Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Calming Down Through Cut and Paste

We had an afternoon storm here today.  Its good, we needed the rain.  But thunder storms make me uneasy and a little nervous.   Especially ones that come on fast in the daytime; they remind me of tornado weather.  I'm not being paranoid, I vaguely remember the destruction caused by the tornado that destroyed my grandparents house.  And I remember the damage of Hurricane Hugo.  I volunteered in the aftermath of Katrina.  My family hasn't had a lot of luck with storms.  I'm pretty sure that contributes to some of my discomfort.

So when a storm hits, I run to the comfortable arms of my first crafting skill, cut and paste.  Now that I'm older, cut and paste yields more sophisticate results, if I do say so myself.  So I made these easy stars to hang in our window.  I found the tutorial here, and it is very clear.  I whipped up three in no time.  And it was a soothing activity, what with the cutting, and folding and gluing.  Very zen despite the weather outside. 

My camera hates it when I try to take a picture of the window.  Why does science have to thwart my attempts at a decent blog picture?  

Monday, 30 July 2012

I love a good boycott...

I read an interesting debate on my cousin's page via Facebook today.   I participated, but I really didn't have a horse in the race as the other folks were deeply religious and arguing about that mainly.  One thing they mentioned was this Chik Fil-A fiasco.  In Canada, we don't have this restaurant;  which is good, because then I would have to help lead a boycott of this chain of fast food places, because of a statement released by their big-mouthed bigot CEO

I am pro same-sex marriage.  In fact, in Canada, GLBTQ marriage is legal.  As it should be. I was never torn as to whether or not it should be legal.  I remember the controversy when the Civil Marriage Act was being debated in 2005.  Pundits had the most outrageous arguments!  I remember one proponent against gay marriage claiming that this type of marriage would open the door for people to marry their pets which is an argument being used in the South still.  People cannot actually believe this, can they?  The slippery slope argument does not apply, because we are talking about people.  To talk about GLBTQ people as less than persons is hate speech, clear and simple.  And hate speech is illegal.  In Canada it is anyway.  My point is, you cannot be anti-same-sex marriage, and supportive of any GBLTQ persons in your life at the same time.  Believing that GLBT couples should not have access to the same civil rights as a heterosexual couple is a huge injustice, and heterosexist (which is not a good thing to be.)  It wasn't that long ago, that my marriage to D would have been considered illegal too. 

Former Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau once said, that "the government has no business in the bedrooms of the people."  I wholeheartedly agree; it is not the concern of any government office what happens between two consenting adults.   It is funny how American politics attempt to be laissez-faire in business and economic practice, but not in sex.  That is an interesting political irony.

Where am I going with all this?  Well, please consider boycotting Chik Fil-A if you live in the vicinity of a restaurant.  Yeah, Chik Fil-A is a company that can support any organization it wants to, but so can you.  This corporation supports groups that want to deny some people their civil rights.   You can choose whether or not your dollars feed hatred, or equality.   Please choose equality. 


Friday, 27 July 2012

New Uses for Old Things: Tissue Boxes

I. Am. A. Genius.  I was looking for ways to corral my plastic bag situation.  I collect bags.  I have tons of them.  I don't have it in me to throw them away, especially since they cost me money.  And, I mostly feel ashamed when I forget my reusable bags in the car, and have to buy another one.  AND, I don't want them to end up in a landfill, since our city doesn't recycle all plastic bags.  AND, I want to try weaving with them like I saw at that craft fair.  AND, I'm a bit of hoarder of these things.

ANYWAYS, I needed somewhere to hold them because D was threatening to throw them away.  So I pulled out some tissue boxes from the trash, and voila! plastic bag holders, that take up so little space under the sink it is not even a problem anymore.

You can pull them out one at a time too.  So handy.  And now I'm re-using two things from the bin.   I think I might decorate my bag boxes too.  That sounds like something I would do.

Like I said, I'm a genius.  And modest, it would seem.

Thursday, 26 July 2012

POMS Link Up Week 8: Polka Dot Dress

Wow, is it already week 8 of the Proud of My Size Link-Up?  It is a great project, I say that every week, I know.  But really, it has changed how I see my body. 

I never really hated my body; and I think that has a lot to do with how I see society.  I've always been a feminist, my parents didn't understand me and tried to shrug it off as me being "different" or "artsy" or "argumentative," saying I would "grow out of it," and "get tired of fighting everyone."  I know they only wanted me to have an easier time with the world; but I never did.  Because I often thought society was wrong, I never hated my body, but I didn't like that it made things difficult for me either.

I was angry all. the. time.  and every time some one made fun of my weight, it just served as an example of why the world was f-ed up.  But.  The POMS link-up helps me to celebrate my body!  I never hated what I looked like, but now I actually like what I look like.  And let me tell you, that is a better way to walk through the world.  Sure, I'm still an angry activist and feminist.  But that's to be expected in this world.  Now I don't just focus on that anger, I can celebrate differences while fighting for their equality.  Its good to have balance.

I am actually wearing a dress.  The problem with me and dresses, is that they don't usually fit right.  They are either too long (I'm pretty short); or they don't have a long enough torso (I have a long torso) or they are too tight around my hips or whatever.  But this one was made for me.  I should know, because I made it.  And it was really simple.  Step one: Get some of this fabric.  Step two: Sew it into a tube.  Step three: Take some of the extra fabric and make some straps.  Step 4: Add the straps to the dress.  Step five: Style that thing around town. 

Seriously, this dress took me 15 minutes to make.  So I made two. I'm lucky because I have a serger so the seam is nice and reinforced.  I did hem the bottom a bit so it was a little shorter, but other than that, it was good to go.    

::Head to Toe::
Sunglasses: Can't remember; but I remember I only paid $3 for them
Cropped Cardigan: Old Navy
Dress: Made by me!
Birenstocks: Winners (yep, I have 4 pairs of birks.)
Purse: Steve Madden at Square One

This dress is super comfortable, and I think it looks dynamite.  I wore it to dinner at Mex-I-Can that night.  If you live near Hamilton, and haven't been; you are missing out.  It was so good. 

You should try this link up; it will change your life.

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

DIY Crackers

This is turing into a mini Foodie week... So I'm going to go with it.

Why haven't I made my own crackers sooner? 

Because its really hard, that's why.  I got the genius idea to bake some crackers yesterday.  They turned out alright.  They look kinda rough.  Let's call them rustic.  I made some rustic-looking crackers yesterday.

They taste really good.  So that's one thing.  They should taste good, they are half butter.  And they didn't take that long to make.  But dude, they are labor-intensive.  

Want to make your own?  Ok, but don't say I didn't warn you.  You won't have to go the the gym today, at least...

Stephanie's Rustic Cheese Crackers- delicious, but time consuming

2 cups of unbleached flour
1 tsp of sea salt
1/4 tsp of fresh ground black pepper
1/4 tsp dry mustard
3/4 cup of cold butter
1/2 cup of extra old cheddar cheese
8 tbsp ice water


In a bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, mustard, pepper.  Using a pastry cutter, cut in the cold butter until the mixture is coarse crumbs (it should resemble oatmeal).  Mix in the cheddar cheese.  Add half of the ice water and mix with a spatula or wooden spoon.  Don't use your hands- it will warm up the dough.  You don't want that.  Add the rest of the ice water a little bit at a time, stopping when the dough can hold itself together into a ball.  Take the dough ball, wrap in plastic wrap and put in the fridge for at least an hour.  Go watch an episode of True Blood, that's what I did.

After an hour, preheat the oven to 350 degree F, and oil a baking sheet well with olive oil. 

On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out until it is 1/8 of an inch thick.  The thinner the better.  This is hard to do, just keep flouring your roller and go to town.  Cut into 1 x 3 inch squares.  I used a biscuit cutter to cut mine, because I like to make things difficult for myself.  Next time, I'm sticking to the squares.  Put them on the oiled baking sheet, and poke each crackers with some holes.  This part was fun, like stabbing my little problems away.  It was like I could punish the crackers for being so hard on my biceps. Baking as Gestalt therapy.

Bake for 10 minutes or until golden brown and crispy.  Cool completely before storing, or you will have soggy crackers.

We like to eat our rustic crackers with my homemade Red Pepper and Garlic Jelly.  They go well together.  They are also really good with fig jam, or any other sweet condiment you eat with cheese. 

They are a pain to make, but they are so good to eat.  They melt in your mouth. 

If you decide to torture yourself make some, let me know!

Tuesday, 24 July 2012


Because I decided yesterday, that 40 degrees Celsius is just not hot enough for me, I decided to make some jam!  Really, I love making jam, and I look forward to it every summer.  My favorite part is finding the nicest local fruit and deciding on the flavors.  One of the best things about living in Hamilton, is that we are on the green belt in Ontario, and close to some great farms that grow some of the nicest produce.  I got these peaches in Vineland, and they were perfect for making jam.

Usually I make jams with some kind of alcohol in it, I call them "boozy fruits," but this year I didn't.  I would have probably added some brandy to this jam, it would have been a nice addition.  In the past I've made blueberry bourbon and Strawberry Rhubarb with rum.  They were yummy.  This year, I went old school, and just used fruit and sugar. 

I was especially lucky yesterday, because my friend Kate was nice enough to come over and help me make the jam.  She had never done it before, so I got to teach her something about it too.  It was a fun, if hot afternoon.  There are no pictures of us making the jam, because we were a sweaty mess during the process.

Now the jam is sitting and waiting, so I thought I would make some pretty labels for it.  I used my handy large punch, and some nice papers.  

I always date my jam.  I don't think you have to, but its a habit I got into making pickles, so now I label everything I make.  Its probably a good habit for some reason.  Jam doesn't need to sit for months like pickles do, so the date label is probably superfluous.  I don't care though, I got to make cute labels.

To stick the labels to the top, I just used a little bit of tacky glue.  With these lids you can only use them for canning once, so I never worry about gluing things to them.  I've looked into making my own stickers instead of gluing, so i will have to try that soon.  Have you ever made your own stickers? 

And now I'll wait for them to settle.  They should sit unmoved for 24 hours so the seal can really get down on it.  I want to give a couple as gifts: one to Kate for helping me, and another to a friend who is pregnant and craving peaches something fierce.  I hope they will like them.  I'm going to make some strawberry jam this week too.  That way D and I will have jam well into next May.   From 6 lbs of peaches I got 2 1/2 liters of jam.  That's a pretty good yield!

There is something so satisfying about making and saving your own food.  I can't wait to have a garden so that I can grow and preserve my own food.  Canning is a lot of work, but so worth it.  

Do you do any canning in your home? 

Monday, 23 July 2012

I'm a Baker Babe!

Totally awesome blogger and righteous feminist Jes, has a great feature on The Militant Baker about bakers around the blogosphere called "Baker Babes."  And I got to be one of them!

I'm super-excited about this, because I've fallen in love with The Militant Baker Blog.  Jes blogs with such honesty and authenticity; it is a pleasure to read.  Jes wrote an inspiring Womanifesto, and didn't stop there, she encourages other bloggers to write their own too!  Mostly, I love reading about her journey to self-acceptance and self-love.  She inspires me to try things like date myself; or read a new book and challenge my existing ideals; or pose in a bathing suit for the internet to see.  

So where am I going with all these links?  I want you to check out her blog.  It rocks my world, and I bet it will rock yours too.

Thank you for letting me be a part of  your space, Jes!

Sunday, 22 July 2012

The Code of Kindness

The other day, I had a great conversation with a Mormon Elder who was visiting the city.  He stopped me in a park, with the disarming gesture of his hands up in front of him.  I told him I appreciated that he was trying to make me feel safe.  He then asked me if I wanted to talk about religion.  I said sure.  So we did.  Our dialogue made me think about what I believed in, and how I should express those beliefs.  I am not a Christian.  I don't believe in a god.  But this doesn't mean I don't have faith.  My faith lies in people.

Let me explain.

I do think we should treat each other how we want to be treated.  This is a great philosophy by which to live.  The Elder said, "sounds like you're a Christian to me." I said, but there is one very important thing missing, I don't believe Jesus was magical, or a "god."  I always thought this idea was, well, unbelievable.

Now, I don't hate Christianity, or any religion.  I think that there are good ideas in most Faiths. For example,  I think that the Christian bible has some great ideas.  I think that Jesus was an important historical figure, a revolutionary really, who tried to make his world a little better.  But I don't think he was miraculous; just a guy trying to change the world.

And that notion is more compelling to me;  Jesus as just a guy trying to do good, is more compelling than a mystical figure who was sent with a mission from a holy being.

And that is my point, I think people can work to make the world better, but we have competing motivations that cause us to act selfishly instead of for the common good.  When we push aside those selfish motivations, we can change the world.

Then the Elder asked me a very important question: "Was I a good person?   If I don't believe in God, what motivates me to be a good person?"

I told him that I subscribed to something I called, "The Code of Kindness."  It was a directive I wrote in a journal once.  Since then, it has served as a guide for how I treat other people.

The "Code of Kindness" is pretty simple really.  And it's an acrostic poem, so it's easy to memorize:

I think that my code is a truer working of trying to be a "good" person.  It also shows my strong belief in the goodwill of humanity.  I try to be a caring and helpful person not because I will be rewarded someday by a paternalistic figure that is proud of me.  Conversely, I am not giving and empathetic out of fear of retribution from a deity watching my every move.   I act the way I do, because I think that humanity will be best served, if I am caring, kind, and helpful.  And I believe that all people have the capacity to be this way.  I don't even think that there are "good" and "evil" people really, just that our personal motivations are sometimes skewed and selfish.  If we can consider each others well being more in our thoughts and actions, the world would be a beautiful place. 

So my faith lies in hope for other people.  

And when humanity's back is up against the metaphoric wall, I believe that people will step up and do what is right for other people.  In that is what I believe.

Our conversation ended as it was getting dark.  He hadn't converted me, but he did make me think.  And that is a nice gift.

Saturday, 21 July 2012

DIY Cereal

One thing I always feel silly buying is cereal.  Its so expensive, and full of sugar.  But hey, I'm pressed for time in the mornings, so I buy it and eat it all the same.  But, every once and a while, I get annoyed with myself for going to spend almost 7 dollars (!?) on a box of cereal, especially when there are no brands on sale.  So I think about how lazy I have become and decide that I will make my own cereal.  It can't be that hard. 

It's actually pretty hard and involved.  I made a rice-krispies-like cereal once, and I was kinda disgusted with the process of puffing the rice.  First you have to cook then dry the rice to within an inch of its existence, then you fry the dried rice to get it to puff.  I never realized that puffed rice was really dried-then-fried rice.  Might as well have regular fried rice for breakfast, because at least there would be vegetables in it.

ANYWAYS, one kind of cereal I love to eat is granola.  But good granola is super-expensive.  My favorite locally made granola is only for sale at the shop in the next town over.  They don't even have it on the website.  But its like 7-10 dollars for a bag of it too.  Even the crappy grocery store brand are at least 5 bucks a box, and its loaded with sugar and other things I don't want for breakfast.  Besides, after finding out how puffed rice is made, I'm a little worried about any potential extra oily steps companies are taking with my granola.  Who knows what goes on in the factory.  And I'm just supposed to trust them?  Cereal is important!  Its the most important meal of the day!

ANYWAYS, I decided it was high time for me to make my own granola again.  I did for a while, then as I said I got lazy.  But not anymore.  It is super easy to make, and quick too.  And I'm going to share with you my recipe.  You can customize it by adding less sugar, or adding your favorite dried fruit to it, but this version is just the bare bones.  The sky's the limit with this stuff! 

This yields a small batch.  You could double or triple it if you wanted to, but you have to eat it within the week.  After that it goes a little stale.

Stephanie's No-Nonsense Granola


1/2 cup of old fashioned oats
1/3 cup of chopped pecans
1/3 cup of chopped walnuts
1/4 cup of sliced almonds
1/4 cup of raw peptias
3 tbsp unsalted sunflower seeds
2 tbsp of flax seeds
1 tbsp ground flax seeds
3-4 tbsp of brown sugar (or more or less)
1/4 cup of canola oil
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup of unsweetened coconut flakes
1/2 cup of dried fruit (raisin, dried cranberries, etc.) optional

Preheat oven to 350 F.  

Take all the oats, nuts and seeds and mix them together in a bowl.  Mix in the brown sugar, so that it is evenly distributed throughout the mix.  Add oil and vanilla, and mix; make sure that everything is coated in oil and sugar.  Pour onto a baking sheet, and put them into the oven for 8-10 minutes.  Make sure to keep an eye, and pull the sheet out of the oven when everything is starting to get nice and brown. 

Use a spatula to flip and mix the granola.  Put in the oven for an additional 3-5 mins. 

When done cooking, put back into the bowl, and mix in you coconut, and any dried fruit you want to use.  Mix to incorporate into the granola.

Return to the baking sheet and let the granola cool.  This will prevent it from clumping and getting soggy.  After it has cooled completely, put in an air-tight container for storage.  I use mason jars.

Enjoy the granola over yogurt with some fruit.  I also eat it like cereal with milk; only this is way, much better than anything I buy in the store.

Want some variation?  I have also made different flavors.  I've used dried apples and maple syrup instead of brown sugar and I've added nutmeg and cinnamon with raisins to the granola instead of vanilla.

Every time I make my own granola, I wonder why I ever bought cereal in the first place.  Then I remember it was because I was lazy, not because it was hard.  

I hope I never buy cereal again.  Until I become lazy again, that is.

Friday, 20 July 2012

The Liebster Award? Thank you!

I got an email last night, telling me to check out a friend's blog this morning.  There was a surprise there for me.  And what a surprise it was.  I was nominated for a Liebster Award!  What a sweet gesture from blogbonita SimplyyMayra!

What is a Liebster Award?  The word "liebster" is German literally meaning dearest or favorite.  Although a thorough Google search has not led me to the orgins of this award, the information passed long to me says the Liebster award recognizes new and upcoming bloggers with less than 200 registered readers who deserve some kind of recognition and support for their contribution.  


In order to accept this prestigious award, one must abide by a list of rules.  Here they are:
  1. Each person must list 11 things about themselves.
  2. Answer the 11 questions that the tagger has set for you PLUS you MUST create 11 questions of your own for the 11 people you will nominate with this award, which brings me to rule 
  3. Choose up to 11 bloggers linking them to your post.
  4. Go to their page and inform them of the nomination.
  5. Absolutely NO tag backs.
  6. Remember to ONLY tag bloggers with less than 200 registered readers
Gettin' the party started with 11 random facts about me:
  • I was a back-up singer for Shania Twain when I was 18 
  • I have had 4 different careers in my life.  
  • Teaching has been my favorite career so far 
  • I worked as an exterminator for 3 years; it was a great job. 
  • My favorite color changes with my mood.  My students ask me almost daily what my favorite color is. 
  • My favorite Beatles song is "Let It Be" 
  • I love to paint and draw, but I have no confidence in my abilities there
  • I'm still a working musician, but I don't do it as much as I used to.  Secretly, I feel I may have given up on my dream 
  • I am an introvert and an extrovert.  I guess I am a balanced individual.
  • I am extremely sarcastic.  I am actually trying to reign it in a little.
  • I haven't had cable TV in 8 years, and I love telling people about that.  I'm a little self-righteous I guess.

Answers to SimplyyMayra's Questions: 

1. When you were a little girl what did you want to be when you grew up? 
I wanted to be one of two things: I wanted to be Isaac from "The Love Boat," a bartender on a cruise ship; or a spy.  I wanted to be a spy so bad, I wore nothing but black clothing for a time as a child.

2. If $5000.00 just magically landed on your lap, what would you do?
Gifts.  I love buying presents.  Then I would buy some vegetables for the shelter I use to work at.  They need lots of food.  I give what I can, but this would be awesome and useful.  And then bills.  And then something nice for me and D, maybe a vacation somewhere.  Good thing I don't have this money, I would be a nervous wreck trying to figure out what to do with it!

3. You could be any musical instrument for a day...which one and why?
I would be a street piano!  Hanging outside, meeting lots of people who play me for the enjoyment and novelty of a piano being outside!

4. I gaga-gugu for Vin Diesel and the Rock, who do you gaga-gugu for?
Brandon Flowers.  I love his music and lyrics.  I wish I could get to know him, I would settle for being his friend.  And he could be my friend, my sexy, sexy friend.

5. What's a MUST on your bucket list?
I don't have a bucket list.  If there is something I want to do, I totally do it.  I don't like the stress of a list I may not be able to complete.  No regrets!

6. If you could be a cartoon character which one will you choose and why?
Um, a Powerpuff girl?  I like to kick ass and take names.

7. What's your passion?
Music.  And Teaching.  I need to do both of them.

8. Why did you start blogging? 
At first, I had a fairly popular knitting blog because I was learning how to knit.  I liked sharing my progress with other people.  But I found writing about one subject limiting, so I started a lifestyle blog so I could put my knitting out there, as well as anything else that came to mind. 

9. What inspired the name of your blog?
My friends at work call me by one of my last names, Bass.  At school, they would say to me, "Is there anything you can't do?" and I would say, "Yeah, plenty.  But I choose to focus on my abilities." And they would say, "Yeah, Bass' abilities."  Since I like to run words together like Robot and Apocalypse (= Robocalypse,) and Stephanie and Evolution (= Stephalution,) "Bassability" seemed like the natural choice for a blog about stuff I can do. 

10. Any regrets?
I don't think so.  Everything I've done led me to where I am right now.  Even though there were hard times that left me almost wrecked, I was still able to pull myself out with help of friends and family.  I've learned a lot.  A lot.  Can't regret learning stuff.

11. If you could visit yourself at age 15 with the wisdom you have now, what would you tell her?
Dude, your twenties are gonna suck.  You will make some friends, lose some friends.  Make some choices that you won't value or understand until you are in your thirties.  Mom will hate you for a while, you will never understand why.   You will be sexually assaulted.  You will be part of a tragedy that will affect you forever.  You will get sick and almost die.  But you will survive, more you will thrive.  You will stop doing what everyone asks of you, and the world won't end.  You will find someone who understands you and helps you find your dreams.  You will come out wiser, stronger and smarter than you ever thought possible.  And you won't waste that power.  You will use it to help others.  You will not be "useless" or a "waste."  And you are not those things now.  You don't believe me, but I believe in you. 

Whoa, heavy.

My questions:
1.  Which do you like more, big breakfast or big dinner?  Why?
2. What is your favorite children's story?
3. What is the best part of you?
4. What is a secret you would be willing to share?
5. What is your favorite Beatles song?
6. If you could change on aspect of your life, what would it be?
7. Do you collect something?
8. If you were a paint color, what would you be?
9. Dream job?
10. What is your favorite thing to do on a Sunday morning?
11. What do you think is the most important lesson you have learned in your life thus far?
My nominees:

Sierra at C'mon Fatso
Velouria at Definitely Maybe
Lolly at Lolly Likes

Alright my friends, congratulations!

Thursday, 19 July 2012

POMS Week 7: Do you have tickets to this gun show?

Years ago, I decided that I would no longer wear long sleeves in the summer.  I had a thing about my arms.  The thing was, I hated them.  They were big, and bubbly.  Other kids made fun of them when I was younger.  So before 2005, I wore cardigans in the summer.  It can get hot here too, so I just told people that I was from the South, and I didn't feel the heat the same way they did.  In short, I lied to them so I could keep covering up my arms.

It got to hot to keep that nonsense up, so I started wearing t-shirts, but there were certain requirements my t-shirts had to pass: they needed to be baggy, and they needed to have sleeves that went past my elbows.  See it wasn't my forearms I hated, it was my upper arms.  My flabby, shameful upper arms.  At least, that's how I felt.

In 2010, I started thinking differently about my arms.  I saw this super cute dress.  I lamented how I could never wear summer dresses because they didn't have sleeves.  I stood and looked at this dress.  Then I did something I never do.  I tried it on.  The saleslady asked to see it.  So I showed her.  She went nuts!  She said that dress never looked good on anyone, but it did on me.

I stopped her.  I said, "I can't buy it, it doesn't cover my arms.  Look at my arms."

She looked at me and said, "No one cares about your arms.  Look at your boobs!  Those look great.  That's where people will look."

I had two thoughts: the first was, oh great, another area to draw attention to; and the second was, "Waitaminute.  She's right, no one cares about my arms.  No one but me."  I didn't buy the dress, I didn't want people ogling my breasts.  But I did buy that saleslady a coffee.  She gave me some food for thought.  So I did something I never thought I would do.

Instead, I bought a tank top.

On the hottest day that year, I wore it and went for a walk.  No one looked at my arms.  I did get one comment about my arms, and it wasn't about their size; it was about the ridiculous tan I had from wearing elbow-length t-shirts all summer.

No one cared about my arms.  No one but me.
And now, I don't even care about my arms.  In fact, now I think they are awesome.  Later this summer I hope to cover one of them in a new tattoo.  I went for my consultation, and the artist said, "Whoa.  You have big arms."

I said back, "Its just a bigger canvas, skinny."

::Head to toe::
Sunglasses: Winners
Sleeveless Shirt: Winners
Cropped jeans: Walmart
Straw Tote: San Diego Hat Company from TJ Maxx
Sandals: Gold Birks from here

Have you had enough of me telling you to join this link-up?  Well, too bad.  You should totes join.  Its really fun.  Thanks to Rachele at The Nearsighted Owl for starting it up, and for noting me as one of her faves from the last two weeks!  

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Feminist food for thought

I made this for me.  You can use it too if you want, but please link back to me.  Thanks!

Rediscovering Hess Village

I can usually manage to keep myself busy this summer, even though I'm not working.  As busy as I am, it can get a little lonely since everyone is at work, and I have these 2 months off.  (I am not complaining; I work really hard during those 10 months on, and I am grateful to have a rest to prepare for the next year.)  Because I spend so little time socializing during the school year, in the summer, it seems I forget how to do so.  Luckily, I have some friend that are all too willing to drag me out of my apartment, and out even if its for a few hours.

One thing that I haven't done at all this summer is sit on a patio and have a beer.  So we did just that.  We decided to go to Hess Village.  Hess Village is section of Hess St. in Hamilton that is all pubs and bars.  I hadn't been to Hess Village in years!  The last time I was there, I was singing in a bar there every Friday night.  Since its been a while, I had a new rediscovery of Hess Village.  It was nice in the day; not loud, no drunk fools stumbling around.    

It was very hot, but nice to spend some time outside with some friends who didn't give me grief about my 2 months off. 

We ended up on the patio of a bar called the "Gown and Gavel." Very litigious name.  We drank; I made wisecracks the whole time.  You know, the usual. 

I think my favorite feature of the Village, is that many of the bars are these Victorian era houses that have been re-purposed as bars.  I'm sad that they are still houses, but at least this way I get to visit them without being labeled a creeper.

Afterwards, I wasn't in a hurry to get back into the apartment after having sat in the sunshine.  So instead, I went for a walk around the neighborhood of Hess Village.  The next street over is one of my favorite buildings, The Scottish Rite which is the Hamilton temple of the Freemasons, whoever they are.   I love the building so much that I would join the Freemasons, but they probably don't allow Black women into their ranks.  Idiots.  Their loss.  I guess you don't become a outdated, clandestine organization by letting just anyone join.

Overall, it was a great time.  I got out of the house, I saw my favorite building, and got to make fun of the Freemasons.  A successful day!

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

I scream, you scream...

I don't have to finish that rhyme do I?

It has been hot here, y'all.  I mean Alabama hot, in the high 30s (that's over 100 for you Fahrenheit people) and that is entirely too hot for Canada.  So what do we do on hot evenings?  We go and eat ice cream!  Now, I am sure that ice cream doesn't cool you down any, that's what driving in the air conditioned car does.  But it tastes really good.  And we are lucky to have one of the best dairy bars not too far from where we live.

I'm lactose intolerant, so an ice cream trip is a pretty special occasion.  I usually have to take 4 Lactaid capsules before I have some ice cream.  I threw caution to the wind, and ate this ice cream without a net.  And I was fine!  My body worked with me for once!

I love that every year there is usually a new ice cream flavor.  I like to try the new ones, cause I'm courageous like that.  So I tried the Boston Cream Donut.  It includes one of my favorite things- donuts!  A Boston Cream Donut is like a mini Boston Cream Pie in your hand. 

I got the small.  I know, right?  And this was after I already ate some.  It was so good.  There were little pieces of cake, and ribbons of chocolate and cream through the ice cream.  The vanilla ice cream was a little sweeter than regular vanilla.  I made a great choice with this one.

D likes to mix his flavors, he is not as much of an ice cream purist as I am. So, he got 2 scoops, chocolate peanut butter and mocha almond fudge.  He said the best part was when he was eating both flavors together.  Weirdo. 

M got a dipped cone, and it was a little messy.  This is to be expected with a chocolate layer holding in all that ice cream.  It looked yummy.  But as he was eating it, M was losing his mind!  He hates a mess, and this was making one.  After he washed his hands, so said he still felt sticky.  He's a little crazy about the hygiene, which is a good thing to be I guess.

What else I like about Stoney Creek Dairy is its pretty much the same as it was in the 1960s.  Inside they great old pictures of the place in the 50s and 60s, and not much has changed save the lighting and electronics.

You know what is better than getting ice cream?  Getting a dose of nostalgia and ice cream.