Bylaw schmylaw.

A gorgeous day yesterday, utterly beautiful.  Took Gracie to the park for a 5km walk.  On the way there we got stopped by a bylaw enforcement officer who informed me that I had to keep my dog on leash at all times.  Totally did not know that. I thought those sorts of rules only applied in parks etc where it specifically says off leash is or is not permitted.  Turns out that it’s on leash all the time on all of our roads. Woops.

Anyway, as is prone to happen to me it seems, I got into a little confrontation with the woman when she started talking about how I was trying to get my dog hit by a car and that I was an irresponsible pet owner and how she should fine me $150 for my leash violation.  I told her if she felt that she needed to fine me because I was clearly breaking a bylaw then to please do so, otherwise she could stop talking to me about her opinion of my dog ownership. She told me she wasn’t going to fine me so I started walking away. Then, from her vehicle, she started yelling at me to give her my address.  Why, so you can come to our cul de sac, call my dog out onto the street from our lawn and then take her? Forget it.

I love the stuffing out of Gracie, I would never put her in danger and we’re among the most responsible pet owners that I know.  Gracie doesn’t run around like a fool on the roads and we don’t walk her off leash on main roads.  We walk her off leash on quiet residential side roads so that she can stop and sniff and then run to catch up.  She is also extremely well behaved and we’ve taught her to get up on the lawns when a car comes and when we say “Stay”, she doesn’t move a muscle until she gets released.

Anyway.  The whole little encounter really threw me and took the shine off of the first half of our walk.  I felt sick to my stomach and totally unsettled.

Nothing else going on, the weekend is going to be GORGEOUS and my decision has been made as to how to spend my day of aloneness.  Long dog walk in the park in the morning, Harley ride alone for a couple of hours (includes a coffee stop) around mid day and then home for food prep.  Sunday Ray has a long ride planned for the day so I need to have all my chores and cooking all ship-shape on Saturday!

Sunny…but Cold!

It is gorgeously sunny out today but only about 3C this morning (frost on my windshield and my car doors were frozen shut) so I left Captain Jack at home, put a cozy sweater on and drove to work. There can be frost on the road in the shady spots when it’s that cool out and I don’t need to ride 6 minutes to work badly enough to risk hitting a patch of it.

I did get this awesome picture of a dewy, nearly frozen tulip in my garden while waiting for my car to heat up.

Tulip

Then I thought I would take a couple more pictures of the things that are starting to bloom and blossom in the garden.

My big mass of onion chives starting to have buds.  Not pictured is my mass of garlic chives...but they don't have buds at this time.

My big mass of onion chives starting to have buds. Not pictured is my mass of garlic chives…but they don’t have buds at this time.

A personal favourite of mine, my bleeding heart bush. LOVE!

A personal favourite of mine, my bleeding heart bush. LOVE!

I realized this morning that with all the leftovers that we have and the soup that I precooked on Sunday, I am done cooking for the week! And it’s only TUESDAY!  Awesome!

It’s a lovely day out, as mentioned, so I’m going to take Gracie for a longer walk in the park after work and then after dinner I have a quick errand to run and then I’ll probably work on weeding the flower bed.  It’s only about 1/4 done; instead of spending 8 hours weeding it and hurting my back and knees, I’ve been picking away at it on the nice days.  I think it’ll be done next week.

I heard this morning that hubby is going to be working all day on Saturday and probably well into the evening so I have an unplanned day all to myself, I’m nearly giddy with trying to figure out how to use it!  So far on the options list is the beach, a motorcycle ride, going for coffee, a long dog walk, a nap, some precooking, reading a book outside, working on the garden. I’m leaning towards beach with a coffee with the dog which knocks off three of my choices in one swoop!

I shall spend the rest of this week with my eye on the Day To Myself prize….while being a Renowned Monkey Wrangler…which I’ve decided is my new work title.  ;)

Holy Smokin’ Workload!

Seriously, my normally somewhat sedate (read: boring) job has picked up the pace dramatically in the last couple weeks.  It’s good, the day goes whipping by and I feel productive and like I am actually accomplishing something every day. I think that this is the way it’ll be for the foreseeable future so my posting to this blog and the Whole30 forum may be reduced for awhile.

In case you wonder what it is that I do all day, I manage 12 high voltage electrical technologists and engineers and our service schedule.  So basically…I’m a scheduler.  Of people and resources.  And right now I have a project going on next week that requires all of our 12 techs and 42 contractors.  Fun times!  It’s basically like glorified babysitting.

As an example, I sent this email below.  I could not have been more clear.  I put “READ THOROUGHLY” in the subject line.  I named the attachments that they needed to read, I highlit the important part and RED BOLDED it.  So imagine my surprise when I get a phone call this morning from one of the guys saying “I didn’t know I had to bring ID, now they won’t give me a pass!”. Or another call from a different one saying “You didn’t tell me I had to turn in my expired pass, now they won’t give me a new pass.”.  My response, “If you would have read the attachments and my email, you would have understood your responsibilities.“.  LOL.  Now imagine trying to wrangle 54 of the frigging buggers!  LOL.

Port Pass

We took our Harley’s out on Sunday afternoon for a quick hour long ride. The weather was not the best but it held just long enough to get a little cruise in.  So nice! Might even be nice enough to ride to work tomorrow!  It’s pouring rain right now.

Flowers

My second batch of sauerkraut is coming along beautifully but sadly, my first trial of Apple Cider Vinegar ended when I found it had moulded.  So…going to give that one another shot.  I think where I had it might’ve been a bit too warm for it.

Tonight we’re having meatloaf (which I forgot about in the oven so it’s probably more like meatloaf jerky) and green beans with mashed cauliflower.  Nothing too exciting but it won’t require much prep on my part so I’m happy with it.  I was actually considering dredging and then “breading” pieces of the meatloaf in almond flour and frying it to see if maybe that would create some moisture?  We’ll see.

Kraut!

It was such a gorgeous afternoon that I decided we needed to have happy hour in the driveway.

Happy Hour

I’ve had some wildly differing reviews about my dill pickle sauerkraut.  Myself, my assistant, my assistant’s husband, my sister, my mom, my gramma and a random guy from the internet absolutely loved it. Raved, couldn’t get enough, eyes rolled back in head, Oh My God, This Is So GOOD!

My hubby, my assets manager and my field service manager at work were all so disgusted by the smell that they couldn’t even imagine tasting it. My hubby will leave the room until it’s put away. The guys at work make us open the front and back door to air the office if we eat it at work.  I feel like the “smell hating” group would sing a different tune if they would just taste it!

Regardless, the first batch I made is almost gone, I gave away over half of it and try to eat a couple spoonfuls at least once a day. So, time to remake!

My own personal "cabbage crusher".  He's a good man, helping to make something he can't stand to be in the same room as!

My own personal “cabbage crusher”. He’s a good man, helping to make something he can’t stand to be in the same room as!

I had another bowl that size that I was working on and then we combined them both, seasoned with dill and packed into the jar.

Yes, I store my fermenting products in the liquor cabinet.

Yes, I store my fermenting products in the liquor cabinet.

Also last night, while the kraut making was going on, I had a guy come over to pick up a scoby and some mother liquid to start his own kombucha.  I posted on Craigslist that I had spares and he ended up being my first “customer” and lives just 5 blocks away.  (He’s the internet stranger that taste tested my kraut and loved it!)

I have a second “customer” waiting for the next batch to turn over and then my assistant wants one after that so at least I won’t be throwing scobys in the garbage for awhile.

Half Way To The Weekend!

Having just had 4 days off, I thought this week would seem epically long, but it’s actually going by pretty well!

I took this video of Gracie the other day for Ray on our afternoon walk.  She’s SO flippin’ cute!  She has so much…er….cleavage, that it waddles back and forth when she lumbers along.

Anyway, it’s been beautiful here for a couple of days and I’ve been enjoying it after work taking the dog for walks and weeding the garden.  Too bad I can’t teach the dog to weed the garden while I’m at work!

On our walk yesterday I was about halfway and my brain was still racing and I wasn’t paying attention to what was around me or where I was, I was just trying to “get it done” so I could move onto the next thing.  I stopped around halfway to wait for Gracie to catch up and it was like someone poked me and said “Look where you are, slow down, calm down, breathe!”.

Serenity

I’m very lucky to have such a gorgeous place just outside my front door.  Very lucky!

Gracie decided to stop and enjoy the view also!

Gracie decided to stop and enjoy the view also!

There’s not too much going on to write about.  Food’s been pretty good, exercise has been alright.  I need to work on getting back on a sleep schedule and actually getting up when I wake up.  I woke up fully alert this morning at 5:30 and then went back to sleep until 6:20 only to be jarred awake by my alarm and spending the next hour trying to clear the fog in my head. Something about starting a new sleep cycle instead of just getting up when the last one ends.

Breather!

I got a lovely, four day breather this weekend.  Gracie and I started out with a pawdicure for her (nail trimming) and then went out to Tsawwassen for a stroll on the beach on Thursday morning.  It was quite lovely and quiet and peaceful and we had just each other to talk to. ;)

Gracie1 Gracie2

"Mom, stop taking pictures, let's GO!"

“Mom, stop taking pictures, let’s GO!”

We came home just around lunch time, ate a quick meal and then napped the afternoon away, it felt so good!

This is the seaweed salad from Costco.  Great idea in theory, not so awesome in practice.  It's slimy and crunchy and it gets HELLA stuck in your teeth. Plus it's pretty expensive for what it is.  Pass.

This is the seaweed salad from Costco. Great idea in theory, not so awesome in practice. It’s slimy and crunchy and it gets HELLA stuck in your teeth. Plus it’s pretty expensive for what it is. Pass.

Friday we went for lunch and unfortunately I got assaulted by my period and spent from 2pm until 10pm that day laying on the couch watching vet shows on TV.  Fortunately I was feeling a LOT better by Saturday morning.

Saturday we went for dinner at my grandparent’s place and had a lovely time.

Sunday I detailed my car for 2 hours and then we sat around and chatted with various people that dropped by the house.  I also made our breakfast for this week, a chorizo & greens egg bake and a turnip hash.

Bfast

So nice not to have to “create” breakfast every morning.  And putting both of these “casseroles” together took me less than an hour from start to all cleaned up!

Tonight & for the rest of the week we’ll be working on the yards & garden after dinner and soaking up as much of the spring sunshine & fresh air as we can!

One more thing I thought I would share.  I successfully made a dill pickle kraut.  It turned out beautifully.  As with all of this fermenting nonsense, it’s trial and error and next time I would let it ferment for an extra couple days as it would have brought the “sauer” up and the salty down a bit more, but it was really delicious!  I then decided that I would try making my own Apple Cider Vinegar.

ACV

Its basically chunked up apples in a sugar brine left to sit for 3 weeks. Then you remove the apples and put the liquid back to ferment for another 4-8 weeks.  Apparently it is SO much better than commercial ACV, even the “good” ones! I don’t anticipate it making a whole lot, unfortunately, all the apples take up quite a bit of space.  But if this turns out I’m going to use it as starter to do a larger batch next time with more water and less solids.  I’ll let you know how it turns out in….oh….around 2 months.  ;)

That’s it for me.  I highly enjoyed my little 4 day breather-break, I’m feeling refreshed and energized and…well…pretty good!

A Good, Long Walk

So one of the other things that I am currently blaming on “The Bread” is the hormonal migraine that I’m experiencing.  I haven’t had one in 3 or 4 months (it’s been so nice, I stopped keeping count of how many times I didn’t have it!) and yesterday morning, Blammo!  It’s the only thing that I did differently so I have no reason not to blame the bread.

After work yesterday it was so balmy out and although my head was pounding, I decided to take Gracie for a long trail walk.  We usually go around 3 kilometers but I didn’t want to sit at home and think about how much my head hurt so I decided to extend the walk.  We went about 5k in 45 minutes which is a pretty decent pace, actually.  I used to run a 5k in 35 minutes, so……….

Gracie is blissed out when she gets a long, balmy, off leash walk.  You can feel the happiness radiating off of her!

Gracie is blissed out when she gets a long, balmy, off leash walk. You can feel the happiness radiating off of her!

Dinner last night was the Well Fed Cinnamon Beef Stew which was pretty decent.  It wasn’t originally supposed to make an appearance until Wednesday but this week is all screwed up.  I was pretty glad to have it available to pull out and heat up with no other preparation yesterday though!

I’m doing menu planning today and grocery shopping tomorrow for next week…which is a bit early but we have some other stuff going on this week and it’s the only place that it fit.

I really wanted to make a turkey this weekend but I honestly couldn’t justify it.  Our deep freeze is so crammed with meat and meals right now, we really need to be using what we already have.  Plus when I buy a turkey, I’m partial to getting the biggest one I can get my hands on and it’s just the two of us, so…………

Breakfast for 2.  Handful of green beans, chopped, half a yellow onion, half a red pepper, 3 chicken thighs.  All sauteed w/ ginger, garlic, S&P and topped with 2 eggs.

Breakfast for 2. Handful of green beans, chopped, half a yellow onion, half a red pepper, 3 chicken thighs. All sauteed w/ ginger, garlic, S&P and topped with 2 eggs.

FOOD (Monday, March 30)
M1: same breakie as pictured above
M2: leftover chicken dinner; chicken breast, butternut, green beans, avocado
M3: cinnamon beef stew w/ fist sized piece sweet potato

EXERCISE (Monday, March 30)
4.85km walk w/ Gracie in the trails.  Glorious and refreshing and calming.