Saturday, October 15, 2005

Winterizing - is that a word?

Now that I live in a place that actually has a winter I couldn't pass up reading a thread on regarding the things people do to get ready for winter in places with a cold and snowy season that involves staying inside for days at a time. Thank you to all of 'my mothering moms' for making me not dread winter. I've decided to put together a blog entry about the things that hit home with me. It made me realize I could welcome winter and occupy my time with things in regard to that. This would also help with my fears of being homebound during this freezing season on the eastcoast.

First let's list all of the food items that you can prepare in the kitchen - not all of these things appeal to me but who says they can't make great gifts. There are various dried, canned, freezer, fermented, crockpotted, dehydrated foods that you can prepare for winter. Some are easier than others. You can dry tomatoes (sun-dried), leeks (for soups) or apple slices. Another option would be to can homemade spaghetti sauce, jam, apple sauce, tomatoes, pear sauce, fresh homemade juice, rhubarb sauce, tomato sauce, salsa, peaches, green beans, wax beans, butternut squash puree or creamed spinach. You can freeze soup concentrate, zuchinni bread, bread dough, cookie dough, casseroles, ears of blanched corn, banana nut bread or anadama bread. You can ferment saurkraut, cauliflower, red pepper, onion, garlic, ginger carrots, pickles (use grape leaves to keep them from being mushy, makes for a crisp pickle) or beets. You can crockpot soups, stews, chili or cocoa (have it waiting for you when you come in from playing in the snow). You can make apple sauce fruit roll ups using a dehydrator and stock up on bulk meat for the freezer.

I loved the idea of spending winter days baking bread or cookies as a great way to warm the house and create scrumptious baking smells. It also made me laugh to read that someone was planning on eating constantly for a few weeks and then hibernating all winter - if only it were that easy.

I've always aspired to be a gardener, why I think I can keep any type of plant alive is beyond me after all these years of killing house plants accidentally. Regardless, here are some things that I wanted to note for when I do try the outside gardening. Apparently bulb planting for flowers such as daffodils, crocuses, tulips, and hyacinths happens in the fall. You also plant perennials before the first frost, flowers like daylilies, asters, daisies, and black eyed susans. Garlic is planted during the autumn as well. Other things you can do to prepare your garden for the winter is to sew oats or use other cover crop or spread mulch.

Some chore-like activities that could keep you busy during the autumn season would include obtaining or cutting wood for your stove or fireplace or gas for those of you that have gas stoves that heat the house. Another chore would be to caulk any spots on the ouside of your house that look like areas where cold air could get in. Swapping the winter clothes in storage for the summer clothes or alternatively purchasing the winter clothes, boots and accessories needed. Apparently Sorrels are a great brand of boot. Other clothes you might think of purchasing include wool sweaters, waterproof gloves and handwarmers. Other items that you might want to dig out of storage or purchase would be snow shovels, throw rugs for wood floors, electric space heaters and a mat for wet boots. You might want to make a spot in the house ready for hanging wet mittens, scarves, hats and snowpants. Cleaning out your heater and changing the filter, getting the gas lines checked and cleaning out your gutters and chimney are also great ideas. It makes sense to close off the rooms that you don't use very often in order to conserve heat. Another heat conserving trick is to seal your windows on the inside with plastic. A fall clean up to get rid of the clutter will help to make the house not feel so small while you are cooped up inside all winter. You might want to clean out any clutter in your yard so that the kids can play in the snow without worrying about what is under it.

Winterizing your vehicle was a large part of the discussion. Sunglasses help with the glare from the snow. Items for your emergency car kit would include jumper cables, neon signs, flares, coolant, anything you would need to change a flat, large wool blanket, more than one blanket, box of crackers, water - a jug for the car and individual bottles for consumption, juice boxes, handi-wipes, paper towels, some cash and quarters, batteries, flashlight, maps, candy bars, energy bars, extra mittens and hats, a coffee can with a candle melted to the bottom, extra candles, matches, shovel, lock de-icer, broom, extra clothes for the kids, first aid kid and maybe some extra diapers and wipes. We don't like to think the worst but you never know what could happen out there.

A few emergency items for the house that I thought were great ideas included a crank radio, a coleman stove, extra water and extra canned goods. Sand, blankets, salt or grit for the car and driveway, a plug for the car are also good items to have on hand. Rags under your tires for a stuck car work better than sand or kitty litter.

Activities, projects and ideas that I found interesting include growing fresh herbs on window sills, knitting and stocking up on craft items so you have something to do on a cold day. A family jigsaw puzzles was an idea I found appealing even though I'm not usually into puzzles. I really liked the idea of window quilts, I think I would do different shades of blue fleece with white snow flakes and maybe use some batting in between layers of the fleece or maybe snowmen on red fleece, these could definately be fun and would require the kind of sewing I like (all straight lines) - you could also rig it somehow so that you have a way to lift it, like blinds. You could also make door draft stoppers, I envision some character with long legs doing the splits at the bottom of my door to keep the cold air out.

Definatley some awesome ideas. The mamas on the mothering site I visit everyday are awe inspiring individuals and I enjoy their online company whenever I get a chance between diaper changes and ten minute visit to the fridge while my almost two year old explores all the things he can't have. Thank you ladies!

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

I had to post a new pic of my little man. He will be two in December. He looks so big in this picture in his runners and jeans. More pictures at my homepage link.

We recently went to the Bronx Zoo and he had a blast. We also went to Toys R' Us in NYC and went on the indoor ferris wheel. He had a great time, even if mom was freaking out over how high up we were.

For those of you that don't know much about blogs. You can leave comments for each post if you feel so inclined. Feel free and check back often for new posts. I'm going to try and be more active on my blog in order to keep in touch with everyone.

We also went apple picking recently. Kaius kept trying to roll the pumpkins around on the ground, had a great time throwing rocks in the pond and exclaiming over all the halloween decorations. He loved the wagon/tractor ride and helped pick apples.

So... don't be a stranger and bookmark us so you can check back often.

About Janine

I haven't posted in a bit. Thought I would start writing as often as I could. So I'm hoping that the blog thing will help me. I've always said that I wanted to keep a journal. So... here's something I jotted down the other day about someone I love dearly. Thanks Janine!

There is woman I know and love dearly who helped me get through a very difficult part of my life. She lost her mother when she was a teenager and became like a surrogate mother to me when I was in my teens. Maybe that's why we were thrown in each other's path of life, so that a somewhat lost kid had someone to look up to and aspire to be like. Whatever the reason I won't argue with it because she has been one of the most influencial people in my life. Her three children are lucky to have a mother with such grace, honesty and love. I moved around constantly when I was younger and I am very glad that she wasn't one of those people that got lost in the mix between towns or schools. How do you effectively thank someone that has helped you in such enormous ways.

I was living with her and her family when she had her third child. He's a teenager now, I remember him sleeping on my chest for hours at a time. I was hanging around and babysitting her first two children when they were 2 and 3. It makes me feel old when I realize that they have graduated high school and both drive now. Whenever I am around them I feel young but can't believe how much time has past. There was a time that felt closer to those kids than I did my own sisters. After I moved out on my own there were times when we would see each other constantly and times that months would go by without a visit. They are family so it was never an issue between us when one of our lives got so busy that certain periods of time had more contact than others.

When I think about what part of my life I'd like to go back to, the time where I felt the safest, the time I felt the most happy, I think of my time spent living with them in their home or in the basement suite of their house. Even now when I have feelings about how my life has turned out, there are aspects that I would love to have now that I had when I was a part of their daily lives.

Janine and I don't agree on everything but we never really argue about things. I will have to admit that she is usually right about things in regard to my decisions, whether they be relationship based, financial or otherwise. Considering that she has three children, has lived a bit longer than me and knows me very well I probably shouldn't be surprised when she is right almost every time.

I aspire to be as strong as she has been in her life. I hope I have morals as high as hers. She's fair and honest. She is wise. She is connected to her children and has provided for them emotionally in a way that I have never seen anyone do and I hope I can do the same for my children.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005


Hi again,

I want to move now I don't want to wait until August or July or whatever. Brooklyn better be ready for this Canadian lol

Kaius says cat now, so freakin cute and he's still saying OH MAN maybe even a little bit clearer now. We chopped off all his hair... he looks like a completely different kid, so grown up, maybe I'll post a picture. I can't wait until I get to be at home with him... he gets so upset when I leave for work in the morning, even tho he has his daddy all day.

It's our two year wedding anniversary is soon. We are going to Joe Fortes for dinner and Sandra is going to watch Kaius, we might go once he's a asleep. Just to make things a bit easier but we'll see... he likes it at Sandra's and they both like each other so I think it will be great. We haven't gone out together without the kid since he was born, it will prolly feel really wierd lol

I need to get a haircut... I'm going to grow it out but this in between stage lasts so long when you start with really short hair... so I'm going to leave the top long bit and but the back and sides short again and then keep doing that until the long hairs cover up the areas that I would normally cut short... make sense?

I'm off to make dinner... bagel and scrambled egg... yum

Friday, April 15, 2005

Happy Spring

I don't know why I'm writing. I have too many issues to write about that I wouldn't want certain people to see so... I guess I'm going to keep this simple.

I have a bit of a revelation today and I think I've come to the conclusion that I'm going to see a counsellor so that I can work things out in my head. Last time I went to one, they told me that I didn't need it. It's pretty much covered by work so I'm hoping it won't cost an arm and a leg. Can't complain about self improvement I guess.

I got a tonne of great advice from some people who have more experience than me today. It was nice to hear the different sides of things from such a variety of people. I love talking to people. I don't know why I thrive on it so much. I'm thinking my little man got my social genes, he engages everyone all the time. He just starting saying his version of OH MAN! and it's so freakin cute lmao, I was lame and called everyone's machines and made him saying on the phone lmao.

I honestly don't remember what life was like before him. He's my world.

We're moving to NYC... from CANADA... I'm so hyped. I can't wait. I wish we could go now but we have to get all of our ducks in a row first. Brooklyn better be ready for me! :)

If anyone who reads this has a minute you should look into It's a really cool program that installs as an extra to your web browser... you pick what kind of websites interest you and then hit the Stumble! button and it just takes you to a bunch of sites within the parameters you chose. I've found some extremely interesting things by "stumbling". A really cool feature is that you can say thumbs up or thumbs down for each site you visit and all you thumbs up's can become a bookmarked favourite organized by subject.

I should prolly get dinner started for my napping men. Have a great weekend. See you next time. Please feel free to leave a comment :)


Tuesday, March 01, 2005

portrait Posted by Hello

This was when he was 10 months old... very soon we will be getting a family portrait done. He was teething real bad the day we had these ones done, it was a horrible experience but all the poses turned out really well. I just can't believe it took us 10 months before we had real portraits done, we probably have 1000 or more camera pictures.

daddy and Kaius Posted by Hello

The two men in my life :) Love them, love them, love them!!!

big boy Posted by Hello

stinker Posted by Hello

Let me tell you a little something about my little man... he's very social... he used to cry whenever the pizza guy would leave :) the pizza guy wouldn't even come in the door but Kaius loves visitors so much he would cry when he realized it wasn't a friend coming to visit. He also used to cry whenever we would come in the front door of the apartment building after being out for a walk or a long day out and about... always wanted to be out and entertaining people on the skytrain or bus.

funny guy Posted by Hello

some more pictures Posted by Hello

Just thought I'd add some more pictures so that mine wasn't the first one you saw when you came to this page :) These are all fairly recent pictures of the two loves of my life... Kaius and Du-Sharn.

my mugshot Posted by Hello

The reason I do what I do

Kaius is why I do what I do everyday of my life. He was born on December 20, 2003, 10 days late and absolutely perfect. He spends alot of his day with his daddy because mommy works full time. I will probably be posting about him a lot, so get used to it.

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