Monday, January 31, 2011

New pastels

I've added 3 more pastel drawings in my art gallery. The first two are part of a new series where I've been trying to express my emotions, which I called Women in E-Motions.

This one is called shame

This one is called regret

Are your cats driving you into a circle?

It's amusing, because the door is closed, the cats form a circular formation near the door.

Going clockwise from the left, Ziva, Spock, Jethro, and Pixie.

Here's a close-up of Spock's mug and his mutant feet. See the 'thumb'? 

Aye Aye Sir!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Gluten free bread & Pasta...

I made a variant of this gluten free corn bread. I only used 1/2 a  cup of corn flour, and the other half cup was Bob's gluten free flour mix and I did use 1 cup of brown rice flour.  I also added a tablespoon of caraway seeds and a tablespoon of flax seed to the mix as well.The bread came out really nice. 

I couldn't wait to try it with this goat's milk Brie that I found today. I so love cheese and I've found now 3 different types of goat or sheep  cheese. There's the feta type, which is great in salads, there's the Kashkaval type which is great for making mac and cheese and melts in general and there's Brie.. what can I say for Brie.. it's great on bread to be savoured.

Today I went through the spice cabinet and took note of all the ones we were low on and picked up most of  the spices at the Super C on Brunswick & Deacon and then I went to the Bulk Barn at Marche de l'ouest for the rest of the spices. Bulk Barn I found out carries 4 types of gluten free pastas. I had the rice pasta shells with Kashkaval cheese for dinner tonight - so it was shell & cheese :)  Sadly they do not carry unsweetened carob chips. That was a little disappointing. 

They marched like an Egyptian....

The protests going on in Egypt since January 25th, has caught the attention of the entire Middle East and North Africa. It's undoubtedly caught the attention of the world, is the whole Arab world going to change?  The fact protests in Tunisia led to toppling their dictator is enough to encourage the Egyptians to protest until the same thing happens in their country.

My husband has been saying that this discontent has been bubbling under the surface for years and if it doesn't bubble over now, it will very shortly. The momentum will not be stopped. Sooner or later many of the regimes in this part of the world will change. Hopefully not for the worst. Perhaps it might be time that the west let the people from this region chose their leaders, even if they don't appear to be a choice we might have chosen.

I doubt most in the west realize that the countries in the Middle East and North Africa are far more repressed and conservative today then they were in the 60's. No doubt helped along by the various dictators and autocrats. I won't even begin to figure out how the USA had something to do with it, but for sure all these dictators have survived in their own countries by being allies with some of the most powerful countries in the world. It doesn't matter that the dictator, like say Saddam Hussain was hard on his people as long as he was friends with the right leaders.

Most of the leaders in the Middle East and North Africa are old men. Like in Egypt. Mubarak is 82 years old. How can he possibly think he knows what's best for his country which is 50% people under the age of 19.  He wouldn't have a clue. This is obvious, they are chanting for his departure, his solution is to dissolve the cabinet, you know shuffle his friends around, change the titles and pretend there were big changes. It hasn't fooled anyone.

Protests against authoritarian Arab regimes have also broken out in Jordan, Yemen and Algeria. Even the Lebanese are protesting because they want their economic concerns addressed. To quote a student from the Lebanese University "Egypt and Tunisia had only one dictator, we have had 15 or 16"

La belle province had awesome fries.

I liken myself to a french fry connoisseur since sometimes the only thing on a menu I can eat is the french fries. Friday I was treated to a french fry by my ex, which we picked up at the Belle Province restaurant in Lachine on Provost and 10th avenue. 

The fries were really good. They had good taste, no greasy aftertaste [which I often find with Lafleur's fries], they were crispy enough, good size. I was just going to pick a fry from McD, but I'm glad he suggested these fries. They were much better then McD fries would have been. I suspect that the poutine my ex had was really good too since he finished it before I had finished my fries and he can be a slow eater like me.

Some of the worst french fries I've had in the past 5 years had to be the french fries at the Johnny Rockets on the Marina Walk in Dubai. They were obviously frozen fries and they were always undercooked and most often cold. 

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Did someone say B-A-C-O-N?

I read recently this article about "Why Bacon is a gateway to meat for Vegetarians"

It had me laughing as I've been a vegetarian for close to 20 years. I've never been a full vegetarian in the sense that I will still eat shrimp and other sea food about twice a year, and fish, especially salmon maybe once a month. 

What can I say about bacon? The smell of bacon often gives me nausea. When my eldest daughter lived with me for 2 years, one of the stranger rules I imposed on her was "No cooking of bacon between midnight and 7 am".  I made that rule after being woken up by the smell of bacon for the nth time. This despite sleeping on the top floor and the kitchen being on the main floor.  At the time she liked making herself bacon around 3am and it would always wake me up, it would make me nauseous and it would prevent me from going back to sleep. 

Still on the topic of bacon, they make a variety that is called bacon with maple syrup. I also had a ban on cooking it in my house when I am present. The smell of it cooking increases my nausea like you would not believe. 

So I think if I end up eating meat again one day it won't been bacon that will have lured me back. It's most likely to be chicken or lamb or possibly some exotic game meat. But definitely not bacon. Though probably the most appealing form of pork fat has to be "les oreilles de crisse" found at sugaring off parties in Quebec.

I know chicken is most likely. I used to take a way home that passed in front of a KFC and I'd crave chicken almost daily. Lamb I've been craving for years, and I even put a little bit in my mouth to taste how my Irish stew [which people say rocks] felt. Of course I did not swallow, and made a cat very happy with a little piece of half chewed meat. As for game meat, it's less likely that game animals are filled with hormones and antibiotics and is more likely meat that I would not have issues with. 

Whenever I hear bacon I think of 2 things. Some commercial for dog treats where the dog keeps thinking it's BACON!!!! and "That 70's show" when Eric Forman would pronounce it ba-con. I can hear a little Eric repeating ba-con ba-con ba-con over and over....

Friday, January 28, 2011

It's almost Caturday!

I enjoy photography and since I tend to stay home a lot, I take a lot of pictures of my cats.  So I think I'll  be sharing some..  I like taking pictures of my cats while they look out the patio door because it's the way I can catch them completely natural and often catch all of them. I mean it's hard enough to get 1 cat to pose for a picture but 4? The following two picture were taken before Zeke passed away in July 2010. From left to right, Jethro, Zeke & Ziva

What do you think she wants? 

Look at me! Look at me!

Another Canadian store bought by a US giant

So I read 220 Zellers had their lease bought by the giant retailer Target. That kinda sucks since Zellers in my mind has always been the Canadian WalMart equivalent. It use to mean that money spent at Zellers went back into Canadian pockets, not so much when it becomes a Target. 

Second problem with Zellers converting to Target stores, is that Target does not want to keep Zellers Employees. I can think of my cleaning lady, a late 50's something woman, who's been working at least 10 years re-stocking shelves at night at Zellers. She's barely making ends meet, hence why she cleans my house.  If they lay her off from Zellers to rehire her at minimum wave to work for Target, she won't even be able to make ends meet anymore.

I was reading that according to Quebec laws Target should not be allowed to fire a 20 year veteran employee of Zellers to rehire them at minimum wage. But it remains to see how they will deal with that. I bet you suddenly all the employees they had to keep will be "BAD" and fired for 1001 reasons so they can hire cheap labour. 

Thursday, January 27, 2011

I've been assimilated......... by the Lebanese

It had to happen. After 4 years of being in a relationship with a Lebanese, I actually know more about Lebanese politics then I ever wanted to.  I don't care about politics.

The fact Mikati’s appointment as premier on Jan. 25 has been Hezbollah endorsed, does not make Mikati part of the group. It certainly doesn't turn Lebanon into an Iranian state, as some headlines I've seen in the past few days seem to suggest.  As best as I understand it, Mikati is a Sunni  business man from Tripoli who doesn't share Hezbollah views. He's a moderate.  Nothing that should make anyone paranoid.

Paul Kingston, an expert on Lebanese politics from the University of Toronto, suggests that the new government won’t be dramatically different from Hariri’s, because it is still constrained by the same power-sharing and international pressures.

To me that sounds like business as usual.

Jethro and his all cat band

  Pixie on guitar, Jethro on vocals and Zeke on bass. 
On loan from Kahnawake, Whisper on drums. 
July 2009

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Cat Lady

From Left to right, Pixie, Spock, Ziva and Jethro in my arms.

It's not Caturday, but I'm talking about my cats anyways....

Jethro and Ziva
I think I was 10 when I got my first cat. It was a white tabby cat. I've pretty much had a cat ever since.  Especially since I discovered at 17 that one of my many allergies was an allergy to cats. The best way to deal with an allergy is exposure over time. So I figure so long as I always have a cat, I don't react to cats. If I were to go without then probably I could never have one again. 

Currently we have 4 cats. There's Pixie, male orange tabby, 7 years old now, there's Jethro, male black/white tux Main Coon, 2 1/2 years old, there's Ziva,  female light grey tabby with white stomach/ female who is about 10 months old and the baby Spock who is 7 months old he's a dark grey/black tabby with white  belly. All of them have mitten paws. All except Spock are poly-dactyl. Spock is unique because his front paws have thumbs but no extra toes.

It's funny because I like symmetrical things and yet 3 of the 4 cats now are not symmetrical. Those 3 look like they walked into white paint. 

I find cats make great companions. I've always figured 1 cat alone during the day gets bored, so I've always had at least 2 cats. The most I've had in my house was 6 cats. I find that more then 4 cats is too many cats. I hope as I age I can keep thinking that. One of my biggest fears is to end up being the little old lady with 100 cats.... 

Recyle, Reuse, Reduce....

I strive to be as green as possible. It goes along with my neopagan beliefs.  This past week-end I went through my closet, and 2 of my leather belts with a distressed look, used to look black with some leather showing through, but now mostly just leather color. They both got  some black shoe polish. They both look as good as new.

Two other belts, from man made fabrics, had areas where the two parts that made the belt were unglued. One belt I really like, it's black on one side, and a black/green snakeskin pattern on the other side, and has a buckle that swivels either side. It's perfect for travel if you want to travel light, 2 belts in one.  The other one is a faux leather with an intricate design that I'm fond of, looks really nice with jeans. The fabric glue I picked up worked really well and within a day you could not tell either of these belts had been falling apart.

So instead of buying a new belt, I updated the look on 2 and fixed 2 others. It took me less time to fix what I had then to go shopping to find a new one.  I don't wear belts as fashion statements I wear belts to keep my stretchy jeans from falling.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Nlite is great, but slip-streaming can be a pain

I couldn't slipstream without Nlite, it's a great tool, however slip-streaming is a PITA.

I wanted to make my XPSP3 and XP64SP2 to handle AHCI mode and some RAID and SAS controllers so that I can install them more easily on newer machines. I included Intel and AMD AHCI drivers, as well as drivers from Asus, Gigabyte, Dell, HP and Lenovo for latest machines.

Unfortunately first time I slip-streamed drivers into XP64, I ended up with a 32 bit driver by mistake so CD didn't work. I had to start over from scratch and make sure to not include offending driver. The 2nd time it worked fine.

I had same problem with the XPSP3, originally just to test out slip-streaming I had only included the drivers I needed for the Intel DX58SO motherboard.  So I had to re-do that one and the 2nd time around I had a bad driver  and had to redo it again as well.  I had a co-worker test it out and he says it works. 

Now I need to tackle both Server 2003 standard edition and Server 2003 R2 in both 32 & 64 bits. This will be undoubtedly just as fun as the XP's. 

I love my thinkpad Edge

I have a 15" Thinkpad Edge 0578-CTO, configured with an I5 CPU and 4 Gb of RAM. I got it with the red lid.  I just love it. It's quiet, runs quite cool, is pretty light and the battery lasts close to 3 hours. 

But the things I like the best is that it runs video, really well, the sound never stutters, the wireless network rarely has issues or too little bandwidth even on a bad day. I could go on and on  After my last 2 laptops this one feels like a bit of heaven. It's doing exactly all the things I have always wanted my laptops to do. I love that it has an HDMI port and I am running on it an LG W2253V. While I'm writing this I'm watching a TV show on it from the laptop from a file sitting on another system, via wireless and it's not having any issues. It also plays DVD's really well. My previous laptop didn't even handle my MASH collection of original DVD's in pristine condition, that worked fine in every other PC and home DVD player.  I can't stress how much I'm enjoying this laptop.

The only 'bug' I've found with my Thinkpad and it's not that big of a deal is that when I rest my hands on the either side of the mouse surface while typing  if I try to use the touchpad the mouse sometimes jitter. I have to remove my hands and then the mouse moves properly again. But this is no biggy. I can't emphasize enough how much I love my ThinkPad Edge :)

I remember the old Thinkpads from 10 years ago. They were bitchy. This one on the other hand has to be the friendliest I've used. I have yet to run into a problem with it.  

Admittedly I've always been an IBM fan. I could say it's the fault of my buddy George.  At work I'm the one who collects IBM and now Lenovo machines. I currently work with a Lenovo S20, D20, M58, A57, M52, and an IBM Intellistation Z-Pro 92xx series. I'm the only one at work who has Lenovo's. Most people don't care for them.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Cold Spell freezes Ontario and Quebec

It's been frigid the last couple of days. It's -26C this morning. Not the type of weather that incites someone to spend much time outside. Thank Goddess my Grand Vitara starts up pretty well.   Oddly enough I haven't been cold outside, but I've been cold inside. It's not surprising.

At least we have electricity in this cold. I was reading that they lost electricity for more then 12 hours in Moosonee this week-end. If I lived in such a desolate area I'd definitely have an old style wood stove in my home, that I could use to heat and eat in case of power failures.  That's the one thing that sucks about my current house is that without electricity I have no heating. It sucks that even though my furnace is fueled by natural gas that I need electricity for it to work. I should be able to start it manually and have it work without needed electricity in case of power failures. 

At least our BBQ also has a side burner, so in case of power failures we can use it to warm up food, boil water, and of course we can BBQ things as well.

Time to go get ready to brace the cold. 

Giant Tiger in Ville St Laurent

Last Friday after leaving work I was planning to go to WalMart to get my kitty litter but instead I decided to go to the Giant Tiger on Marcel Laurin in Ville St Laurent to check it out after a friend mentioned there was one near by. I was not impressed. I was expecting a bigger store and more sales. I didn't see anything special and the store isn't particularly big  

The only good thing about driving there  was that it was right next to the biggest Dollarama I'd been to, with items I've not seen at other Dollarama's. I won't be going back to that Giant Tiger though, not worth the trip. 

I noticed there's a Dollarama that opened right next to my therapists office. I should check that one out. Sometimes I find frames, sometimes I find cat toys, random stuff. I find going to dollar store sometimes fills my need to shop and I can get away with spending under $20. :) At Christmas it's where I got my cat some Christmas outfits.

New Additions to my Art Gallery

This week-end I finished 5 pastel drawings.

The first is a Red Aurora over a Cabin. I love how this one turned out.

The second is part of my women in motion/movement series, this one titled "Women walking into the sunset", which came out better then I expected.

The third based on a photo Hot pink northern lights. I have no opinion on this one.

The fourth is from a photo called Sunset on Wakiki Beach. I don't like how this one turned out. I was not going to finish it or scan it.

The fifth is from a photo, represents a Latvian sunset. I like how it turned out.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Canadian Business men stranded in Abu Dhabi airport

Visa rules are now in effect for Canadians traveling to the UAE. It means that if you are a Canadian traveling to the UAE you should be aware of what type of VISA you need for your trip ahead of time and apply for it before arriving at an airport in the UAE. 

Obviously the 2 Canadian business men that got stranded at Abu Dhabi airport did not do their research, or the staff that booked their flight didn't. They were going to the UAE, Saudi Arabia and then back to the UAE. Common sense would imply that they needed a multiple entry VISA not a single entry VISA.  So if they got stuck at the airport for several hours it was their own fault. Not the UAE's fault, beyond of course the fact that they imposed their VISA' on Canadians because we would not grant their airlines more landing rights.

When I traveled to Syria this September, I knew I was going to enter the country twice, so I got myself a multiple-entry VISA ahead of my travel dates. I had no issues crossing borders either, other then 1 border guard wanting a small bribe when I crossed from Jordan back into Syria. It is not uncommon in that part of the world and it is not worth arguing over a few dollars and getting stuck for hours at a border, and my husband would argue, especially at the Syrian border.

Sure it's a little unexpected to us Canadians to have to get a VISA, since most countries welcome Canadians with open arms. But each country has the right to rule as they see fit and impose VISA' on us Canadians as they see fit. If we're not happy with that, then we should choose other travel destinations.

Bob Newhart on NCIS

It was really weird to see Bob Newhart on NCIS in a serious role. In fact a role so touching it had tears in my eyes by the end of the show. It amused me that I have been watching old episodes of the Bob Newhart show famous of course for Larry and his brother Darryl and his other brother Darryl. And then out of nowhere, bam there's Bob Newhart.

I was drawing when I was watching NCIS, so I didn't have my glasses on and that's how I recognized him right away. Apparently he did the cameo appearance partly because it's his wife's favorite show :)

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Kind stranger with coupons...

I went to Walmart and Zellers this morning. I go to Walmart about once a month to pick up kitty litter. It's one of the few places where I can find Maxx Scoop for multiple cats in 14Kg pails at a good price. 

So I get into Walmart and pick up my 2 pails of kitty litter, and start to look for other items when I get stopped by a French Quebecois woman who says "Oh you have Maxx Scoop, I have coupons for it and don't need any". She gave me 2 $1 off coupons. So I saved $2 and whatever the taxes were on my kitty litter.

The  thing I picked up at both WalMart and Zellers was inexpensive frames for my art work.  I also picked up new cotton socks [92% cotton woot!] at Zellers. Now I have to go through my sock drawer and toss out all the ones with holes in the toes. 

Friday, January 21, 2011

Gotta love nlite to slip-stream drivers into a Windows [tm] ISO

So today I slip-streamed all the SAS, RAID and AHCI drivers that I had on my downloads PC onto my XPSP3 ISO using nlite . I  then tried it out on the Intel DX58SO motherboard  that was giving me such a hard time the past couple of days and it installed  XPSP3 without any hiccups. It was awesome. Nlite rocks, it's intuitive and the average techie should be able to slip-stream whatever he wants with it quite easily. It was the first time I used it to add drivers, previously I had used it to add a service pack into my XP ISO.

I'm now kicking myself for not having done it sooner.  It's just that since we may have 100 systems in my group and rarely do we have more then 2 of the same machine, if we even have 2. And often even if we have 2, like the HP Z400, they are different revision [One can take only 4 sticks of RAM, the newer one can take 6 sticks of RAM]. So in my mind making a CD that covers all options always means it's out of date because I might get a new machine tomorrow, that has controllers that won't be supported by the version I just made.

Monday I will revise my system list to make an XPSP3 bootable CD that handles the SATA drivers for all current machines we have in my team. Then I'll work on XP 64 bits, and Server 2003 32 & 64 bits. 

Should make setting up systems in ACHI mode easier for legacy OS',  I won't have to argue with a USB floppy that may or may not work on that USB port on a particular motherboard. I won't have to wonder if the reason I'm seeing that "Inacessible boot device" blue screen is because it's not seeing the hard drive or because of the SATA DVD-ROM.  I won't have to use the USB enclosure with IDE CD-ROM.

Setting up XP in AHCI mode can be infuriating

I typically install up to 11 OS' on the same drive in order of release from Microsoft, starting with XP and making my way up to Server 2008 R2. Most of the time for simplicities sake we have set up drives in IDE mode. Lately I've decided all the newer machines should be set up in AHCI mode and the systems that come with a SAS controller, we'll use that for setting up. So that we have systems set up in a variety of ways. 

I've set up several HP's [XW8600, Z800, XW9400] and a Lenovo D20 with minimal issues using a Iomega usb floppy on the SAS controller and/or just in AHCI mode.

Setting up XP in AHCI mode in some machines is like pulling teeth. I suppose if I had 50 systems of the same model to set up or even 10 for that matter, I might be motivated to slipstream the driver into XP. Though thinking about it now, slipstreaming at least the intel driver might help resolve a percentage of my problems. 

It was the Dell T7500 I'd asked one of my co workers to set up on the SAS controller using AHCI mode. After a week of arguing with XP and getting nowhere, I tried. I fought with it for some time. The blue screen error code basically said "Inacecesible boot device". Here we were thinking it was the drivers we were feeding it for both AHCI and SAS that were causing it. But in fact we later realized that it was our installing using a SATA optical drive. It was it that became inaccessible. Plugging a USB enclosure with an IDE CDrom proved to be the answer here.

With this knowledge I thought I'd have no problems setting up the new UEFI machine with intel mobo DX58SO. I've been arguing with it now for 3 days. I tried the the USB enclosure with IDE CDrom that worked so well for the Dell, but no such luck. XP installs fine in IDE mode and Windows 7 installs fine in AHCI mode.

Fuck shtupping!!!

It always amazes me how even in 2011, you can't say "fuck" on TV but apparently you can say shtup! That Dennis Leary special, they were trying to bleep any variation of fuck, asshole and shit. They weren't succeeding too well either.  For some reason though nothing is more vulgar in the English language then fuck.

I have "Bitter Sweet Symphony" by the Verve stuck in my head.

"'Cause it's a bittersweet symphony this life
Trying to make ends meet, you're a slave to the money then you die
I'll take you down the only road I've ever been down
You know the one that takes you to the places where all the veins meet, yeah

No change, I can't change, I can't change, I can't change,
but I'm here in my mold , I am here in my mold
But I'm a million different people from one day to the next
I can't change my mold, no, no, no, no, no"

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Big Bang Theory and other favorite shows.

Currently one of my favorite TV shows is the Big Bang Theory.While I attended Concordia University I was part of a group of nerds/geeks. I knew someone who was as bizarre as the character of Sheldon if you can believe it.   I probably liked this TV show from the first time I watched an episode.

I  spent way too much time with Star Trek fans. I mean to this day I can more or less tell you what episode it is just from the first minute or so. I'm talking original series. While I watched some of the later series at one point I just got really turned off by anything remotely trekish, 

There's other shows like MASH that I never watched while it was on the air. I mean I'd seen an episode here and there, but never cared for the show. I suddenly grew fond of it back in 2001 and then needed a daily MASH fix. I own the entire series on DVD. I discovered in the past year another show from the same time frame China Beach, also something I never watched back then. It was brilliant But I suppose when it aired I was in a different place in my head and this type of show had no appeal. 

Then there's NCIS, which at first I watched because there was nothing else to watch on TV but that during a certain time slot. It took me several weeks to get to know the characters.  Now I just love the show, and especially the character Gibbs, though I never cared much either way for the actor who plays him. 

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The Catholic church and Douche-Bags.....

Interesting article on the Catholic church,  about documents that make it clear that the Catholic church knew some priests were molesting children and kept it hidden.   I don't get that the priests were kept and just moved around from parish to parish exposing more and more children to these pedophiles. My understanding was that priests should be celibate and abstain from sexual relations.

Of course not all priests are bad. My step-dad was a Catholic priest before he married my mom in 1972, and he was just a really good man. With the qualities you'd hope to find in a priest.  I was really lucky to have him as my father, he was the best father a girl could wish for and I wish he was still around...

I watched  a Dennis Leary special and giggled myself silly. Douche-bags everywhere he says, and starts by making fun of the pope  in particular and the Catholic church in general.

My favorite   Dennis Leary skit though has to be the one called "My kids".  After a bad week, that skit never gets old. Especially "Dad, dad dad dad dad dad dad daaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaad, dad .." "WHAT" "Can I have a cookie?"

Monday, January 17, 2011


I finished 4 pastels this week-end

I was playing with new fluo pastels and drew Afghan women

This one is called Walking the red path

More northern lights, this one started in December.

Last one was called sorrow.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

If you've never seen a Moose does it mean they don't exist?

Some of the weirder headlines coming out of Canada in the past little while includes a man from Quebec suing the company who makes a penis enlargement device. This one has me giggling. I mean I always wondered if people actually believed those devices worked.  Apparently some do. 

The other one that has me giggling is that a Newfoundlander is suing the Newfoundland government over Moose overpopulation. It seems that Moose were introduced to Newfoundland and now there are too many coliding with cars. Some feel their government should take care of the overpopulation problem. 

Of course some people don't believe Moose exist because despite all of the Moose crossings they have crossed, they have never seen a Moose. What they don't realize is all the better they don't see moose, if you don't see them you're less likely to hit one with your vehicle.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Omelet with Za'atar and Kashkaval cheese

Omelet with Za'atar and Kashkaval Bulgarian cheese

a couple of slices of red onion finely chopped
1 tbsp of Za'atar [In my case it was a Syrian version of this middle eastern spice mix]
a couple of slices of Kashkaval Bulgarian cheese finely chopped [casein free sheep cheese]
2 eggs [I used brown omega 3 large eggs]
1 tsp of water
1 tbsp of margarine for cooking [I used Nuvel which is casein free]

In an 8inch [20cm] skillet, warm margarine at medium heat. Toss onions in for about 3-4 minutes. Mix in a bowl 2 eggs, teaspoon of water, tablespoon of Za'atar mix and the cheese pieces. Mix until well mixed and a bit frothy. Put in skillet over onions. Put lid on for about 5-7 minutes until  top is solidified, and then just turn over for 30 seconds and voila ... omelet. 

I don't eat wheat anymore, but I bet it would taste great wrapped in a pita with either some mayo or even possibly some hummus.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Solitude is a good friend.

I go through periods in my life where I have a profound need to be alone. It's like it all becomes too much. I become overwhelmed with the outside world. I become so drained that I need to withdraw from others and society. 

Sometimes I can go for weeks without going out except for work, and since I've been at the same workplace for close to 19 years, I can handle going in most of the time. When I get like this though I work more hours when no one is around [like while others are at lunch]. I'll pick up groceries or cat food during my lunch break, which I take when others are back from lunch. Other then that I have little or no social contact. 

I'd love to be able to go live out in the middle of nowhere, with the nearest neighbor no closer then a kilometer away. Have a property with trees and a stream or lake. Sometimes I wish I could figure out a way to work from home. I love Montreal, but I'd love to not live in it anymore. It would be far more exciting to visit :)

I used to get lonely at times as a child or a teen. Of course after my daughters were born I didn't get much time alone and since that point I've rarely gotten lonely when I've been alone. No I have reveled in the fact that I could just be. 

I've just realized that in 2010, I spent about 3 months living in close proximity with 4 to 6 people, between having my gf's family living with me after the fire, to living at my mom-in-laws during our vacation. Don't get me wrong if something happened to my gf, I'd still take her in for as long as it takes and I really had a great time at my mom in laws. I'm not complaining but then after I need to spend time all alone to recharge my batteries.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Pastel drawing

This one is different then most of what I draw, found here

What was different was the process. Most of the time I need an image as inspiration and I draw what my mind sees. This drawing came from within. I picked the pastels and the picture just drew itself in a very short time.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

It seems like the easier solution

I was left profoundly touched by Bill Zeller's last words.  I mean who's to say what enough hurt is?  Who's to say when you've had enough? When it's too much pain?

People always tell me I'm over sensitive to everything. I've realized it's part of my ADHD nature. I'm over sensitive. Not just to words, but to touch and other things. People also tell me to control my emotions. Like if I could control my emotions I'd be this emotional?  Its easy for someone who's not emotional to tell me to 'snap out of it'. It's always much easier for those looking from the outside to criticize us, but until they have walked a mile in our shoes, what do they know?

And no matter what hell someone else has lived, no one understands your own personal hell. Sure I wasn't molested repeatedly as a toddler nor did I live through war, but I lived through events throughout my life that left me profoundly affected. Sometimes it means I need to be alone for days just to find my way through my darkness. Just to realize that life isn't all bad, and that I have to strive to live for those fleeting moments of happiness, where the darkness seems to have cleared even for a few moments. 

I don't understand why everyone needs to decide how I should handle my dark moods, and my moments of depression. Basically all I ask is to be left alone and somehow that really bothers some people.  My ex never understood it and never left me alone when I specifically asked to be left alone. He feared that I'd hurt myself.  If I really wanted to hurt myself, no matter how much I was watched I would. 

I mean for instance I stopped drinking when I was 19. Back in 1982.  I haven't had a drink since. No matter how bad it got, no matter the darkness. But I'm not allowed the alone time in case I might hurt myself.  Right. 

One of the stupid things that was told to me recently was to snap out of it because it's affecting others. Great. Another reason to add as to why I should end it. At least if I wasn't around my dark moods wouldn't be affecting others. 

I wonder if that was a factor in Bill Zeller's choice of ending it all?

Sunday, January 09, 2011

Gluten and Casein free Macaroni and Cheese

Gluten and Casein free Macaroni and Cheese

- 2 cups of brown rice macaroni [Metro house brand Irresistibles has this gluten free pasta]
- 1/2 cup of semi-firm goat or sheep cheese in small cubes [I used Kashkaval Bulgarian cheese]
- 1 tbsp Nuvel margarine [Nuvel is casein free]
- Seasoning to taste.  I added  garlic  powder, onion powder, thyme, salt & pepper

Boil about 6 cups of water. Once water is boiling throw in your pasta. Let it cook at low heat about 20 minutes. Drain the water.  Add cheese, margarine and seasoning and stir until cheese has all melted, and you have cheesy pasta.

Hubby walked in just as I was finishing to make it and he found it smelled really good.

Attention Deficit HyperActive Disorder

Sometime early summer 2010 my therapist suggested I might have ADHD/ADD. He had me fill a form, which I filled out so well with my coping mechanisms that I pretty much told him I didn't have ADHD. Except that a few months later, in early August, it finally made sense. 

It explains everything about myself that I could not understand or explain before. Most people assume ADD/ADHD is only found in 6-12 year old boys that disrupt their classrooms by being too hyper. Most people assume that it is outgrown and adults don't have it. 

The first article I found useful on the subject describes both me and my daughters. I'm more a chatty-kathy and tomboy, so is my eldest, my youngest is more tomboy daydreamer.  I looked for books that were written by women with ADD/ADHD. I figured they would most likely understand what it's like to be female and have ADHD. 

The two books I've found helpful so far are "You mean I'm not Lazy, Stupid or Crazy?" by Kate Kelly and Peggy Ramundo and Women with ADD by Sari Solden.  You can tell they were written by people with ADD/ADHD which some people criticize but with me it's like a coming home. I feel understood. Yes it's chaotic but after almost 50 years of living in my own chaos it just feels normal to me.

I did find Driven to distraction, Answers to distraction and Delivered to distraction by Dr Hallowell would be useful books, but I haven't progressed enough in my journey to benefit from them yet.

As far as my diagnosis goes, I've got ADHD - combined type. Meaning I'm both hyper and spacey :)  I've always know I'm hyper. I just used to see myself as driven. 

Having ADHD isn't a bad thing. It just means my brain works differently then someone who does not have it.  I also need to have realistic expectations of things I can do and things I cannot do easily. And learn to ask for help on things I struggle with.

I've decided for the moment that since I've managed nearly 50 years without the benefit of stimulant drugs, I was going to keep going that way.  I am experimenting with a gluten and casein free diet, which I read could be helpful for people with ADHD/ADD, and autism. I'm also mostly vegetarian, and do not each any refined flour, sugars, have no caffeine  or alcohol in my diet.   I'm hoping that a good diet will keep my mind the least distracted. 

There are many reasons I don't want to be medicated. 1) I've finally come to like the fact I'm impulsive, unpredictable and sometimes downright fearless - and I like that in others 2) I've found a good place where I can do art and be creative 3) I've taken all the stimulants out of my life because they all made me more aggressive be it sugar, or even caffeine or nicotine.  4) I am also OCD and struggle with addictions, it's too easy to get addicted. I don't need medications that I would get addicted to. 

Saturday, January 08, 2011

My Docs Rock

Jemma Dr Martens
Last May I bought some 20 hole Docs at Rio on St Denis street. They didn't have my size in stock so I had to order them, they didn't come in till late June and by the time I had them it was too warm to wear boots.

I have been wearing my black Jemma Dr Martens several times a week since late September and I absolutely love them.I find they go great with skinny jeans as well as leggings. I also like to wear them with certain dresses, but that's a matter of taste :)  

The Dregs of Humanity all seem to shop at...

It's one of those nights again where I'm awake at 3am because I dozed off at 8pm last night.  Tonight I've been giggling over The People Of WalMart. What baffles me is the amount of people who go shopping at WalMart wearing a tail

And the other thing that puzzles me... if you're a middle aged man and you're going to dress up as a woman, why not also shave your facial hair and do your hair or even get a nice wig so you actually have a semblance of a female face?  I mean I like cross dressers. Always have.

I've wondered about that. I suspect this is my parents fault. They took me to watch La Cage aux Folles [The original version of the BirdCage, though the version with Robin Williams is good too] at the cinema in 1978 at the tender age of 16. Its no wonder I know 3 T-Girls [One of which I dated when she was a really hot he], 1 cross dresser and several in the closet cross dressers too.

In fact one job option I'm mulling about is to be a purchaser or buyer for cross dressers. I do the shopping, so they don't have to go in public and buy woman's clothes. Pretty fun job if you think about it, I'd get to spend all my time shopping.  And that would include shopping at WalMart, and I'd get to see more of the people of WalMart......

because it's always good to have dreams...

Thursday, January 06, 2011

RIP Bill Zeller

Child abuse is wrong. Children who have been abused stay marked for life. Some never get past the abuse.

I just finished reading Bill Zeller's parting words to this world and I was so moved that I figured I should share this link with others.

Monday, January 03, 2011

What's with the flood of biblical proportions?

What is it with the news media referring to the current Australian flood being of biblical proportions? One of the main flooded cities is RockHampton.

I quote from Wikipedia "The Fitzroy River at Rockhampton has a long and well documented history of flooding with flood records dating back to 1859. The highest recorded flood occurred in January 1918 and reached 10.11 metres on the Rockhampton gauge. The most recent major flood occurred in December 2010".

There is 77,000 people in RockHampton and it is the community the worst affected. Most people have been evacuated to dry grounds.  All the other affected communities are smaller.  So where's the "Biblical proportions" coming in?????

I mean what about the 2010 floods in Pakistan, from which people have not yet recovered?  I quote again from Wikipedia "At one point, approximately one-fifth of Pakistan's total land area was underwater.According to Pakistani government data the floods directly affected about 20 million people, mostly by destruction of property, livelihood and infrastructure, with a death toll of close to 2,000.[2] The number of individuals affected by the flooding exceeds the combined total of individuals affected by the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, the 2005 Kashmir earthquake and the 2010 Haiti earthquake.[6]

The news media isn't talking about Pakistan anymore. It hasn't made headlines in a while. So what makes Australia so special?

I love my Grand Vitara while awake and wired at 3:30AM

Of late I tend to be sleepy between 8-10pm. This is NOT a good thing. If I fall asleep then, I will wake up between 12-2 am and then I cannot fall asleep again. Even if I eat. I stay wired. No matter what  I do.

Tonight I'm feeling what I could only describe as "there's a storm coming". I hope it's a huge snow storm :) I love huge snowstorms.

2010 Grand Vitara  off road in Mt Tremblant Provincial Park
Of course it's even more fun now that I have a 2010 Grand Vitara V6. [insert a Tim the tool man Taylor grunt here]. I just love it. 

The amusing thing is, when I went out to shop for a small SUV, Suzuki wasn't even on my list. My top contender was the Mitsubishi Outlander. I had decided to try out all the top Japanese brands. So I test drove a Nissan Rogue, a Toyota Rav4, a Honda CR-V, and a Mitsubishi Outlander. 

When I test drove the Honda, the salesman was trying to assess my needs and asked me how long I keep my vehicles and I said 10 years. So he suggests, that if I'm going to keep an SUV that long I should go with Honda, Toyota or Suzuki.
2010 Grand Vitara JLX-L V6 deep sea blue metallic
So I test drove the Grand Vitara, and fell in love. I was able to raise my seat way up and still reach pedals, I can see where I'm going, I love it's acceleration. [insert another Tim the tool man Taylor grunt here]. Unlike most vehicles it's class, it's more of a truck then a car and is the only true off road one. Something I think I'm really going to enjoy as I travel around in northern Canada, or even if I just live outside the city.

The only thing I'm equally in love with is my ThinkPad Edge, but I'll blog about that some other day :)

Sunday, January 02, 2011

Scanned several finished pastel drawings.

My first drawing is of a Colorful crescent moonrise.

The second drawing is of an Afghan woman walking away.

The third  is of red dusk at Mont St-Michel.

The fourth is of a lighthouse at dawn.

I like extremes

I've been nursing a migraine that seems to accompany the collection of cold sores festering in my nose most of the Christmas vacation. This is day 11 of this said migraine, so not being able to do much of anything since I can barely keep my eyes open, has let me to spend lots of time day dreaming. 

After our trip in October, I've fallen in love with Jordan, especially with Petra and Wadi Rum. I just loved being in the desert and at the ancient Nabataean city of Petra. I pine to go back daily. I want to spend a month in Jordan, with two weeks dedicated uniquely to Petra. I want to visit most of it's nooks and crannies.  I also want to spend a few days in the desert in Wadi Rum, go to Aqaba, and back to the dead sea.   I want to visit whatever other artifacts are there. 

At the same time I've been looking into traveling to the edge of James Bay up in northern Ontario. Taking the polar bear express from Cochrane to Moosonee, and going camping at Tidewater Provincial park is just talking to me. Of course not in January, it's too cold, it would have to be between May and September to camp. I also found a Moosonee resident who is an amazing photographer and who loves taking photos of his village. If you use Google Earth and zoom into Moosonee most of the photo's you will find will be his as well. So I'm pining to visit Moosonee, Moose Factory, Tidewater Provincial Park and crossing the Moose River,

Saturday, January 01, 2011

Enquiring minds want to know: Does Drew have a Pussy Fetish?

I go to Fark frequently. Mostly to see the submitting comments on the "not news" section, not necessarily to read the stories themselves. Though sometimes the comments just makes you click that link. 

There are always cat stories, every week just in time for Caturday. This tag currently has over 800 links.  That's a lot of pussy stories! Today for the first day of 2011, there's an endearing feline story with the comment "Happy Mew Year".

This makes me wonder if Drew Curtis isn't a really a Cat Lady instead of a 37 year old male?

Happy New Year!