Monday, August 30, 2010

The Tables Are Turning

It was only a few short years ago that I was a mom to two very young boys and caregiver to various other children, all of whom were like my own to me. Many of those days are still a blur. I'd answer the door before 6:30am and would often close the door behind the families at 6:30pm...sometimes later. As long and as exhausting both physically and mentally as those days were, I got up every morning looking forward to my job. There were many mornings where I would go out to get coffee before any of the kids arrived but by 9am I'd have given my right arm for another. Once in awhile, my mum would call and offer to drop one off to me. And once in awhile I'd ask her to stay with the kids once they were all napping so I could run out to the dentist or pick something up from the store. She would almost always agree and I was careful not to ask too often but I always felt like she had no idea how trapped I was sometimes, because of the kids routines and needs. She was a stay at home mom so you'd think she'd remember what it was like but that was a long long time ago. In my line of work there is no such thing as a lunch or coffee breaks so when opportunities for me to leave the kids for half an hour would arise, I was more appreciative than anyone will ever know.

Last week my Grandmother, who lives with my mother, had a stroke. My mum has been on duty catering to her every need since it happened. I see the exhaustion in my mum. I see her struggling to keep it all together for the sake and well being of my Gran. But I also see there is a want to be that person, similar to how I wanted to be that person to my kids and the kids I provide childcare to. Today, my mum asked me to pick up a few things at the store for her and when I asked if she wanted a coffee I could hear that same sound of desparation in her voice that I once had when she would offer to bring me one. When I arrived at her place, I asked if she needed to run out anywhere and told her I would "granny-sit", just as she had agreed to "baby-sit" for me when I needed it. I could tell by her reaction that she was thankful to be getting out of the house for awhile....a feeling I can relate to.

My kids are all school-aged now and I can run out or get coffee whenever I want. In fact, I've never been as free as I am these days. I'm seeing the tables turning now though. My mum has been free for many many many years now but is entering a new chapter of her life where she is once again depended on full time. My childcare job taught me a lot of things over the years and the sense of appreciation I developed will carry forward as I do coffee delivery and "granny-sit" more often from now on.

- Posted from Jennifer's iPhone
"Forgiveness does not change the past, but it does enlarge the future"-Paul Boese

Sunday, August 15, 2010

The Definition Is This

Vegan: A person who does not eat or use animal products of any kind (including meat, dairy and leather items).
Vegetarian: A person who does not eat meat products.
Pescetarian: A person who eats no meat products with the exception of fish. A lot of people will use this as a bridge to convert to vegetarianism.
Tofu: A soft, high-protein food made from soybean milk.
Tempeh: A food that originated in Indonesia, made from cultured soybeans. Since it retains the whole soybean (unlike tofu), it is a source of higher protein, fiber and vitamins. It also has firmer texture and stronger flavor, and is a widely used meat substitute.
Seitan: A meat substitute made entirely of wheat gluten. It is an alternative to soybean-based substitutes like tofu, and has texture and consistency very similar to meat.

Read more:

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Diamonds Are Not This Girls Best Friend

Just a few short months ago, my husband and I went out shopping for my new diamond ring. We're celebrating our ten year wedding anniversary this year and I suggested getting a new wedding set.... I felt as though I should get a newer, bigger diamond because I had somehow earned it and that it was owed to me. Chris had me try on rings that cost more than I would spend on a new car and as beautiful as they were to look at, they didn't feel right on me. There was something unknown that just didn't sit well. Our anniversary is fast approaching and so I have been learning as much as I can recently in order to make the best decision. I've spoken to many retailers and diamond specialists and have learned a lot about cuts, clarity, colour, weight etc.
Then.... through research online, I discovered articles on the unfair labour, bloodshed, brutality and the loss of precious life that comes as a result of people like myself who purchase these precious gems. I honestly had no idea. I know... I've lived a sheltered life but this is no excuse to not know about something this huge! I've been misinformed about these stones and feel ill reading about all that goes on in the diamond industry. Conflict diamonds, blood diamonds and child labour articles are swarming the internet, yet still we don't talk enough about them. It's so easy for people to turn a blind eye when their eyes are filled with the gleaming sparkle of carats I guess.
I've since taken a good look at the role I play in our marriage and have put much thought into what it is I thought a big shiny diamond ring would do for me. I've realized wearing it would represent many things to many people's eyes, but the feeling I'd have would not be a good representation of who I am or of the word "reward" at all. It would go against all that I stand for in terms of world peace first of all and second, the love I get from my family is the ultimate reward for being who and what I am to them. Thanks anyways, but no diamond needed here.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Vegetarian Thai Red Curry With Soy Chicken

2 tsp veg oil
1 small shallot or onion
4 cups of cut up Veggies (broccoli, cauliflower, sweet peppers, celery, mushrooms... whatever works)
1/2 cup frozen peas
2 vegetarian soy chicken-less breasts + 2 tsp veg oil
1 can of Coconut milk
2 tbsp Red Curry paste
2 tbsp brown sugar
2 chopped green chilies
Dash of salt
Chopped green onion to garnish
Rice noodles or brown rice

In a wok, stir fry the shallot/onion in 2tsp veg oil until transparent
Add in the mixed fresh veggies. Stir fry the veg but keep it crisp.

Fry the soy chicken-less breasts in 2 tsp veg oil until golden brown (about 3 minutes on each side)

In a separate sauce pan, simmer 1 can of coconut milk with the red curry paste over medium heat for about 5 minutes. Add brown sugar, frozen peas and salt. Simmer for 10 minutes. Stir in chopped green chillies, then pour the sauce into the wok of vegetables and mix in. Cube the soy chicken-less breasts and add in. Prepare the rice noodles or rice according to the package directions and serve with the curry! Garnish with green onion. It's THAT simple : )

Monday, August 2, 2010

About Me

My photo
Life-long Vegetarian and proud to be Canadian. Really, I'm a little bit of everything, all rolled into one. I'm a bitch, I'm a lover, I'm a child, I'm a mother, I'm a sinner, I'm a saint (I do not feel ashamed) I'm your hell, I'm your dream (I'm nothing in between) You know, I wouldn't want it any other way..... (I'd like to think that song was written about me! lol)