Thursday, March 5, 2015

Juiced the Juicer

I'm an idiot.  I feel like we can save so much time if I just lead many of my stories with that statement.

Last night I was making juice.  I've gotten into the habit of every day (or every other day), juicing some vegetables for the boys and I.  It's a great way to get in some healthy micro nutrients rather than hunkering down with a feedbag of spinach.  I generally feel like a culinary rock star whenever I use this machine.  Can't explain why.

My juicer is kept on my counter because I use it so often.  After each use, I wash it out and put it all back together so it's ready to go for next time.  However, the last time I used it I just placed the parts together rather than clicking  them together because I didn't have time to dry them off.  I figured by not clicking them together, the air would get at the components better.

Sigh - refer back to my opening statement.

Cue Wednesday night and I totally forgot about my air drying brainwave.  The juicer looked like it was all put together and I didn't remember that it wasn't, so off I went.

I was making "Sunrise Juice".  It is Apples, Carrots, Kale, Pears and Beets.  Has this lovely dark purple color and the boys love it.

I started off by juicing Kale, or attempting to juice Kale.  It wasn't working as well as it normally did.  I thought maybe the kale had gotten stuck, so I threw in an apple and a pear to push it it down.  I was really having to fight the plunger and you shouldn't have to.  I then began to notice an odd smell, like burnt plastic.

For those unfamiliar with juicer components, they all have a compartment that catches all of the fruit/veggie pulp.  I line that compartment with a plastic bag.  It makes clean up so much easier.  So when I smelt the burning plastic, my initial thoughts were that the bag somehow got caught in the motor.

I was just about to shut the juicer off when I noticed smoke wafting up from the machine.

ABORT! Abort the Plan!

I opened up the machine and quickly realized what happened.  The spinning mesh filter that separates the juice from the pulp has started to grind into the the plastic of the machine.  When you assemble the machine, you push down on the filter and it clicks into place.  The top of the juicer, with the entry chute for produce goes on top.

When I didn't click the filter down, it was sitting up too high and was "juicing" the bottom of the entry chute.  Little bits of black grated plastic were flying around/melting and that was the cause of the smoke.  Not a lot of micro nutrients in that.

I took the whole machine apart and cleaned it up.  Took a bit of finagling because the little bits of grated plastic were spinning so fast against the filter they melted, but when I stopped the machine they cooled and hardened.  I had to them scrape off all of the remnants which took a bit of time.

But, I am pleased to say I got it working again and make another batch of sunrise juice.

Eating healthy can be hazardous to your health.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Sonya and Vanya and Masha and Spike

Friday night was theatre with Debbie.  So good.  We got our thimble full of wine and hinered down for a evening of entertainment.  Sonya and Vanya and Masha and Spike is a funny play.   Truly.  We laughed out loud throughout the entire thing.

The premise is that aging siblings are left living together after they sacrificed the bulk of their adulthood caring for their parents who have since past.  Lamenting the sacrifice, their older actress sibling comes home for a visit with her boy toy Spike in tow.  The acting was quite good, especially Fiona Reid who played Sonia, who was amazing.  She does this impression of Maggie Smith that was spot on.

The rest of the weekend was just hockey hockey hockey.  It's playoffs.  Playoffs are never at a rink nearby, no one is that lucky.  Case in point; Logan plays out of Varsity View in Charleswood and Zach plays out of the Maples.  My nephews who are based in East St. Paul play out of  Glenwood (off St. Mary's) and Southdale.

The Hargreaves boys were 50-50.  Logan's team won, Zach's lost, Braden's lost and Bennett's won.  Both Logan and Bennett scored goals and Bennett's was the game winning goal in overtime.  I was one really proud Aunt!

Sunday I also went for lunch with Kendra.  We hit up Muddy Waters and then browsed around the Forks after.  A few years ago when Kendra had Adam, she made the decision to be a stay at home mum.   Since she's not working, I find that we don't talk as much.  But that could have just as much to do with having a toddler running around regardless of whether she's working or not.

Still, we chatted this weekend and I asked if she was happy. I can't tell that she is, Kendra is a wonderful mother to Adam.  I do think that she misses the interaction with her friends though, so I am going to make a bigger effort to have more girls nights.  She needs them just as much as I do.

...and just like that, the weekend is over.

We are now gearing up for Spring activities.  Both boys will be doing swimming lessons.  Going from being on the water  (well frozen) to being in it.

Never ends.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Comedy of Errors

Friday is off to a rocking start, but actually if I'm being honest, the comedy of errors all started yesterday.

I had errands to run and since I was out and about, I grabbed some take out sushi rather than eat what I had brought.  No big deal, I figured I'd leave my lunch in the fridge at work and have it for lunch on Friday.

Given that I was planning to walk around downtown, I locked my desk before leaving and brought my pass key with me (my pass key and desk key are on the same key chain).  When I returned from my errands, I realized that I hadn't pushed in my desk drawers all the way so they were still open.  I put my stuff in the drawer and closed it up.

Around 5 pm I was starting to get ready to go.  But my drawer was locked.  See, if you open your drawers and leave them open while locking your desk, the drawers will only lock upon closing.

When I returned from lunch and put my stuff in the opened drawers, they didn't lock until they closed.  Which ordinarily would have been fine as I keep my pass key out. But since I had been out walking, I had my pass key in my purse and now I was locked out;  Couldn't even take the bus home because I needed my bus pass and even if I got a ride home, I couldn't get in the house because my keys were in my purse.


 I had to go and get the master set of key from security and after a fair amount of hullabaloo, I got my desk open and all was well.  Fast Forward to this morning.

On the way to the bus stop this morning, the zipper to my gym bag broke.   Since I had to stop at Shoppers to pick up batteries for my hearing aids, I bought one of the those reusable bags to get me through the day.  While at the till I put my keys in my pocket (I was somewhat paranoid of leaving things on the counter because I had already lost my hat and mitts that way ) but when I pulled the pocket zipper up, it broke.  Two zippers down in one morning.


Walked up to work and got settled in.  Was about to put my hearing aid batteries in when I realized I had bought the wrong size.   So I made the decision to quickly run back down and return them.  I figured that was enough hiccups for one morning.

Cue lunch time.  Headed over to the fridge to get my leftover lunch from yesterday to find it gone. While I was initially irate that someone had taken it, I quickly realized that the one day I leave my lunch at work is the one day of the month they clean out the fridge and throw out any food left.  My lunch was not stolen, it had been thrown out along with it's container. Sigh.

Starving, I headed down to the cafeteria to buy something.  Got a salad and fresh fruit cup (Groundbreaking, riveting reading material I'm giving you here).  Was about to step off the elevator when the heel of my shoe got caught in the little gap between the floor and the elevator causing me to stumble and sent my lunch flying.

Thankfully, I was able to recover and save most of it before it hit the floor, but two cherry tomatoes and some olives were the sacrificial lambs.

What do you even call a day like that?  It's one part accident prone, one part clumsy and a solid cup and a half of idiocy.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Lucky Lazers

Logan's hockey team got quite the surprise last night.

Mark Scheifele came to their practice.  Scheifele's charity of choice is Kidsport. It just so happens that one of the parents on our team is on the Board for KidSport.  So with Scheifele wanting to make a media announcement of his involvement with the program, the kids got to have a practice with him.

It was amazing.  We had kept it a secret from the kids, so when the walked out to the rink they had no idea that both Scheifele and the media were going to be there.  They were all pretty shocked. 

 Scheifele skated with them the whole practice.  My favorite part was when Logan was doing a drill with him and was calling for the pass from Scheifele!  Too funny.

Logan is #6


I was really impressed that Scheifele came out to skate with a bunch of 9 year olds.  He's a busy guy and to take that time out for them was really inspiring.  He's also the nicest guy.  One of the kids on our team just out of the blue asked him "Can I have your stick?"   He just smiled and shrugged and said "Sure!"  How cool is that?

Made the news here:

Monday, February 23, 2015

Grand Forks Wrap

Grand Forks was pretty great.  The drive down was a little squirrelly with the blowing snow, but we made it safely.  Friday night the boys went straight to the water park.  Parents assembled and just sat around chatting and had a few beers.  When the water park closed, we moved upstairs to the 8th floor and ended up camping out in the hallway.

But that got quickly shut down because of an elderly couple who unfortunately got a room right in the middle of a grouping of hockey team rooms.

Saturday morning we were up at an ungodly hour for the first game, which we lost.  Whatever.  Jen and I decided to go shopping.  We hit the Macy's one day sale.  I have never really been to Macy's.  It's got a Sears/Bay vibe to it.  The regular prices weren't anything great, but the sale prices?  HOLY.
I got Nike Zip up hoodies for the boys at $14.99 regularly $50.  I got Zach two long sleeve champion technical shirts (that under armor type material) for $2.49.  Yes.  $2.49.  They were already marked down 80% off and then because of the one day day you got an additional 50% off that. I also got cargo pants for the boys for $4.99.  Got Brad a Tommy Hilfiger winter jacket for $42.

I didn't get myself anything.  No point in buying clothes with AMJ in full swing, but wow.  They had some crazy deals.  Jen got a Calvin Klein top for $17.

Saturday night a bunch of the families went for Mexican food.  We ended up at Paradiso which is like Chi chi's.  I really picked my battles on this one.  Zach and Logan had a later lunch at 2:30pm and we were going for dinner at 5:30pm.  Logan was good to eat, but Zach wasn't hungry.  Rather than turn it into a big battle, I said he didn't have to have anything, but that if he got hungry later, there was only fruit/bagels and yogurt in the hotel room.  He was fine with that.  Crisis averted.

Back at the hotel later, Zach met a girl at the water park.  It's the first time I've ever seen him interact with a girl in that way.  He was splashing her and she was squealing  in that way only a 12 year old girl can.  When he came out of the pool he  told me about it, he had a big smile. It really warmed my heart.  Sigh. My boy is growing up.

Sunday morning we had back to back games.  9:15am and then 10:30 am.  The 9:15 we demolished the team 5-0, but lost the second game 4-5.  It was close, but the other team was fresh and our boys were pretty tired.

The first game was played on the Ralph Englestad rink.  It's really nice and reminiscent of the MTS center.

Drive home was great, no wait at the border at all.  Weekend was completed a glass of wine and watched the Academy Awards.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Popsicle Parenting

I was born in Winnipeg, grew up in Winnipeg and am raising my kids in Winnipeg.

You would think that given the above, I would be used to the cold or at the very least accustomed to it.  But there is something about cold weather; when you walk outside in -35C and get hit in the face with a wind so icy it takes your breath away and makes your eyes water that even the heartiest among us let out a involuntary gasp of shock,

Middle of February means lots of cold weather and **shudder** outdoor hockey games.

This weekend was Hockey Manitoba's 100th anniversary; games were being played all over the province in celebration.  Teams were either Team Black or Team Gold and the win/loss record from the teams across the province would be tallied  to see who would win.  

Here is the kicker.... the games were outside.  Played on rickety old frozen rinks with slanted boards and no shelter from the wind.  In truth, it was the epitome of Canadian Hockey.  Spectating isn't for wimps either.  While the kids can keep warm by skating, there isn't much warmth to be generated standing along the boards cheering.  Keeps you on your toes though - there isn't any glass/netting to protect you from wayward pucks or high sticks against the boards.  More than once we had to duck to avoid getting hit in the face.

Beth and I

So the Mom-posse all suited up to spectate and cheer on the kids. Fashion was not an option at this point.  You know what's sexy in -35C with a biting frigid wind?  LAYERS. Layers are sexy.

The games are slightly modified to only have two halves instead of 3 periods and they let the kids warm up in between.  Technically speaking I am not sure we should even have been playing because I think the cut off for outdoor games is -28C, but whatever, you dress for it.

Both boys had games on Sunday in the celebrations.  They even got to keep their jersey/socks which were really nice.

It was tough to get warm after that.  It was somewhere around 8 pm that I became happily aware that I could feel my toes again.

Regardless it was a fun weekend.  Added bonus is that you burn more calories in cold weather just trying to keep warm.  Stepped on the scale this morning and I'm down TWENTY!!  Feeling pretty good about that.  To quote my mother, I must be "built like a brick sh*t house" because no one has noticed yet.  I've started to notice a big difference in my clothes and I think you can see a difference in my face.  But the name of the game here is getting healthy and I'm on my way.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Long Weekend Baby!

After today, year end at work is over.

Year end is like quarter end on steroids.  But we got through it.  Plus, as an added bonus, this weekend is the long weekend.  Timing is pretty great.

In case you've been living under a rock and missed it, it's Valentines Day tomorrow.  I am not much into the Valentines thing. When I was younger, It was a bigger deal to go out and have a celebration with my then boyfriend, but now?

Not to sound all cliche about it, but I would rather Brad surprise me on some random day because then it would be his idea and not something forced because it's Valentines day.  So it will come as no surprise that we don't have any big plans.  I think we are going to get some takeout sushi and hunker down with a great bottle of wine.  That my dear friends sounds like perfection.

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