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Showing posts from July, 2012

Zucchini Muffin Recipe - Beth Style

Last night was no exception to my modify-at-will baking style. Since this recipe was a hit (thankfully - I've had had some real misses this year), I thought I'd record and share. All measurements are approximate:

1/4 c oil
1/2 c yoghurt
1/2 c almond milk
1/2 c coconut sweetener
1/3 c honey
2 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
1 c all-purpose flour
1 c whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
1 1/2 c shredded zucchini
1/2 c raisins
1/2 c chocolate chips

Mix wet ingredients together. Add dry ingredients. Stir until mostly combined. Add zucchini etc. Pour into muffin tins. Bake at 350 for 18 min.

Things That Are Saving Me

The rain, because it isn't falling as hard as last night, when I ran through the park on my way home and went straight to bed and woke up this morning with insane wet-hair bed-head and sand still between my toes.

Seeing a musical tonight. The fifth time a friend has invited me along to a show neither of us could afford, with tickets neither of us paid for.

Books, of course. Half a dozen bookmarked quotes from The Angel's Game. Joan Didion's The Year of Magical Thinking on my floor, because I'm not quite ready to start it.

Quiet. Usually, there's an album or musical artist on my life-saving list. But right now, I prefer silence.

The Olympics are here and the office will be light-hearted and laid-back for at least two weeks.

Lying on my roommate's bed and letting the tears leak out while we talk about life and feeling insecure and disappointed. Laughing, later. 

A wholebundle of Jesus-type bloggers I wish were my friends.

A whole bundle of friends-around-the-globe w…

No Phone Calls, Please

Our office unofficially suspended business just before noon today when the Canadian women's soccer team opened their Olympic tournament with a game against Japan. I have a feeling we won't be getting much work done in the next two weeks, and I am a-okay with that.


Anyway, watching the game made me excited for two things:

1. The rest of the Olympics.
2. Playing sports myself.

I want to play soccer or ultimate frisbee this fall. I also want to take some sort of artistic lessons. In the realm of dancing/music/visual arts. Vague, I know. I want to do it all.

By writing this on my blog, I'm committing to at least doing something this fall. Something.

Looking Sad on Trains

August 2007, Scotland
July 2012, Ontario

The Exp-hair-iment

This is a post all about hair. Be warned, boys especially, it may disinterest you.

Relevant facts about my hair:
1. It is curly.
2. It is prone to frizzing.
3. People love it. I mostly love it.
4. I've only briefly found a hair routine that had fantastic results, and I think it actually had more to do with the weather than the routine.
5. Most people can't tell the difference between my "good" hair days and my  "bad" ones.
6. People are beginning to call me a redhead. I'm warming up to this idea. (do you agree or disagree?)

My head has been itchy/unhappy for the past few months and my current products are not working well for me. Too much frizz, dry ends and greasier-than-usual roots. I have low brand-loyalty on most things, including hair products, so I did some poking around on the internet. Aided by a couple of friends, I came across two things:

This website devoted to curly hair discussions.
And the "no-poo" phenomenon.

It's almost Augu…

Weekends. They Fly By Every Time.

I had one of those weekends that was good and lovely, but at the same time, there were moments of sadness and fear. Over the past few months, I've been paying more attention to my feelings, fighting them less and giving myself permission to feel the things I do, even when they don't make sense to me or I don't particularly want them. 

I think I'm not the only person like this.

I've also been more intentional in thinking about the happy moments, the things I'm grateful for and the people I love. I find it increasingly difficult to accurately articulate and capture the way I experience life, but sometimes a poor attempt is better than none at all.

So, after that preamble, here are some recent moments that deserve recording:

1. Amelia slept over. Just being around her is relaxing to me. Also, we introduced her to So You Think You Can Dance and devoured more kettle corn with our upstairs neighbour, whom I quite adore.

Karen and I recently came up with an idea for a …

Uganda Update #10: The Boy

The boy lies the way I love to - curled up on his side, head in the sunlight. But rather than a bed or a couch or even a carpeted floor (sometimes I love the floor), he is sleeping in the dirt.

I turn the corner and he is there, mid-footpath between the low parking lot wall and busy city street. I will walk past him in less than ten steps. I slow down as I approach, checking for signs of breath or movement. What if he is dead? What do I do? Who would I call? Would anyone care?

It is unclear to me if he is, in fact, alive, but I reassure myself that he must be and keep walking.

This is the first time I have ventured out alone in Kampala – if you can call walking from one mall to another “venturing.” City planning is not a Ugandan forte; the capitol has two malls, approximately 250 metres apart. Walk out of the Garden City parking lot, turn left, and there are three driveways before you reach the Oasis Mall entrance. 

I step onto the patio at Cafe Javas. Do I seat myself or wait for he…

Uganda Update #9: White Keds, Matoke and a Little Compassion

"Have you tried matoke?" he asks me. Uncle James is hardly older than I am, but he was introduced as Uncle James, the donor relations manager for this Compassion project, so Uncle James he is. 

"I had it yesterday! It is very good. I've never heard of matoke before; we don't have it in Canada." Matoke is Uganda's staple food. Plantain-like, it is cooked as a mash and served with sim-sim, a groundnut sauce. I have no idea what groundnuts are, but I enjoyed their purple hue on the pale yellow matoke.

"What is your staple food in Canada?" he asks.

Staple food in Canada? We have none - my staple food is whatever I decide I want it to be. I rarely eat the same meal two days in a row, let alone every day of my life. "I'm not sure... Maybe potatoes or rice?"

Juliet sits quietly beside me, eating her tea-break bread.

A wave of irrelevancy hits hard. I am embarrassed at the thought of my local Loblaws, the abundance and excess in Toronto.…

Uganda Update #8: A Miscellany

I am almost done talking about Uganda. I still need to share about my Compassion visit and post the photos, but I think that's it. Except for these random thoughts:

a. Disney songs are so fun and catchy. I've been humming "Hakuna Matata" and "Bare Necessities" a lot. Being around kids makes me want to cuddle up with them and have a marathon of the best animated movies. I think I'd choose Beauty and the Beast, The Jungle Book, Lion King, Aladdin and Mulan. I've never  seen Mulan. Apparently the Madagascar series is also worth watching. I also am a fan of Ice Age and Shrek, but they're not the same as classic Disney musicals.

b. I read The Worst Date Ever and fully enjoyed it. I recommend it, if you're interested in celebrity tabloids, slightly crass Brits or Joseph Kony. How are these connected, you ask? Great question. Read the book!

c. The Food Network is addictive. Vanessa and I watched a whole bunch of Chopped, which was amusing and inter…

We Can Shape But Can't Control These Possibilities

I am in love with everything about this song.

Uganda Update #7: Homeward Bound

All good things must come to an end, and I'm now heading back to Canada. I've really enjoyed this holiday. Travel, adventure, reading, kids, baked goods and incredibly hospitable friends. I hope that the travel home is more straightforward than the getting here. I imagine it will be.

I'm considering going into Amsterdam again. I have 10 hours and 15 euros. It costs 4.30 to get into town and takes half an hour... so it's either that or buy a book, curl up on some chairs and sleep/read. Since I've done a lot of sleeping and reading in the past two weeks, I'm leaning towards exploring the town some more.

Of all the things it's sad to leave behind, I may be saddest about these two:
My proudest moment of the trip was this morning, when I introduced them toSoft Kitty, Warm Kitty. I`ve been asked to sing it a dozen times since. And yes, I'm not-so-secretly tickling the little one in this picture.

Uganda Update #6: Pics

This afternoon was briefly overcast, so while the boys had quiet playtime/naptime, Vanessa and I went around their little compound and I snapped some photos of her beautifuly belly.

Then she introduced me to Pic Monkey and I am having a hard time pulling myself away from the laptop. She's baking cookies though, so I'm sure I'll get up eventually...

This is the life.

Uganda Update #5: Chilling

I haven't left the house/yard since Sunday. I don't mind this, but I think I am ready to go out tomorrow.
Tomorrow, I'm also going to finish a job application. Or two, for different jobs at the same place. 
I read a book this week that was sitting around here, called The Worst Date Ever. It's half about celebrity tabloids and half about Uganda & Joseph Kony, brought together by a British writer who wants to be a Useful Person for a change. Funny, crude, and eye-opening. Now I only have one book left and I kind of want to save it for the plane rides & airport waiting on the way home. BUT I don't want to think about life either, and reading is a great way to keep the mind busy. So I don't know if I will start it or not. It's called The Tiger's Wife. 
Every day, I find myself amused and charmed by Noah and Jude. They are bundles of sweetness in little boy bodies. If I ever have children, I hope they are half as easygoing. And I hope I'm half as ca…

Uganda Update #4: A Very Good Day

Today, I met up with a new friend from my plane ride into the country. We rode public transit (buses here do not run by schedules; they run when every seat is filled), got let off at the side of a highway and hiked in the forest. It rained and I got bitten by a safari ant. They have nasty pincers. We also saw many butterflies and listened to birds. After accidentally wandering through a small village, we rode a motorbike (boda-boda), and took another bus, then another boda-boda back "home." Then we ate hamburgers (with homemade buns!!) and red cupcakes and I took photos of Noah's first ever sparklers. Jude was not keen on them. Now it is time to shower and watch the UEFA finals.

Happy Canada Day from Uganda, friends.