Tuesday, September 30, 2014

The UAE's first female fighter Pilot

Happy to see that the UAE is slowly opening doors to women in non traditional jobs, here is one article about the UAE's first female fighter pilot, Maj. Mariam al-Mansouri

Snailing away

When I took out the corning ware container to make Shepherds pie, I found a tiny snail that was attached to the edge. I noticed it just before putting warm ground moose in the corning.

What baffles me is that the corning ware is in the cupboard. It's been in there since the last time I made Shepherds pie about 2 months ago.

Where did the snail come from, and as a FB friend pointed out, and it moved too slow to even attract the attention of the cats....

Things that make you go HMMM!!!!

Monday, September 29, 2014

More photos from canoeing this week-end

Looking towards Rosemere from l'ile aux Juifs

Standing at the lookout on Ile aux Juifs

Very pretty the Ivy with red leaves

Every year there are more geese at this house

Woman feeding the geese

Duck wandering away

It's 3 in the AM

It's a beautiful night, I can hear the crickets chirp through the open windows. It's not even cold, for a September night.  Would be a great night to be camping next to a lake.

But I digress, it's a night I should be sleeping, but am awake because I fell asleep around 10:30 last night. I was tired, I was in pain. I'm still tired and my belly still aches, but I'm awake. Stomach has been off since last Thursday. First I thought it was the heat. But it's going into 5 days, so it's not something I ate. Other then the store bought hummus I had Saturday, everything else I made from scratch from fresh food.  Must be viral or alternatively, stress.  I was pretty testy at work on Thursday and Friday. I'm too old to work 45 + hour weeks.

Either way most often then not when my stomach aches, I tend to eat a lot of Franks hot sauce. Something about hot peppers settles my stomach. That and strawberry extract.

It's 3:30AM and my kitten is fast asleep at my feet. I want to go back to sleep. I wish I had someone to read to me "Go the fuck to sleep" Maybe, just maybe it would lull me back to sleep.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

It's dead Jim, and stinky too

Sadly it's time to say goodbye to my George Foreman, Mean Lean frying machine.  The fries I had for dinner last night are sadly the last fries anyone will have in it.

Sucks when half the unit melts,  and it smokes up the kitchen with some foul smelling odour. My friend says hers died exactly like that too, and hers barely lasted 1 year.

I can't complain too much. I got it in either 2009 or 2010 and was used a lot. But the disappointing part is the product no longer exists, so now I have to shop to find myself a new deep fryer. 

Look ma, Laundry!!!

I found the laundry!

Canoeing on La riviere des Mille Iles - with lots of photos

This couple in rowboat, the guy was sitting wrong and couldn't figure out paddling!

Fall colours with water lilies

On L'ile aux juifs

Fall colours

Fall colours

The tunnel from a distance
Love this weeping willow

This is the Radisson, the American version of the Sportspal canoe

At the lookout on Ile aux juifs

At the lookout on Ile aux juifs

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Selfie of us canoeing on the Riviere des Mille Iles.

I met someone last night.

I had a hot beverage with someone I met on POF last week at Timmies last night. When I arrived he was on his iphone. By the time we parted company an hour later he could not find his iphone. Which is pretty sucky. I'm thinking it was when this girl asked if she could move the chair. Someone else must have grabbed the phone while we focused on the girl.

I'm hoping that wasn't the case, but he looked several times and didn't find the phone. Unless he found it after I left, he went back in to look some more.  I'd be pretty upset if I lost my android.

As for the meeting I think it went well. No surprises and conversation flowed and we're meeting up again on Sunday.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Long week before release.

Most who read this blog know I was shipped to Toronto Monday July 21st and came back on the Thursday. I was sent to Toronto because the company I work for is producing a product based on an AMD chip.

In some ways it was a thrill, because ATI technologies, has been my favourite graphics vendor for over 20 years.  It was too bad that it wasn't before the merger with AMD. I suspect the company mentality was different before being bought by AMD

The products I've been working on are out as customer samples and I have to get a release on our website by Monday morning.  I've been working on this project for easily a year and it's been a long year. This project has by far been the most confusing, with the least possible documentation.

Usually I get some form of specification which helps me understand the software and drivers. This time, nothing. Trying to get information is like pulling teeth.  Also because those responsible for drivers aren't in our building or even in the same city,  and the guy who is our go to guy at AMD, while being an outstanding human being, is a lousy tester. He tries, he really does. But it means I get to revisit scenarios over and over and over again.  To prove to my bosses, that yes, the problem is still there. Why they aren't seeing it at AMD... your guess is as good as mine.

Some time ago, I ranted about Eyefinity cards. I talked about how much more congenial our software and interface is then theirs, but how their graphics engine was far more awesome then any of ours. Well we will now have the best of both worlds. Our very user friendly, configurable software interface with their kick-ass hardware.

I have to say, I've been validating the AMD version for 8 months and our spin-off since mid july, my specialty is to find catastrophic fails in display drivers.  Their driver is reasonably well validated, as I found very little display driver issues per say.  Most of the issues I'm finding are communication issues between their driver and their low level interface which talks to our interface. 

This week and next week are going to be killers, with many hours of overtime. Hopefully what gets posted on the web Monday as a beta for customer samples is going to be a success. We worked really hard like headless chickens in the past few months, would be nice to see some results.

Of course while all this is going on, this is when I start going through CVs and am doing interviews for hiring interns that would start in January. I started yesterday with 3 CVs and it's going to continue. The timing is so wrong but if I miss the deadlines I miss having interns and that would be a bad thing. 

Also our June equipment budget  only got approved in July and while the purchaser was on vacation, so while I'm trying to get this release out the door, I've been flooded with new equipment . Most is unpackaged but I still have a huge box of items to tag before distributing it.  I have LCD's that are doubled on shelves because I don't have the bandwidth to re organize my benches and my teams work benches. And if this wasn't enough, we got maintenance to postpone waxing our floors THIS week-end. That would have meant that all systems are shut down for week-end, and all cables rolled up otherwise EVERYTHING gets caked in wax.. That's going to be next week-end.

Ziva and her green eyes

It's rare I catch how green her eyes are in a photo. And it's also rare I catch her where she doesn't look completely pissed off.  She was preening cuddled next to me this morning.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

This song is stuck in my head

I made the mistake of listening to the radio in the car. This song has been stuck in my head for days

Toby loves to cuddle

Toby cuddled against my leg this morning

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Visitor from Lebanon

Looking forward to the visit of the woman who was my 2nd mother-in-law. She will be visiting from October 3rd to October 17th. I have invited her over for dinner on Sunday the 5th, since the week-end after that is a canoe camping week-end, probably the last of this year. 

I was looking forward to introducing her to my closest friends and family and well this will be limited. Neither daughter will be in Montreal that day. Nor will one of my friends, she's going to be on a cruise. There's still a few friends that I will be asking, hopefully they will be available.  If no one is, just means more left-overs for those present :) Yes I will be cooking for 20 people even if there will be no more then 8. One of the dishes I plan on making is Shepherds pie with moose meat.

As it turns out at work they want overtime from me this week and next week. This works. I can then get a day off to take my visitor friend shopping on a week day. Maybe take her to Carrefour Laval. The biggest Mall in Quebec, as well take her around various neighborhoods of Montreal including the houses where I grew up.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Dress I finished Sunday night.

Simplicity 1623 made with  cotton stretch knit bodice and woven skirt.

Simplicity 1623
The dress I finished this week-end I started back in April.  I figured since it's not a summer dress, I wouldn't wear it over the summer so I made many between the start and end of this one. As well I had the skirt part completed in April it was the bodice I struggled with. 

You can't tell but the pleats on the left don't match those on the right of the bodice.  I had all sorts of issues putting the sleeves on and I had to redo them twice.

But it's finished, and I just love it.   I'm going to be making several other dresses with this pattern. some just like this one, half knit, half woven, requiring a zipper, or all knit, which requires no zipper.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Desert Lynx and very cute.

Though I don't have official papers, I know my kitten is a desert lynx kitty and not a straight eared highland lynx kitten.  A true desert lynx does not have curly eared ancestors in it's bloodline.  The people I got it from has been breeding desert lynx cats for years before Highland lynx became popular in Quebec. They also only had one breeding pair, and all cats had straight ears, all were bobtailed, but not all were polydactil.

Friday, September 19, 2014

The dress I made last week-end

This funky knit with a McCalls M6957
Made with McCalls M6957

Where has childhood gone.

Those who 'care' about children seem to think that the only thing acceptable for children is to be constantly watched by adults, and stay inside their home, lest they come to incredible harm.

I have not seen the world get more dangerous in my 50 + years of life, and it just blows my mind that children have no childhood anymore.  Many go from daycare to home to activities with never a free moment to do whatever they want. Children aren't allowed to be outside without an adult, EVER. Not even within eyesight of the front porch of the house even.

At least this is what happened in Austin Texas.  She got told to keep her children INSIDE. Wow.

At 6 I used to walk to school alone, go to the grocery store, bakery and even bank alone. The bakery and the park near it were almost 1km away. I also took the bus alone to my ballet lessons. I also walked 2km to get to the nearest pool for my swimming lessons.

I lived alone with a single mom, who worked full time, had me to take care of and wasn't in the best of health and didn't drive. If I had extra curricular activities I had to get there by myself, and I had to help her with chores. We did groceries once a week wtih my grandparents. Whatever was missing from that I had to run to the nearest grocery store to pick up. Sometimes I used to deposit my mom's paycheck into her bank account.  Or go get fresh bread at the bakery. She'd always tell me not to gnaw at the bread, but by the time I got home I'd eaten the 2 ends of the bread. 

I suspect part of the reason she sent me on errands was because I was so hyper. and living alone with my mom I always wanted to help. I wasn't much helpful underfoot but I had endless amounts of energy and was extremely resourceful. So running errands was a win-win for my mom. 

Hell I've been known to tell people I was helping my mom by playing outside. Why? Cause while I was outside she could actually get cleaning done inside!

I'm glad I managed to give my daughters some childhood. One of the places I lived after their dad and I split up was on the edge of some wooded area, and there was 3 parks for them to play in within walking distance [less then 1 km away], I had told them they could go into the forest as long  as they could still see the buildings, I figured they couldn't get lost that way. It took them very little time to get to know the forest and not get lost. At least they got to play alone, without adults like childhood should be.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Toby is a hyper playful little kitty

Video of Tobias playing with some scrap tissue paper left over after I cut out pattern pieces. Hyper little kitty.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Bin there

Jethro kept jumping into the bin with fabric

Toby loves playing with old zipper halves

Must you take my photo?

Tuesday, September 16, 2014


So I made the mistake of going to look at where one would buy a sarong online and I stumbled upon this site and fell in love with some of the Sarongs.....  Especially all the ones with dragonflies.

Monday, September 15, 2014

I sewed yesterday

I made 2 kitty blankets with a polar fleece coupon I got at Club Tissu.

I also finished one dress, but don't have any photos of said dress yet, so will post it later.

Sugar-free/gluten free peanut butter carob chip cookies

Today I went looking for my favourite cookie recipes and am experimenting to make them gluten free and acceptable for my diet. This is what I came up with. The texture, and consistency was good. The taste was good. If you expect sweet cookies, these are not, but I found them delicious. 

Peanut butter Carob chip cookies

1/2 coconut oil
1/2 apple sauce
1 banana
1 egg
1/2 peanut butter
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 cup sorghum flour
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup unsweetened carob chips

Heat oven to 350F
Mix together apple sauce, banana, coconut oil and peanut butter.  Then add egg, salt and baking soda, and keep mixing. Then slowly add the flour to the batter. Add vanilla and mix really well.

Make balls with batter or drop batter with a teaspoon onto a well greased cookie sheet. Flatten the balls with a fork.  Put in oven 10-13 minutes. 

Gluten-free, sugar free peanut butter-carob chip cookies

Sunday, September 14, 2014

I cooked today

This morning I made chili Shrimp. Ate most of it for lunch. Just a little bit left for supper Monday night.

After which I baked a gluten-free bean bean, seasoned with cinnamon and allspice, with bits of figs. It came out dark like it was chocolate cake. So you think you will be tasting chocolate, but you're not. Otherwise the bread is good. Next time I will use a 28ounce can of beans instead of 19ounce. SHould make for a bigger bread

Gluten free bean bread
I also converted my favourite peanut butter cookie recipe to make it gluten free, I blogged recipe here

Last but not least I made quinoa tabouleh for lunches this week.

gluten free tabouleh with feta

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Today I felt in a fall cleaning mode

I went to carrefour laval to Maison Simons and got a new set of flannel sheets, with snowflakes. I went to Sears and got box spring covers to replace the ripped box spring covers on both guest beds.

Do you know how much fun it is to change a box spring cover with 4 cats, including a hyper kitten? At some point at had the mattress resting against the wall and Jethro decided to investigate and the mattress fell down. You should have seen how fast the cats scattered.

I'm also changing from summer to winter bedding on all the beds, mine and the guest beds. Washed my blanket and both comforter covers.

Friday, September 12, 2014

A T-shirt thought for Friday!

Introverts unite! We're here, we're uncomfortable and we want to GO HOME!!!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Protein Power Goddess Bowl

This is a recipe I found in  "The Oh she Glows cookbook" by Angela Liddon

She says this recipe is inspired from a Vegetarian restaurant called "The Coup" in Calgary, Alberta.

Protein Power Goddess Bowl

For the Lemon-Tahini Goddess Dressing

1/4 of Tahini
1 large garlic clove
1/2 cup of fresh lemon juice [about 2 lemons]
1/4 cup of nutritional yeast
2 -3 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp sea salt
Freshly ground pepper

For the Lentil Mixture

1 cup of uncooked green lentils or a mix of green and black lentils
1 cup of quinoa
1 1/2 tsp of Olive oil
1 small red onion, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 large tomato, chopped
3 cups of spinach or lacinato Kale roughly chopped
1/2 fresh parsley leaves

Serves 4-6
prep time: 30 minutes
Cook time: 60 minutes

1) make the Lemon Tahini Goddess dressing: In a food processor, combine tahini, garlic, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, olice oil, 1/2 tsp salt and black pepper to taste and process until smooth. Set aside until ready to use

2)  Cook lentils [ Put in 3 litres of water and cook about 30 minutes] Set aside

3) Cook quinoa [Put in 1 1/4 cups of water and cook about 20 minutes] Set aside

4) In a large skillet, heat the olice oil over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and saute for a few minutes, until the onion is translucent.

5) Add the bell pepper and tomato and saute for 7-8 minutes more, until most of the liquid has cooked off.

6) Stir in Spinach and saute for a few more minutes, until the greens wilt

7) Stir in all the Lemon-Tahini Goddess dressing,the cooked lentils, and the quinoa. Reduce heat to low and simmer for a few minutes more. Remove the pan from heat and stir in the minced parsley

8) Season with salt and black pepper to taste.

Protein Power Goddess Bowl

Tuesday, September 09, 2014

Toby says "hi"

I want the camera strap

Nice fabric, you making me a bow?

Monday, September 08, 2014

I cooked and baked this week-end

Other then picking up a canoe in Lanoraie yesterday, I also made 2 dishes.  One is called protein power Goddess bowl, and the other was a middle-eastern inspired beet salad. Both gluten free of course.
Beet salad
I made the protein power Goddess bowl yesterday as opposed to today because the friend that drove with me to pick up the canoe, was going to need lunch before driving.  We both loved the dish and it was quite filling. I had some today for lunch.  I will be posting the recipe sometime this  week.

Protein power Goddess bowl

I also cooked up some gluten free gnocci I picked up at Adonis. Very yummy. This might be good to bring camping/canoe camping, especially if I can manage dehydrated sauce.

Today I started by making chickpea salad. With pomegranate, and onions that sweated.

Chickpea salad
Next I made gluten free banana bread. Today I replaced the corn flour by sorgho or sorghum flour. I also added as extra ingredients: lemon zest, grated unsweetened coconut, raisins, diced black mission figs, and crumbled walnuts.  I also used a container of unsweetened applesauce in lieu of any sugar.Sadly I didn't have plain applesauce, so this one is strawberry-kiwi.   All I can say is that it is delicious. Very addictive.  I want to eat it all in one sitting.  This seems to be a problem with a lot of my cooking.

Gluten Free banana bread
After stuffing my face on banana bread, which is just out of this world I made a vegetable chili. Which I will put on a bed of some form of gluten free noodles.

Vegetable chili
Later I made a curried lentil stew.

Curried lentil stew
Lastly I made a potato & chickpea curry, mostly because I had a cauliflower that really needed to be used like today. And I know I won't cook for days after this blitz.

potato & chickpea curry
 My freezer once I was done:

Freezer filled with food

Sunday, September 07, 2014

I found a 16ft Sportspal canoe - double ended.

I found it for $400 on Kijiji.  Not only is it a double ended, birch bark coloured Sportspal, the biggest sister of my 12ft, but it also came with wooden seats, that were added to canoe, a support for the motor, an electric 24 lbs thrust motor, a battery, and anchor and even foams to put canoe on car.

Paddles, battery, motor, and anchor

close-up on the motor

Close-up on battery markings


16 ft Sportspal canoe

The support to hold the motor and one of the wooden seats
The 4 foam things
The canoe was bought new in 2005, so it's 9ish years old. It's in some ways in better condition then my 12ft.

I love it the folks who sold it to me, a retired couple probably 15 years older then me,  wished me as much enjoyment with the canoe as they had.   This is exactly what I wished the couple who bought my old 16ft fibreglass canoe.

I just need to add rope to both the front end and the back end of the canoe in the holes meant for rope. Wonder if I can get hot pink rope big enough for this.