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

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

Time-sucking Internet, I do kinda like ya

They ate these sandwiches at school yesterday. That is to say, the 6 year old brought home one bite leftover and said “I don’t like the cheese in the sandwich” which made me want to ask why it took her to eat almost all of it before declaring she doesn’t like the cheese. I didn’t ask her because….look. I’m tired. I just don’t want some debate or drama about cheese.

school lunch sandwiches

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

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.


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.


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:


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.


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.

Verbal reminders, aka nagging

It never ends. Does it.

He walked behind me to school, looking a little bit off. I said ‘what’s the matter with your hands?’ and he said ‘they’re cold’.

‘Where’s your gloves?’

Shrug. It’s cold out, he is wearing two layers, winter boots, and a hat. It doesn’t occur to him to put gloves on?

Do I have to remind him of every article of clothing? Still, today, at close to 7 years old?

The answer is yes.

His eyes welled up with tears. I felt bad (also exasperated). I gave him mine. He said he would like it if I would get him his gloves prior to his first recess. I said no. I also said that I was kind enough to give him my gloves even though my own hands are now cold.

He almost cried. I launched into a chat with him, about how he has my gloves now, and that the earliest I can get his gloves to him was at lunchtime when I was going to be there anyway to pick up his sister.

Then we talked about how the verbal reminders (or nagging) I give from the moment I get up to the moment I lock the door behind me was supposed to get them to do the stuff I tell them to do. They’re not supposed to ignore the advice. I said:

‘Benjamin, it’s not hard. You already do some of the things very well in the morning without me telling you. But when it’s time to get dressed and you’re reaching for things like winter boots and hats, this should be enough of a clue for you to also get your gloves ready. I shouldn’t have to remind you of every single piece of clothing you need to remember to put on.’

He gets it. I think. I hope…