Friday, September 4, 2009

Guess who's back...back again...

Dinah's back. Tell a friend.

Wow, it's been a long summer! I didn't mean to take a vacation from blogging but I guess it just happened. The good news is we racked up a lot of frequent flyer miles. The bad news is that they came with a big, fat credit card bill.

Let's see...where were we? Ah yes. When we last saw Miz Dinah it was too hot to blog. Then there was too much laundry to blog. Then too much packing. Then flying to Montreal for a weekend and driving to Quebec City. A week of working at our office there (oui, je parle français). Then an eleven-hour train ride to New York during which time I could have blogged but did not have an internet connection. We had a busy 5 days in NYC, then hopped a flight to Toronto to visit my brother and his family for a week. Once we returned home J-girl spent two weeks with my dad and little sister up north. Next thing you know, it was back to school. This summer went by FAST!

Here are the things I learned in my travels:
  • It's not the heat, it's the humidity. Although it could also be the heat, because I'm pretty sure it was hot.

  • The 24-hour Walgreen's in Times Square is a little piece of heaven.
  • Not all french accents are created equal. Some will be utterly incomprehensible no matter how many times they repeat the question.

  • If you leave expensive glass candle holders beside the fish tank and the kitties knock them over, they will land on the one little piece of tile, not the sea of carpet. And they will shatter.

  • The sight of the Air Canada Executive sleeper suites on your way to economy will leave you pining.

  • It takes two days for clothes washed in the hotel sink to dry on the little clothes line in the shower.
  • Central Park is kind of creepy and deserted at midnight.

  • The best dinner is baguette, paté, cheese and fruit from the grocery store, eaten in your hotel room with a nice bottle of wine.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Too Hot to Blog...

And I'm not just talkin' 'bout the heat! ;) No, seriously though. It's frickin' hot. So hot I'm too lazy to type and have resorted to gratuitous apostrophes.

Meh.

I'm off to sit in my air-conditioned car on the way to the air-conditioned sushi joint. Ah-so!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

For the Fourth

Happy Independence Day to all my American friends. I would like to acknowledge some of the things that make America great:

Hot, fresh Krispy Kreme doughnuts
Hot, fresh Sourdough Jacks from Jack-In-The-Box
Hot, fresh chicken and biscuits from Popeye's Chicken
Hot, fresh fondue from The Melting Pot
Hot, fresh steak from Ruth's Chris

I look forward to visiting your country at every opportunity to experience these culinary joys not (readily) available in Canada.

Also, I love Walgreen's. I don't know why but it makes me happy.
The Sharper Image. Hours of gadgety fun.
Disneyland. It really IS the most magical place on earth.
Whole Foods. It has the best produce feng shui I have ever seen.
Starbucks. Facebook. Google. Things that originated in the US that I am thankful for.
American television programming (no offense to the CBC).
Southern accents. I love the drawl of y'all.

I have only experienced the west coast of your country (except for the drive from Michigan to Washington when we moved from Ontario 20 years ago, but I try to forget about that). I am really looking forward to visiting New York in three weeks when we take our vacation back east. I'm sure I will discover many more things that I love about the US.

Happy Fourth of July!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Happy Canada Day, eh!

Greetings from the Great White North. You know, the place above the 49th parallel, just next door to Santa? I'm shivering in my igloo as we speak, as it's a chilly 28 degrees...celsius. That's (let's see, quick conversion, carry the one, check google converter) 82 degrees fahrenheit. Good thing my igloo is made of finger-jointed wood and vinyl siding!

Today marks the 142nd anniversary of the confederation of the original four provinces that formed Canada in 1867: Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. (Incidentally, British Columbia was among the last provinces to join the federation, but I'll celebrate today anyway!)

Canadians. We wear tuques not hats. We drink pop not soda. We spell colour, honour and neighbour with a u. Our dollar coin is called a loonie because it features a Canadian loon, and the two dollar coin is a toonie because it is worth two loonies. Our beer has a 5.5 - 7% alcohol content but it costs more. Our cheese and milk also cost more but there is no beer in it. Our gas is blended with ethanol so I guess it has alcohol in it. We celebrate Thanksgiving in October and spend the next two months shopping for Christmas. We spend the next three months paying off the credit card bills. While we toboggan down the hill. Wearing tuques. This concludes our history lesson for today. I hope you were paying attention because there will be a quiz later.

So raise your beer and give a cheer: I AM CANADIAN! So take off, eh?

Sunday, June 28, 2009

On the A-plus side...

J-girl scored herself straight As on her report card despite missing over two months of school. She did do much of the work from home, but obviously not PE or Music. We are proud of her for making the honour roll (yes, I'm Canadian) and for getting the academic excellence award.

Also, this experience has reaffirmed my decisions not to pursue a career in education and not to homeschool my child. I am definitely lacking in the patience department! Kudos to those that have the will to teach. I salute you!

Can't hold a candle to it...


Dang it. It was such a beautiful day. We had munchies. We had fresh lime iced tea. My friend made an amazing display on my patio. I invited over 40 people. Nobody showed. :(

I'm so bummed.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

It's not the size that matters...

Unless it is. Meet the newest addition to our family, the Asus Eee HE1000 netbook.



It's the Father's Day gift that keeps on giving. Now we can all stay in touch from the living room to the family room without having to speak to one another. Now that's family togetherness! At 10.1" it's so much smaller than the laptop and will be easier to pack on vacations.



Sure the hell beats a tie.

It's Your Day, Do Whatcha Wanna Do...

Happy Father's Day to my honey! We love you! ♥♥♥

Love,
Mom & J-girl

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Just Say Mmm...

I think we've finally got the hang of the ice cream machine. After the mint cream fiasco, and finding the machine a home in the cupboard, we pulled it out the other night and made strawberry cheesecake ice cream with fresh, local strawberries. Mmmm!



Yesterday we made peanut butter ice cream. Oh my God! It tastes like peanut butter candy, especially after eating the frozen leftovers. Had I not already eaten the strawberry leftovers, I would have put them together in a bowl and had a PB and J.

On a bizarre aside, I am not experiencing any lactose intolerance to these treats, which were made with milk and cream. WTF? Not that I'm complaining. I love ice cream!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Expelliarmus!

I just want to say that I kicked total ass on Harry Potter Sceneit. I am truly a wizard of Hogwarts calibre, and not a Muggle. I'm just saying.

D-Day is Coming...

And by D-Day I mean Daddy's Day aka Father's Day. Guess what J-girl and I are getting Daddy? It's a...surprise of course, silly! I know you're reading this, honey. Did you think I would spoil the surprise? :)

Tune in Sunday for the results of our show, "My Father's Day Tie Is Uglier Than Yours".

Saturday, June 13, 2009

No News Is...

No news. Nothing to report. J-girl is still sick with mystery pains. The doctor is sending her for more blood work. She doesn't have diarrhea, is not losing weight and her appetite is fine. We know what it's not: Crohn's, colitis, IBD, bacterial infection, lactose intolerance. We just don't know what it is. Sigh...

The Importance of Being Kitty

Cat. I'm trying to blog here. Yes, okay. You're soft and purring and...Gordon! Get your ass out of my face. Stop winking at me with your brown eye. Get. Stop. Okay, get down. Yes, I love you. Here, let me pet you on the floor. I'll type with one hand. mmm thts nott wirrking.!r Yes, lay down. Good boy. No, ouch watch the boobies! Agh, you're scratching the leather couch. No! Listen cat. I'm trying to type. Get off my keyboareatgfsdhfhykt tujirewjy;thrw yjhjtrkuuwi34o. Go find your sister. grumble grumble damn cats... Agh! Kitties! Your little claws are digging in! What, am I wearing eau de catnip or something? Help! Why are you so jealous of my laptop?

The Second Rule of Kitty: Kitty is number one.

Everything else is secondary. There are no exceptions. Except when Kitty says so.

The First Rule of Kitty:

Is Kitty is always first.

Kitty must always be first up the stairs. There are no exceptions.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Tall soy sugar-free cinnamon dolce gogina with whip!

Mmmmmmyeah...loving my new Cuisinart espresso machine. I am fully caffeinated 24/7. This is great!!!

Voilà a caramel steamed milk for my daughter.


Sorry about the picture quality, I was either vibrating or in a hurry because her whipped cream was melting over the sides.

I don't have any pictures of anything I've ingested because I am too excited to drink it. All I would have is pictures of empty cups laying around like the day after a drunkfest. However, I did go so far as to purchase these cute little espresso cups and the matching coffee cups (which are in the dishwasher).


I meant to take a pic of the iced sugar-free vanilla latté I just made but...too late. Ahhhhh...satisfying!

**PS. First attempt with the Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker was a bust. We were too impatient to wait for the bowl to freeze and our mint ice cream mix was a sticky mess everywhere when I lifted the bowl out without thinking about the hole in the bottom. Duh! I managed to salvage half of it and spent 45 minutes cleaning everything up. Second attempt a few hours later was a bit more successful, but it would have been faster to drive to the local gelato shop and back! However, I did get to eat all the leftover Skor bits, so that was somewhat of a consolation.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Sweetness!

Honey got a small bonus at work for working on a project, and he treated his girls at Costco today. Here is what I bought:



I'm super-stoked for breakfast tomorrow! Woot! Already had 1 cappuccino and made J-girl a caramel steamer with whip. See, it's a gift the whole family can enjoy.

Here's what J-girl bought with her OWN money:



Once I stock up on Lactaid I will be super-stoked for that as well! (In case you can't read the label, it's a soft-serve ice cream maker that mixes in up to three toppings while dispensing -- it's not fully assembled yet). She is so excited but a little disappointed that it takes 12 hours to freeze the drum for the first time. So we'll be ready to scream for ice cream at 4 am.

We blew $800 at Costco, and I think we only got $200 in food, if that. We also replaced our computer chair, which my sister's cat peed on last year and had to be tossed (he had behavioural issues, bless his wee heart). This time we got a fabric chair instead of leather. It was less expensive and more cat-friendly. Also stocked up on clothes (so cheap!) and free samples. God I love Costco.

Now I just need to buy cones, cream, espresso beans, soy milk, more whipped cream, and toppings. Oh, and maybe some little espresso cups. And some flavoured syrup.

$$$

Friday, June 5, 2009

Miss Polly Had a Dolly Who Was Sick, Sick, Sick

Ahhh...so hard to remember to post something for Fx4 now that I've started working Fridays again. I'm really lucky my boss is so understanding. I keep flip-flopping my hours around. First I decided to take Fridays off so that I can spend extra time with J-girl and clean my house (read: loaf). So I'm only working 32 hours a week now. Then I decided that in lieu of daycare I will work Fridays again and come home early every day to meet her after school.

Then she got sick and I've been coming and going at all hours, working from home, bringing her to work (we have a lounge with all the comforts of home), and taking personal days. This is week 6 of mystery abdominal pains, tests and appointments, and no school. I'm also very lucky that my sister-in-law lives with us and can take excellent care of her between her shifts so I can go to work. We've been to our doctor three times, a specialist twice, the emergency room once, had 4 urinalyses, 2 x-rays, 1 ultrasound and 1 blood work done. So far, no diagnosis. Everything comes back negative/normal/nothing remarkable. Next appointment is on Thursday. I guess I'm kind of hoping it will magically just go away, although it would be nice to know what it is.

First, I don't like to see my little girl in pain and there's nothing I can do to make it better. Second, it is really exhausting to take care of someone who is in chronic pain and still function in other areas of life. Third, I don't like not being able to solve a problem, and waiting for all these appointments is killing me. Oh, and did I mention the homework? There's homework. It's really hard to coax a sickie to sit up and do schoolwork. I am not cut out for home schooling. Even without the personality clash. I work all day. I don't want to come home and spend 3 hours doing school work. I don't want to push her so I've been letting her (and me!) off easy, but all the same, it needs to be done. Even better, she needs to recover and go back to school before grade 4 is over.

I may have to look at other options. She's not stressed or anxious, not constipated, not visibly ill, and it's not appendicitis and apparently not her kidneys or gall bladder. Maybe I should start looking at natural medicine. I need a solution and so far the doctors have not been able to offer one. I know her pain is real. She actually WANTS to go back to school.

Thanks, I just needed to whine about that and get it off my (fairly substantial) chest. Big deep breath...exhale...and moving on.

In other news, the other reason for my absence is our backyard landscaping project. Pictures to follow soon. Maybe next Friday! Also, we're planning a vacation for July. Yay! Something to look forward to!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Mommy Wii Love You

I had a great Mother's Day.

A steaming cup of bold coffee, strawberry crepes and bacon (any day I get to eat bacon is a special day!). It was like my last supper (breakfast?), because I was presented with a Wii Fit for Mother's Day. That explains why hubby was asking me if "hypothetically" I would be offended by a) a talking scale or b) something useful like a toaster. I am thrilled, actually. I like the fact that I can set goals, track my progress, and be accountable to someone other than myself (because let's face it, I can justify anything). I'm not thrilled with my BMI, my weight, and my fitness level, so this is a fun hop-skip-and-a-step in the right direction. And good for the whole family. In fact, jgirl spent over an hour skiing, walking the tightrope and hula-hooping.

The rest of the afternoon was spent on our landscaping project, which earned us a cold beer to go along with our stiff muscles. Hey, I have muscles! Where did those come from? Dinner was a fabulous medley of honey garlic chicken breasts, seven-grain salad, steamed broccoli, and a spinach salad that my sister-in-law contributed. It was a garlicky festival of awesomeness in my mouth, mingled with sips of Italian red wine and followed by nibbles of dark Lindt chocolate.

Does it get any better than that?

Friday, May 8, 2009

The Tao of Kitty

Meet the new additions to our family, Yin and Yang (aka Zoey and Gordon).

Check out Candid Carrie's Friday Foto Finish Fiesta!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Moley Moley Moley!

"The Life and Death of a Mole"


I had what turned out to be a benign mole removed from my right leg last month. It left quite a dent in my leg, which is quite noticeable when you look from the side. Wahh! I'm damaged!

Check out Candid Carrie's Friday Foto Finish Fiesta!

Friday, March 6, 2009

One in a Vermillion

Oh Mr. Clean Magic Eraser...what would I do without you?

It was a dark and stormy night. (Well, it was early evening anyway.) "Paint with me, Mom," she said. Five minutes later...


Let's get a closer look at that, shall we?


Yes, boys and girls. That is vermillion paint on my wall. I didn't have the foresight to take a picture of her arm, but imagine a similar scenario from wrist to shoulder on a 9-year-old arm.

How did it happen, you ask?


Let's zoom in a little closer on that...



Yeah. That's what I thought. The paint is coming from the BOTTOM of the tube. The part that would normally face AWAY from the paper. I guess I can be thankful it wasn't aimed at the textured ceiling. Apparently when the tip is plugged (damn cheap dollar-store paint), and you squeeze...well, you get the picture.

One Mr. Clean Magic Eraser later:


Kind of put a damper on painting, but I did get a lovely picture:


Apparently vermillion is sorry too. :)

Check out Candid Carrie's Friday Foto Finish Fiesta!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Hello?

Hi! You've reached Dinah Gogina. I can't come to my blog right now so please leave a message. Thanks and have a great day!

Friday, January 30, 2009

C is for Christmas Cookies!


They're not stale. I promise. This picture was taken early December just after making 14 dozen spritz cookies for our annual cookie exchange. Mmm!

Check out Candid Carrie's Friday Foto Finish Fiesta!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Dinah Gogina has updated her status

If Dinah Gogina updated her facebook status regularly:

Miz Dinah is feeling satisfied. 9:00 pm
Miz Dinah is noshing the nachos her hubby made and watching a movie. 9:30 pm
Miz Dinah is eating dried mangos, trail mix and baked Lays potato chips. 10:00 pm
Miz Dinah feels kind of ill. 10:30 pm
Miz Dinah is going to bed with a bloated tummy and heartburn. 10:45 pm
Miz Dinah is groaning in bed. 11:00 pm
Miz Dinah is checking the clock. 12:05 am
Miz Dinah is checking the clock again. 1:27 am
Miz Dinah is waking up from very strange and disturbing dreams. Must be the cheese before bed. 4:45 am
Miz Dinah is checking the clock again. 5:00 am
Miz Dinah might as well get up. 6:00 am
Miz Dinah is making mini cheese biscuits for J-girl's class party today. 6:05 am
Miz Dinah is drinking actual home made coffee on a weekday instead of drinking at work. Coffee, that is. 6:20 am
Miz Dinah has folded the laundry and gotten everything ready to go to work and school. 8:15 am
Miz Dinah forgot to make her lunch. 8:25 am
Miz Dinah is supposed to be working. 12:58 pm

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Road Rage

Little shit-brown Toyota Tercel.
Circa 1980s.
Going under the speed limit in the passing lane.
I will make you my bitch.
My Maxima will wear you as a hood ornament.
Move. The Hell. Over.

Friday, January 9, 2009

When in snow, do as the snowmen do!

Or when life gives you snow, make an igloo! (Okay, enough corny clichés for one morning).





Yes, that is my hubby poking out of the igloo, and yes it is dark out. He stayed out to finish it after J-girl came inside to warm up after 4 hours of snow fun. It took 6 hours in total to build this masterpiece. And no, Canadians do not all live in igloos!

Check out Candid Carrie's Friday Foto Finish Fiesta!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Help, I'm Snowed In!!!

Heh heh...remember when I said it hardly snowed here at all? Well, it's been snowing since December 12th (so I'm told -- I was away until the 27th). It's been snowing since I got back from Cali-forn-i-a anyway, which is enough to inconvenience me. Sure, it's pretty. From inside the house looking out, with a cup of spiked hot chocolate in my hand. But seriously, this is enough frozen white stuff.

I drove my sister and her roommate back home this afternoon (an hour away) so that I could check out their new bachelorette pad. Brought J-girl with me. The roads and freeways were fine. The side streets were snowy but manageable with my brand new all-seasons (snow tires are a rarity in these parts). They're literally a week old. We stayed for an hour, and when we left it was snowing again! We had to clear the car off again, and the road back to the freeway was pretty deep with snow. The freeway was pretty snowy too, but there were tire tracks to follow. I passed a cop and thought, "Should I feel guilty about this?", but then I decided I wouldn't get a ticket for speeding as I was going 50 km/hr in a 90 zone. Halfway home it got pretty hairy; there were cars in the ditch and the snow was scraping the bottom of my car. The wipers could barely keep up with the snow. After a pit-stop for a pee, we decided that if we could make it to my work we would spend the night there instead of driving home. It's right off the freeway, and the highway to our house apparently had zero-visibility. Plus we live up a huge hill.

So we let ourselves in and brought the car into the warehouse so it wouldn't get buried. We're up in the lounge watching Chronicles of Narnia (thank God we have cable!), curled up on the couches with big fuzzy blankets and eating Goldfish crackers from my desk. I borrowed my boss's laptop from his office so I don't have to go downstairs to my office for internet. We're so glad we have a bunch of smokies and buns in our freezer from staff barbecues or we would have been eating corn chips and beef jerky from the snaccpac for dinner. We've got heat, food, beverages, cable, internet and basically all the comforts of home except toothbrushes and clean underwear.

J-girl wants to cuddle before bed so she wants me to stop blogging. The falling snow is beautiful outside the wall-to-wall windows and the movie's almost over. Just about time for bed. At least I won't be late for work in the morning. I'm pretty sure there won't be school tomorrow either. Well then. Goodnight!