The endless glamour of an errand day

Two days of non-stop running around, an ongoing illness that won’t go away, work that finished and then started again, and kids that grow and demand stuff have left me exhausted.

I made a nice list for myself last night and continued it this morning. Oh how prepared I was! How organized! I was going to get all the running around done before lunch and spend the rest of the afternoon, after taking time to prepare and duplicate a Pickle Barrel quinoa salmon salad lunch in my kitchen and eat it, cleaning up the house for the surveyor people who are coming here tomorrow to do stuff. Bank-y stuff for the renovations.

Instead, as these things go, Continue reading

Shoes, feet and shopping

On yesterday’s mid-season premier of The Walking Dead, Carl got into a situation with a walker who took his shoe.

This got me thinking of shoes, which got me thinking of shopping, which is not a thing I particularly enjoy. But, those damned kids feet keep growing and someone has to get them shoes, which is why today, I purposely picked a grocery store that is located adjacent, and sort of attached, to a mall.

outline of children's feet

Continue reading

A new basement office, a trip to Ikea, and a tart

I dismantled a bed today. Its pieces are now in the van to be driven, along with the girl and her several suitcases, to my parents’ place after hockey on Saturday. She gets to sleep over and I get to redo a little room downstairs that used to function as a guest room. The bed’s going into my parents’ crawl space because I have no space for it here, and then I get to decorate the room. Continue reading

Meanwhile at Casa Javaline…

I am trying to get into the Christmas spirit.

Well, it worked for a while…late November, we had some big, fat snowflakes! We trekked through them to attend a local Christmas Open House at a community centre, and the white backdrop behind this beautiful wreath was very fitting. Continue reading

The trouble with coupons

Do you want to save money when you shop? How do you go about saving your money? Do you look for sales, shop at thrift stores, don’t shop at all, or clip coupons?

Shopping with coupons is one way of getting a better deal. The challenge however is to remember that you have the coupon handy when you need it.

I am eternally challenged with this coupon clipping. But I am also optimistic that proper coupon clipping and shopping will save me money. We’re looking at a pro and con situation here. Continue reading

Fresh organic food in winter

It’s been about a year now that I’ve belonged to an organic food delivery service. I took a break from it for a few months, and we’re back getting our orders twice monthly (or rather, bi-weekly, which isn’t quite the same thing), and I have to say I’m very glad.

foodbanner

Although I don’t shop with organics specifically in mind, if there is a small price difference between an organic item vs a ‘traditional’ item, I tend to reach for the organic one. I know, partly from my own research, and partly from educational dialogue with my Naturopath doctor, that not all items we consume must necessarily be organic. For example, squashes don’t need to be certified organic. In the case of squash, I go for local (grown nearby, in my own backyard, or at least in my province) rather than, say, imported from Argentina. (Why do we need to import squash from there? We have plenty of squash in Canada). Same with garlic, although non-pesticide garlic is extremely hard to find in Ontario in winter. Garlic grows like weeds….don’t need spraying, and you can eat the shoots that come up and curl.

Garlic_scape

Yet for some reason, the bulk of Ontario garlic is imported from China. Didn’t China recently make the news about their air pollution problem? So why are we eating Chinese garlic? I grow garlic in my backyard and if I don’t keep on top of it, the entire garden would be infested with garlic. That’s how easy garlic can be grown in temperate climates like ours. (freezing cold winters, sizzling hot summers, and everything in between).

There’s another reason why I chose to get a food delivery service: I’m sick and tired of grocery shopping.

There. I said it.

So anyway, I get this box delivered every other Tuesday, and it looks something like this:

organicsbox2

I get the standard, basic box, which means they select what I get. They send a lovely little email, twice before my delivery date, to remind me that I can modify and add items to it (for additional pay). But mostly, for the $37 I spend every other Tuesday, I have been happy with the produce I get. The picture above was a delivery sometime in January I think, but my last two deliveries have had a lot of greens in it (which is what we’re out of constantly), as well as fruit. This is a big fruit eating family, so that’s been helpful. (Organic fruit in February is not cheap so I do tend to purchase my own bulk apples and other fruit that are not organic, and just wash them really well.)

In the past few times, I’ve gotten something interesting that had met thinking of doing my own sprouts. One item was called Organic Live Kale and it was basically kale grown as sprouts.

livekalesprouts2livekalesprouts1

You just snip them into your salads, on top of sandwiches, as eatable garnishes….

The live container I got last Tuesday was pea shoots. The idea is ingenious and you can grow them yourself. All you need is a flat container with sides, some sterile earth (or possible even just cotton), seeds, and water.

I really like the box delivery. The service I use is called Front Door Organics, but there are many different ones, and I recommend it for people who love their fresh food. Shopping isn’t eliminated, I still need endless other stuff, constantly, it seems, but it certainly has helped keep us fed well over the dull winter months. And the surprises like the live trays of sprouts has been a great addition to our dinner table.

Healthy eating with meat

The problem with the Paleo diet is that we are in endless need of meat.

He’s the one on the diet, but since I have to feed him AND us, I may as well cook accordingly…

Sure we have a freezer full of venison, some of which I do eat even though I’m not crazy for venison in general, but really I can only eat so many beef/pork/venison burgers or meatballs before getting bored (or sick of it).

We used to have a butcher. He died. We no longer have chicken from the Mennonite farm he used to get it from, nor eggs. We no longer have his awesome sausages. We have to shop for meat at other stores that serve organic, or at least pasture-fed, humanely raised meat-animals.

Beretta Organic Farms sells at Wholefoods and at Loblaws, even. So that’s one option, but that means get in the car and drive a distance. I’m a local kinda gal. I prefer doing my shopping close to home, if possible. So I either make the trip once or twice a month and spend a small fortune to fill the freezer, or I order via mom who passes Wholefoods on her way to visit us once a week.

Once upon a time we knew a guy whose parents had a hobby farm. They sold us a half a cow and we were happy! They also had a few chickens, eggs and a bunch of yummy squashes…but that freezer full of various cuts of beef was heavenly. So easy to plan meals! I will have to make the effort to find someone who sells us half a cow again.

While trying to accommodate his paleo needs, I have found that eating less grain in general (even though most of our grain is whole grain) has helped me in terms of battling mid-afternoon fatigue. But to say it’s challenging to cook this way in winter when most of the fruit and veg is imported, greenhoused, and mediocre at best in terms of taste, is pretty much an understatement.

Which brings us to the fantastic weather we’ve been having over the past few weeks. WARM, sunny, and if I stick my finger in the soil of my garden beds, I can feel it move. The soil! It moves! This normally doesn’t happen until May in these parts. Usually the soil is cold and clumpy, frozen even.

So the itch to sow a few seeds that can handle frost has taken me over. I’m thinking arugula, which can be eaten both raw in salads or cooked. The parsley and chives are poking through already too, and are ready for snipping to add to salads and sandwiches. Or on top of eggs.

In the meantime, I dug out a package of chicken and two turkey legs out of the freezer. The turkey legs are bigger so I put them in the crockpot with some orange slices, and the chicken will be defrosted in time to bbq later. Dinner for tonight is covered.

Don’t ask me what to make tomorrow.