A Canadian gal living in Britain with 3 men and a dog. Wine helps.

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Saturday, March 27, 2010

Big Balls or Small Balls?

As I'm heading home in a few days, we figured it would be nice to have a family night out last evening. The boys opted for bowling over a movie, which suited me fine because it involves a measure of activity and also I will probably be seeing  a few movies when I reconnect with my sister.

So last night the four of us headed out to play some very competitive bowling. I was rather pleased that Alex decided to join us;  I wasn't to sure he would as he isn't as prone to hanging out with us these days now that he's 17  but as I've said before, Al isn't like most 17 year olds, he has a confidence and maturity about him that many lads lack. 

Anyway, back to bowling. At first, we thought it was going to come down to just Andy and Alex competing as Connor doesn't quite have the hang of bowling and can't decide which size suits him best, and I never know how my luck will be because that is exactly what it is when it comes to me and bowling - pure luck.

At one point during the first game, when Alex and Andy were neck-n-neck Andy exclaimed 'He's going to beat me with my own ball!' (Yes, Andy has his own ball, made specially for him). Yet, it was not to be. 
And I did something that had me laughing all the way home - beat Alex;  not at not one, but both games.  I don't know who was more surprised, him or me.  He wasn't pleased about this at all, especially when his aim had been to beat his father, who just happens to be a damn good bowler (high score of 175 last night).  He never thought for one moment this old girl was in with a chance. 

How wrong he was :)

Connor did surprisingly well and at one point it looked like he might even beat his brother, since Alex was all wound up about his dad striking out three times in a row and was blowing it big style. When Alex got back into his stride, Connor lost his confidence and spent a lot of time alternately polishing his ball and breaking out in a sweat.  We told Con not to let it bother him, that he will get better in time,  however he just shrugged and commented that Canadian bowling was better (we have small balls back home, easier for Connor to handle - but I personally like the Fred Flintstone balls we use here, we will sort him out one of these days).

Here are a few photos from our night out:

Connor before he was too flustered...

Andy trying not to look too smug, and me just hoping to get lucky for once (which I did)

Alex getting ready to roll...

Look... he still can't strike like his old man!  (well not yet anyway! Give him time.)

I think I will just polish my ball, it might help.

All in all, it was a great night full of laughs and we will be doing it again more often.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

If I do say so myself....

Saturday evening found me making home-made quacamole, chicken and beef fajitas and for dessert this:

Frozen Margarita Cheesecake
It actually proved to be quite yummy, with a burst of flavours due to the lime and tequila - a nice mix of sweet and tangy; more like a creamy sorbet than cheesecake, but nobody was complaining!  A nice cool down for the palate after the spice of the fajitas.

I'm really impressing myself with my culinary skills these days. 

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

For Every Season

This time, two weeks from now, I will have spent my first night back at home in Nova Scotia, at my mom& dad’s house. I will have slept alone, in my sister’s bed, because Stacy will be in Toronto meeting and spending time with our beautiful Clara until the 31st of March.

This trip home is unexpected and won’t be the usual holiday because on Thursday 1st April my mother is having surgery to remove a cancerous lump from her breast. Initially I had a hard time coming to terms with it but it’s a truth I have to face: my mom has cancer. (From this point forward though I will refer to the lump as that bastard)

I got the call a little over three weeks ago from mom informing me that her biopsy results had not been good. I will never forget that night. It was a Friday evening, and Mom and Dad were flying to Toronto to meet and spend time with Clara. They had known since the previous Wednesday but waited to tell me when they knew Andy would be back from his business trip (they know I don’t handle bad news well).

Of course there were tears; on both sides. I spent that weekend being frightened to death over what this could mean; one thing was abundantly clear though, I was going home. No way could I sit here in England whilst my mother faced this. No, she isn’t alone, she has my Dad, two of my sisters and my brother with her, not to mention a whole slew of sisters and friends. But to sit 4000 miles away and not be able to hug her and support her – no way, it just wasn’t going to happen. It took me a few days, but I got my head around the fact that I had to be strong and more importantly, positive. That is what’s going to help mom beat this bastard – positivity. So in the last few weeks we have been helping mom get on with everyday life (she celebrated her 62nd birthday on the 9th).

I waited until mom met with the surgeon last Wednesday before booking my flight as I needed to know her surgery date. The relief in her voice when I told her what day I would be flying in was clear. I can also hear that same relief in my dad’s, Stacy and John’s voice when I speak to them as well. My family needs their eldest daughter and big sister right now, and I’m not going to let them down. I will sleep beside my sister each night with Daisy curled up between us and let her know that I will always be there for her when she needs me; the same goes for my other sisters and brother. Dysfunctional though we may be, we all love each other and will always be there for one another. And together we will all give mom the support and love that she needs.

Well, now I’ve finally shared this with you all. My mom is sick and I’m scared, we all are, but we are a strong family and we will get through this together, even those who have to root for mom from afar. That’s what love is.

So… once again I’m going home; and we are going to kick that bastard’s ass.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

The presentation could be better...

Connor and I had a great time in the kitchen early this morning putting the ingredients together to bake this Raspberry Cheesecake.  We had Patsy crooning in the background and the chicken enchilda chilli was bubbling away in the slow-cooker.  This was our first attempt at making this type of cheese cake (I've made mom's low-fat lemon one before) and I don't think we did a bad job at all.  It certainly tastes nice. 

Now I will just need to invest in a cake stand and bakinig paper so I can actually take it off the cake tin it was baked in.  Next week I'm going to try making another type of cheesecake that may or may not work, but I'm looking forward to the challenge. 

I will however, need to do double-time at the gym if I keep this up.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

I'll stick with Chinese and Indian thanks...

I meant to blog about this for a few weeks, but something has cast a huge shadow over us these last few weeks and I've been very preoccupied so blogging has taken a back seat. I'm trying to rectify that now, so please bear with me.

Anyway, a few weeks ago I didn't feel much like cooking and as Andy obviously didn't he asked if I wanted to go out for something to eat. I didn't. It had been a long day at work and I just wanted to chill. The alternative was to order in, which basically leaves you with the option of Chinese or Indian as I don't much like pizza from the local pizza houses. (The stone-baked frozen ones from ASDA are much better).

Anyway, I'm rambling again. We did end up ordering a pizza as it had been a long time since we'd ordered from the local pizza house and thought we'd give it another try. When the food came we noticed there was an extra pizza (fish so we couldn't even reap the benefit of that) and a garlic bread that we hadn't ordered. We figured we'd call them after we finished to inform them of their mistake just in case they were wondering where it had ended up, and dug into to our mediocre pizzas.

Five minutes later the phone rang and this is what I heard from our end of the extension:

Andy: Hello? Yes, we received our order. Yes there was an extra pizza. That's right. Yes, and a garlic bread. (Pause) Yes. Well my wife mistakenly took a bite out of the fish pizza before she realized it wasn't what she ordered. (Long pause) What? Well sorry but it’s been eaten.’

He hung up the phone turned to me and said 'She was actually going to ask for it back if you hadn't taken a bite’.

I have one word for that: GROSS. And needless to say, we will never order from that place again. Ever.