Monday, April 24, 2017

Chuckles and Chortles

Is it Monday again? It sure is. This day just keeps on coming around again and again. How was your weekend? Ours was totally slack. Since Thursday we haven't done anything major around the house. We were champion slackers and we're not sorry. Not one bit. But today will be different. Today will be a day of hard work.

Yesterday was a glorious day. People were out and about. We were, too. And our street was filled with children playing outside. It's always nice having kids in the neighbourhood; they really liven up the place. And it's also nice to see so many of them spending the entire day outdoors instead of indoors glued to electronic devices. Nothing like fresh air and lots of exercise. Reminds me of my childhood.

Now let's get to the funny stuff!

Have a terrific day, everyone!

Saturday, April 22, 2017

This Week

I was just about to write “Is it Friday again?” and realized that it’s not. It’s Saturday. The days are hard to distinguish lately. The most amazing man in the world and I often find ourselves asking each other “What day is this?” and 9 out of 10 times we’re confused. Sometimes we check a calendar and other times we don’t because it doesn’t really matter.

We are making solid progress here even though there’s still a lot to do. In addition to our closets, the pantry, our kitchen and dining area being ready, so is – drum roll please – our bedroom! Scrubbed and painted and beautiful. Next stop: the office. We’ll probably start tackling that tomorrow. Or Monday. But most likely Monday. Because we like taking days off and running away from home.

We have gotten into a really good rhythm with this house. We work hard and then we slack off just as hard. Tuesday was one of those Olympic gold medal slack days. We took off late morning, drove into Montreal, stopped in IKEA where we strolled through the entire store at a very leisurely pace, had lunch in the store’s restaurant (I had the most amazing salmon wraps!), drove back home in the afternoon and...slacked off for the rest of the day. We had gone there to check the lighting but didn’t come back with any. Sometimes it goes that way.

Speaking of houses, sometimes we watch those HGTV shows where everyone seems to have million dollar budgets. And we laugh and laugh and laugh. Because, really, how realistic is that? Those amounts leave out just about most of us. It seems we’re not the only ones that chuckle about these outrageously high budgets. Here are some hilarious tweets:

Today is Earth Day. It was first celebrated in 1970 and was created by an American senator to bring awareness to the importance of keeping our planet healthy and clean, something that the human race has a hard time grasping. A careless and callous attitude towards our environment is foolish. And dangerous. When will we ever learn? I dunno. Maybe when it’s too late.

And that’s it for now. Enjoy the rest of the weekend!

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

You Asked, I Answer (Greek Food, Employment and On Meeting The Most Amazing Man In The World)

I'll begin this year's round of answers by thanking everyone who participated in my ‘Ask Me Anything’ post. For those who missed it and would like to join in, feel free to do so while there's still time. Just click here.

My first post answers an assortment of questions. Let’s begin...


Jim asked:
What is your favourite Greek food dish? And.....what is your favourite one to cook?

As many of you know, I have a Greek heritage. My parents came to Canada from Greece in the late 50s and brought with them a rich culture, many interesting traditions and a whole heap of great recipes. Lucky for me, my mother is a very good cook and I grew up eating some of the best homemade Greek dishes.

Do I have favourites? You bet I do. Favourites...not just a favourite. There are so many I enjoy that it’s impossible to settle on just one. But to keep this answer as reasonably short as possible, I’ll list ten appetizers, soups, main dishes, sweets and desserts that I love.

1) Pastitsio (or pastichio) – This baked dish that consists of layers of pasta and spiced minced meat, and is topped with a creamy b├ęchamel sauce is a classic Greek comfort food.

2) Moussaka – One of the most widely recognized of all Greek dishes is this creamy and juicy oven-baked casserole of layered eggplant, potato and minced meat topped with a creamy b├ęchamel sauce.

3) Spanakopita – A delicious filo pastry pie of spinach and feta cheese filling that can be eaten hot or cold, and as a man dish, an appetizer or mid-day snack.

4) Yemista (or gemista) - Vegetables such as tomatoes, peppers, zucchini and even potato are hollowed out, stuffed with rice and herb filling and then baked until soft and nicely browned. Minced meat is also commonly used in the filling.

5) Youvarlakia Avgolemono - Or in simple English: meatball soup. A staple of Greek cooking, avgolemono is a creamy egg and lemon sauce that is often added to a variety of dishes, including soups like this one.

6) Kolokithokeftedes – Try saying that three times! Or just call them what I call them: pumpkin patties. This is a popular appetizer made with pumpkin, zucchini or other forms of squash that will have your taste buds singing.

7) Tsoureki – This sweet bread is a staple during Greek (Orthodox) Easter and is one of the most eagerly anticipated sweet treats of the year in every household.

8) Koulourakia – These traditional butter cookies are also made at Easter but because they are ridiculously easy to make and a perfect accompaniment to coffee or tea, I make them year round.

9) Galaktoboureko – This hard to pronounce pie is an extremely popular Greek dessert made with layers of golden brown crispy phyllo and filled with creamy custard. It is my absolute favourite Greek pastry. De-li-cious!

10) Lahanodolmades Avgolemono – Tender cabbage pieces are wrapped tightly around a tasty meat and rice filling, and topped with avgolomeno (creamy egg and lemon) sauce. Need I say more?

And there you have it. Ten Greek foods that I really like; all of which can be altered to accommodate all types of diets from the vegan to the carnivore. With the exception of numbers 7, 9 and 10, I have personally made all the others.


Linda asked:
Did you guys have to find new jobs when you moved?

The answer is no. The most amazing man in the world officially retired at the ripe old age of 58 last summer, which I wrote about here.

Lucky for him, he contributed to a wonderful pension plan for almost 30 years in a telecommunications company, most of which he spent working as a senior project manager. In August 2016, he reached the level of years where he could start collecting on that pension and decided to do so. He will not be returning to the job market but he will do some volunteer work together with me.

As for me, I used to work as a computer programmer. Then I got tired of that and took time off to decide what to do next, which led to volunteer work up until we moved to our new city. While we work on giving our home the facelift it needs, that’s where my focus will remain. Once things are in order, I will decide whether I want to find a paying part time job along with some volunteer work to fill in the gaps or simply spend more time volunteering. The most amazing man in the world says we don’t really need the extra money and that I should just retire along with him and simply enjoy life. We will see what happens.


Jan asked:
How did you meet "the most wonderful man in the world?"

Well, Jan, in 2015’s Ask Me Anything post, a couple of blogging pals asked the same question and instead of giving the short answer of having met him online, I decided to give the long version. I set in motion a series of posts titled “Our Story”. It is an in depth look at where I was at prior to my current relationship, what led me down the road I am on now and why I call my husband the most amazing man in the world. If you feel like reading our love story, start right here: Our Story (1): It Begins Here

And that's a wrap for today. I'll be back next week with more answers!