bram has been practicing juggling in the living room. When the balls hit, thump! it's a really strange sound without a rhythm and I finally had to go see what was making that sound. He came back from camp last night; I picked him up at the airport. It's good to have him home again. This was his last year to go to burn camp - he's been going since he was six years old but next year he'll be 18 and too old. It has created lots of good memories for him, though. They had a circus theme this year, hence the juggling balls. He made his own, and then made another set today to give away.

Last night, after picking up Bram from the airport, we met the Williams family and friends for pizza and to celebrate Tate's birthday. It was really good to see them again. They left this morning at 5 am to drive to Minnesota for camp, so I'm glad I was able to see them before they left. They'll be back in a week, Lord willing.

I've visited with Rose on the phone a couple of times since I've been back. She's not having a lot of fun at her course, but I hope she'll enjoy it more as time progresses. She phoned this afternoon to find out how to use a toaster over (we've never had one, so she's never used one before). It's good to talk with her a little bit. I wrote her a Sunday letter too. I've been writing Sunday letters since I was 15 and away at Western for school. They've mostly turned into blog postings lately, but I'm thankful for the years of practice. I do enjoy writing them, and long ago I discovered it's really easy to write if I do it regularly, but it's really hard to start if I quit for awhile.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Back from camp

I spent the past week at family camp at Kenosee. It was good. I don't have much of a history at Clearview - we always went to Heritage camp, I think I only went to Clearview once as a child; but now I'm living in Regina, it's the closest camp. I helped cook. It was a lot of fun, and not onerous at all. I enjoyed the relaxation and was very happy to be back in my own bed last night.

I'm currently washing up my bedding and clothing worn at camp. When I arrived at camp and opened my sleeping bag, I discovered a bag of Bram's dirty clothing inside the stuff sack with my sleeping bag. Since he borrowed my sleeping bag back when we went to Gravelbourg (one month ago!) I figure they've been there since then. It wasn't a really welcome discovery, but I washed them once I got home. Bram should be back tonight from burn camp.

Last night was the only night I've been the only one at home in my house. I didn't move in until the end of August, and Rose was with me then. In addition, Betty moved in the middle of September, and has been with me every night from then on. To add to that, Bram moved in in January. So last night was a first. It was kind of creepy. I was having trouble sleeping. To add to that, I got up about 1 am to get a drink of water, and saw a small rodent run across my counter top. I haven't had any sign of mice since about November, and let me let you, it wasn't a comforting sign to see one now. I'm disappointed to think that I'll have to go back to traps and poison.

This morning Ruth and I made salads as usual. Lisa Vance came over and cooked with us. We all had fun. We msde five salads, as usual: Moroccan chickpea barley, a layered salad with couscous (also from Morocco), quinoa currant, sweet potato black bean and a marinated Asian salad. I also have coleslaw forever left over from last week, so we'll have lots of variety for tomorrow lunch.

I talked to Rose on the phone last night. She's settled in Quebec City; not finding her course particularly exciting, but hopeful that it will improve over time. She's not finding it particularly difficult.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Summer time

I'm now off work. Rose is in Ottawa, on her way to Quebec for the summer. She has a day in Ottawa so she can scout out where everything is before she moves there for university in the fall. She just phoned me to say, "I'm on such and such a corner, can you give me directions to get to....?" Isn't the internet wonderful? She says her laptop weighs a ton and it's really hot and sticky out; but I'm glad to hear from her. She's phoned me several times - once from Toronto, once at 5:30 this morning (I know you always wake up early anyway), once at 10:30 and now this time. I'm glad we changed the cellphone package so that I'm not paying for the long distance on this.

I was thinking, how is it that I can let my daughter take off by herself and go somewhere else for university, etc. Then I thought, hey I was only 19 when I went to New Guinea for two years. Rose is 20. It is hard to loosen those apron strings though.

It feels really good to be finished work. (Sort of, I need to go back in over the summer and get a few small things done, but I'm essentially done.) I went by the library yesterday and borrowed a bunch of books, which should last me awhile, I hope.