You are currently browsing the monthly archive for December 2012.

….for the theme of today’s post.  Most of you will be reading this on the last day of 2012.  And we’re all seeing/reading LOTS of “year in review” recaps.  I bring you weightingfor50’s own review/top 10.  I give you…..

THE TOP 10 WEIGHTING FOR 50 MASCOTS of 2012!!!!!  (drumroll….)

#10…

"Canadian Mountie Bear" - who stands on guard for thee!  (thank you Canadian National Anthem)

“Canadian Mountie Bear” – who stands on guard for thee! (thank you Canadian National Anthem)

#9…

"Phantom of the Opera Duck" - who makes me smile and sings "The Music of the Night"

“Phantom of the Opera Duck” – who makes me smile and sings “The Music of the Night”

#8….

Newly acquired "KGB Pig", because no list is complete without an international spy!

Newly acquired “KGB Pig”, because no list is complete without an international spy!

#7….

"Guest Hand" who fills in on Wednesdays when I don't see Michelle, and who is modeled by Neva on her paw today.  Thanks Neva!

“Guest Hand” who fills in on Wednesdays when I don’t see Michelle, and who is modeled by Neva on her paw today. Thanks Neva!

#6…

" Banjo Frog" who picks, grins and sits in a jaunty way on the side of a plate

” Banjo Frog” who picks, grins and sits in a jaunty way on the side of a plate

#5…

The # 5 position is shared by two seasonal mascots "Yoga Santa" and "Mr. Johnson", the ornament who was well hung on the tree - and both who can be posed to dance Gangnam Style

The # 5 position is shared by two seasonal mascots “Yoga Santa” and “Mr. Johnson”, the ornament who was well hung on the tree – and both who can be posed to dance Gangnam Style

#4…

The "Mariachi Band" who have travelled to Mexican restaurants, friends houses and if I ever need money, a local taco restaurant owner is willing to pay me to own them.  Sadly for him, their not for sale.  ARIBA!!!

The “Mariachi Band” who have traveled to Mexican restaurants, friends houses and have posed here at home.  And if I ever need money, a local taco restaurant owner is willing to pay me to own them. Sadly for him, they’re not for sale. ARIBA!!!

#3…

"Huey Hoot" who has a gentle face, and really creepy feet

“Huey Hoot” who has a gentle face, and really creepy feet

#2…

The "Ugly Trolls" who pose by the ugliest meals I make, and make them look FAR better in comparison than they actually are!

The “Ugly Trolls” who pose by the ugliest meals I make, and make them look FAR better in comparison than they actually are!

….and the #1 WEIGHTINGFOR50 mascot of 2012…….

Technically not a MASCOT at all, but this honor goes to our beloved Neva, who adds joy and smiles to the blog, and who even non cat likers, like.

Technically not a MASCOT at all, but this honor goes to our beloved Neva, who adds joy and smiles to the blog, and who even non cat likers, like.

Clap, clap, clap!!!!  I look forward to sharing all kinds of new mascots on the blog in 2013!!!

Today though, we started our day with an almond milk latte and a piece of the Blue Menu banana bread that I made yesterday.

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And we looked out of our dining room window and saw this.  On a sunny day, we never take our snowy mountain view (which is zoomed) for granted.

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Many hours later, we had lunch/brunch which was turkey sausages, scrambled eggs and multigrain toast (with unpictured apple butter)

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I also finished making the turkey soup with leftover meat and turkey broth from yesterday.  I bought little pasta circles at Bosa yesterday, as you can see….the little circles REALLY expand on cooking.  This big batch will be divided up into individual containers and put in the freezer to have later on, or to take for work lunches in the next few weeks.

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This afternoon, I went out to one of my “happy places”, that I rarely get to – Granville Island Public Market.  I took a zillion photos (ok, maybe 70 ish) and have used picassa to collage some, so I don’t bore you to death with them all.   The first “deck” is “art around the market”…

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(what do you call it when you have a sweater on a tree?  Is it a yarn bomb??)

Next, ducks in the pond….

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This was worthy of standing alone (aka: no collage required).  Love this sign as you go into the market.

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And this man in a jaunty beret had MANY MANY dogs (there was one behind the stroller too…so looks like six all together).

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As you can see, it is a chef’s paradise!  I only bought a mini baguette and some white bean dip but I sure liked looking and taking photos.

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I did a quick walk through the kid’s market…

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And saw some nice jewelry and blown glass owls…

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What does this have to do with granola and snacks???  I guess this falls into the “made you look” category of marketing.

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And on my way back to my car, I watched a busker juggle knives, chainsaws and flaming batons while on a very high unicycle.

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When I eventually got home, Dennis and I had some light ripple chips and dip, and a glass of wine.  (points will be counted again starting on the 1st.)

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Dinner tonight was leftover cauliflower mash and green bean casserole from last night, topped with a chicken breast cooked in mushroom soup (Dennis’ favorite) and a piece of the mini baguette from the market this afternoon.

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That in a nutshell is my second to last day of 2012.  I’m ready for this year to roll over to the next.  Any of you making any new year’s resolutions?  I will be, and will share them in a day or so.

I have to introduce you to a new weightingfor50 mascot – meet KGB Pig.  I got him and another international “spy pig” in a thrift store a few weeks ago.  (you’ll meet the other spy soon! – and I should also warn you that I had a bit of time on my hands this afternoon, hence, the overload of collages created on Picassa.)

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Here is how Dennis and my conversation went when I pulled him out of the mascot box.

Roz:  “Look what I got at the thrift store a few weeks ago”

Dennis: “Oh my!  Um…Very cute”

Roz: “Me or the mascot???”

Dennis: “Both (good answer Dennis!) They’re really tacky, but actually I’ll agree with you, they’re pretty funny.”

Roz: “I know!  Seriously, who buys these things?”

Dennis: “Um….you do”

Roz: “oh right! But I prefer to think of it as “recycling”.  I didn’t buy them new…I’m keeping them out of a landfill, aren’t I green??”

Dennis: “funny…I’ll make us coffee”

Here is the coffee, and almond milk latte.  Thanks to Michelle and Gary for my new penguin mug (hey, it has a “built-in” mascot!)

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I then ventured out UBER early to beat the weekend shoppers and got a WHACK of fresh fruit and vegetables…

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….and noticed a picture on a wall of an old train, right beside the line where the present day trains go by.

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I also went to my favorite Mediterranean store Bosa foods.  Thanks Lindi and Jeff for the lovely gift certificate, which was put to good use this morning.  (I’ll show you some of the finds very soon) You know this place is a haven for transplanted, wine making Italian folks when they have a dedicated loading dock and tap for grape juice.

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And I still think Rapunzel should let her hair down from this tower.  :)

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My LAST stop was at our favorite Asian grocery store.  I was getting a little hungry by this time, and a warm bbq pork bun was my morning’s “breakfast of champions”.

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And THEN….I had the opportunity to check one food off of my food bucket list.  I have always wanted to try DURIAN.  I’ve read about it, and it was described on wikipedia like this:

“The edible flesh emits a distinctive odour that is strong and penetrating even when the husk is intact. Some people regard the durian as pleasantly fragrant; others find the aroma overpowering and revolting. The smell evokes reactions from deep appreciation to intense disgust, and has been described variously as almonds, rotten onions, turpentine, and gym socks. The odour has led to the fruit’s banishment from certain hotels and public transportation in southeast Asia.”

Curiosity got the better of me, and I have always wanted to try it. Today, the store was selling deep-fried pieces of durian along side frozen durians themselves.  I asked for two pieces, but the lady behind the counter told me I’d LOVE it, and threw in two extra pieces.  I brought it home and Dennis and I tried it.

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OMG, it’s GROSS!   Its odd though, it smells horrific, but tastes like apple.  However, my sense of smell just couldn’t stomach it, and I didn’t eat more than a bite.  Dennis liked it more than I did, but he too didn’t get through a full piece.  That said, BIG YAY.  Check!  Only 99 weird foods left to try on my list!

When I got home, I had lunch that was a piece of toast with cheese and apple butter, and a bottle of kombucha.

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Then I got to work in my kitchen.  I made turkey broth with the carcass from my parent’s turkey (thanks Dad!  Photos of the soup itself will follow once its finished)…

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….and I made a loaf of banana bread using President’s Choice Blue Menu mix.  I’m not usually a big fan of mixes, but I was out of whole wheat flour and needed to use up bananas that were past their prime.  (this works out to 3 points per serving – according to the package and assuming that this loaf will slice into 16 pieces)

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I also spent more time playing Words with Friends, surfing through Pinterest and catching up on many blogs.  We had a glass of red wine at dinner….

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….and we had a healthy dinner of grilled pork chops with bbq sauce, cauliflower mash (whirled in the food processor with a wedge of Light Laughing Cow cheese) and green bean casserole (made with green beans, onion, mushrooms and garlic in a sauce made with veggie broth and cornstarch, and topped with panko and Parmesan).

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We finished dinner off with a leftover cheesecake pop (from the brunch we had with Holly and Katie a couple of weeks ago)

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Have any of you tried Durian?  If so, what did you think?  Are there any foods you have on your bucket list, to try before you die?   I’d love to hear….

 

I had HUGE plans for my day today…..I don’t go back to work until next Wednesday, but I was going to clean our badly neglected home (we left for Victoria in a whirlwind), pick a bunch of healthy recipes to make over the next few days, shop for vegetables and fruit, go and take a bunch of pictures and generally be productive.

I did NONE of that.  I woke up with a thumping headache, went back to bed, felt MUCH better when I woke up again, but spent the day slothing around on the couch, reading magazines, catching up on repeats of Anderson Cooper….energy level was low, production value VERY low, but I’m thinking my body needed a rest, so in that case, mission accomplished!

I do have to share something I found when I was trolling on Pinterest. This cracked me up. Pinterest is SUCH a time suck.

I have big plans for getting back to healthy, point friendly eating VERY soon.  But today, lazy took over…all I had before we went out tonight was some toast with the last jar of apple butter that I made months ago, and some hummus and crackers.   I PROMISE more interesting menu shots and recipes will return soon!

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Later in the day, I got it together and we went to our good friends Lindi and Jeff’s place for dinner tonight.  Regular readers have seen photos of Lindi and Jeff before.  I took a couple of photos of them tonight, but I love our friends, and refuse to post unflattering shots of them.  (lets just say, eyes were closed, and I caught them “mid word”)  Google images however, can always come to my rescue to provide an artist’s rendition” of Lindi and Jeff.  Voila!  :)

I did get a couple of pictures of their cute kids, Aaron and Ben – who demonstrated their tai quon do skills.  AWWW!  (truth be told, there was very little “combat”, it was just a bit of gentle, glove to glove shovin’, a whole lot of laughing, and a bunch of “Auntie Roz, look at me”).

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We adults toasted the end of 2012 with some white wine….

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….and snacked on some olives, herb goat cheese, fig jam and crackers….

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…dinner was chestnut filled pasta with tomato sauce and roasted asparagus, with salad…

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…and we had some mini cupcakes and cookies with coffee for dessert.

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It was so nice to spend the evening with our buddies!!!  Thanks Lindi and Jeff!

We’re back home safe and sound.  It’s NEVER easy leaving my parents place – we love it over there, but for now, life is in Vancouver, and back we came.  Here is a quick photo rundown of the day.

Victoria City Hall - My mom and I went downtown to do a bit of thrifting.

Victoria City Hall – My mom and I went downtown to do a bit of thrifting.

This "downtown Victoria Business Association" bin looks like it is off the set of Austin Powers.  "Yeah Baby, yeah!"

This “Downtown Victoria Business Association” bin looks like it is off the set of Austin Powers. “Yeah Baby, yeah!”

Back home for leftover lunch of tomato/red pepper soup, a bun with turkey and stuffing and some salads.

Back home for leftover lunch of tomato/red pepper soup, a bun with turkey and stuffing and some salads

Neva used her cuteness to coerce my Dad into giving her a little bite of turkey.  Trust me, she's pretty much impossible to resist, and she knows it!

Neva used her cuteness to coerce my Dad into giving her a little bite of turkey. Trust me, she’s pretty much impossible to resist, and she knows it!

On the highway toward to ferry.  Wah!  (this is where we got our pumpkins last fall)

On the highway toward to ferry. Wah! (this is where we got our pumpkins last fall)

Can you see us in this photo?

Can you see us in this photo?

Can you see the traffic controller in this photo?  (Car in lane 11, no jumping the queue!)

Can you see the traffic controller in this photo? (Car in lane 11, no jumping the queue!)

My parent's neighbor/friend Shirlee gave us some cookies for the journey

My parent’s neighbor/friend Shirlee gave us some cookies for the journey…

...which we had with hot chocolate on the ferry.  This was my first hot chocolate in YEARS

…which we had with hot chocolate on the ferry. This was my first hot chocolate in YEARS

Picked up thai food on the way home, omg...vegetables!

Picked up thai food on the way home, omg…vegetables!

Cheers to a wonderful holiday.  Thanks Mom and Dad!!!

Cheers to a wonderful holiday. Thanks Mom and Dad!!!

The holidays are unusual, regular exercise, food and general routine are greatly disrupted.  Regular blogging is disrupted too.  Here is a quick recap of the day’s highlights as told in photos…regular posts should return within a day or two.  In the meantime, continued happy holidays!

Breakfast today?  Leftover stollen with light butter and jam.

Breakfast today? Leftover stollen with light butter and jam.

A jaunty fellow on the radio antenna in the car parked next to ours while my Mom and I were out boxing day shopping.

A jaunty fellow on the radio antenna in the car parked next to ours while my Mom and I were out boxing day shopping.

Cute new seasonal mascot

Cute new seasonal mascot

Lunch was carrot ginger soup and leftover salads and turkey buns from yesterday

Lunch was carrot ginger soup and leftover salads and turkey buns from yesterday

Matzo crunch

Matzo crunch

Collage with photos of Neva and our friend's dog Caleigh wearing the "Christmas cape of shame"  I know, I'm a bad pet owner,

Collage with photos of Neva and our friend’s dog Caleigh wearing the “Christmas cape of shame” I know, I’m a bad pet owner

Caleigh's people...Carlo, Anna, Marion and Sara

Caleigh’s people…Carlo, Anna, Marion and Sara

Caleigh and Dennis love each other.

Caleigh and Dennis love each other

Cookies made by Carlo's Mom in Montreal

Cookies made by Carlo’s Mom in Montreal

Wine that was NOT made by Carlo's Mom in Montreal

Wine that was NOT made by Carlo’s Mom in Montreal

Caleigh was very relaxed with Dennis

Caleigh was very relaxed with Dennis

Marion's Festive "can can line"

Marion’s Festive “can can line”

Santa and his big horn

Santa and his big horn

Spinnin' Santa

Spinnin’ Santa

Pigs DO fly!  Who knew??

Pigs DO fly! Who knew??

Marion's inflatable Santa and tippy reindeer

Marion’s inflatable Santa and tippy reindeer

Inflatable penguin

Inflatable penguin

Neva plotting to shred her Santa cape because it smells like dog.  And she hates it too.  Sorry Neva

Neva plotting to shred her Santa cape because it smells like dog. And she hates it too. Sorry Neva

Party at my parent's neighbor Shirlee's place.  Here are Dennis, my Mom, Shirlee and my Dad

Party at my parent’s neighbor Shirlee’s place. Here are Dennis, my Mom, Shirlee and my Dad

Its a hat and a gift bag all in one!

Its a hat and a gift bag all in one!

Shirlee's Christmas village

Shirlee’s Christmas village

Hand up, baby Hands Up!  You are all MOST welcome for that earworm...if you're young enough to remember that song!

Hands Up, Baby Hands Up! You are all MOST welcome for that earworm…if you’re young enough to remember that song!

 

We hydrated....

We hydrated….

we feasted.....

we feasted…..

And we were merry!

And we were merry!

Hard to believe that the holidays are winding down already.  I’ll be back from our home in Vancouver tomorrow.  Cheers!

 

 

 

 

 

Merry Christmas from my family and I to you and yours!

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(OMG, I can’t believe I put that last photo on here!)

…..Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!

Hi from my parent’s place in Victoria.  Dennis, Neva and I caught the ferry this afternoon, crossed the strait and have made it home safe, sound and ready for Santa.  Here is a quick day’s rundown.

STILL in “use up” mode today, so breakfast was two slices of Little Big Bread, light butter and a slice of “lacy” cheese from Trader Joe’s.

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I had a few errands to run this morning, so needed the car.  I drove Dennis to the train so he could go to work, and lets just say it was a really good thing I wasn’t in an accident, because I was driving in my pajamas when I dropped him off.  REALLY loud, stripey pajamas under my jacket.  Yup…I am a true fashion plate.  NOT!!!  :)

I had a Christmas cookie later in the morning.

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And lunch on the run was a tuna melt from a coffee shop.

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Here are a few photos taken on the way, or on the ferry itself.  It was really cold, so outside shots were taken quickly and I retreated back inside asap.

We were driving with a storm on the way to the ferry

We were driving with a storm on the way to the ferry

Neva doing "hard time" on the ride over

Neva doing “hard time” on the ride over

ALMOST dark in the crossing

ALMOST dark in the crossing

Thankfully, this was not required today

Thankfully, this was not required today

Look Boss, the plane!  (I have just dated myself with with comment!)

Look Boss, the plane! (I have just dated myself with that comment!)

We arrived safe and sound.  My Mom made us a yummy Christmas Eve dinner, pasta with chicken and veg in a light alfredo sauce, salad and a glass of wine.

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It’s EXHAUSTING traveling….poor Neva!  (not!)

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Here is a closeup of my Mom’s gorgeous tree.  More photos of the tree will undoubtedly follow.

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Neva’s stocking has been hung by the chimney with care.  Ha!

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To all who celebrate Christmas….MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!  To those who don’t, may this last week of 2012 see joy and laughter for all.

Our Sunday began with a breakfast of whole grain pancakes and bacon (that we had in the freezer – yup, still in “use up” mode) as well as orange slices.

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I had to run an errand afterward, and decided to go for a walk to get there instead of taking the car.  I needed a bit of fresh air and a walk, so it was win/win.  Here are a few pics from the walk that I liked:

A palm tree and hanging Santa on an apartment building

A “pine” palm tree and hanging Santa on an apartment building

Awww!

Awww!

Oh dear!

Oh dear!

Bird on a tree

Bird on a tree

Balls in a tree

Balls in a tree

Stars in a tree

Stars in a tree

A rose that is either VERY late blooming, or very early

A rose that is either VERY late blooming, or very early

Red Breasted Robin eating red berries

Red Breasted Robin eating red berries

Later in the afternoon, we ventured over to two homes to drop presents, and then went to an open house at our friends Mark and Carrie’s place.  Here are a few shots of that too:

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Mark and Dennis

Mark and Dennis

Carrie and Dennis

Carrie and Dennis

My new little friend Rosie

My new little friend Rosie

I like this photo of Mark

I like this photo of Mark

We were going to throw together dinner when we got home, but it was pretty late, so we threw points to the breeze and grabbed a burger and fries.

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That’s our day, I have to go and prep for our trip tomorrow.  The next post will be from my parent’s place in Victoria.  Talk to you then!

Late last night, we found out that a friend of ours, Joel, died suddenly and unexpectedly last Wednesday.  Our morning started on the phone having a long conversation with his remarkably strong and pragmatic wife Carmen (who used to work with Dennis many years ago).  Not an easy call to make, and life is yet again put into perspective by something sad.  I think as a result of events, Dennis and I have both been feeling a little “reflective” and “off” today.

We had been invited to two “come for a drink and a visit open houses” today, and though our friend’s wife is of the “life has to go on right away” mentality, we just felt the need to opt out of the festivities and spend the day close to home getting on with our holiday errands and chores, listening to music (I love Songza!! :)), being entertained by Neva and having a more quiet day than we’d originally planned.  And it was a good day!

We also marked a very important “Roz and Dennis” milestone.  Today marks the 13th anniversary of our first date.  (I was 11….HA!!)  Time is funny, our first date seems like yesterday, but our wedding 7 years ago seems like a lifetime ago.   13 years….wow…hard to believe!

December 22nd is also a bittersweet day for another reason in our home…you’ll see why in a sec.

When we eventually got around to food/drink this morning, we had almond milk lattes and two pieces of little big bread with light cream cheese and some blackberries.

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As I said earlier, we were as any other day, entertained by Neva.  I was a BAD BAD pet owner at one point, and tried to take a “comedy shot” with her looking through one of my pairs of reading glasses.   As you’ll see in this montage, I was NOT successful with my comedy photo, and my poor red glasses were violated as a result. Neva 1, Roz 0.  (yup…BAD pet owner!!  OMG, if you think THIS is bad, wait for a day or two and see what I’ll offer…I apologize in advance to Neva.  Not really…)

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And I took this photo of her against our dining room ceiling which as you can see reflects the light feature quite well.

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I also went for a walk to grab a couple of ingredients for the last edible gift I’m making this year.  As you can see, our snow is almost all gone….

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…this Santa snowman is fading fast, and now looks more like a white Christmas snow sock puppet….

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…the macro function on my camera working well with this Christmas light and a drop of water…

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…and our neighborhood sand sculpture’s creation this week has a very “non seasonal” angry person in a dunce hat on display.  (I walked by thinking he’d have a Santa, or an elf, or snowman….maybe this IS an elf.)  Dunno..but have to admit, we’re pretty fortunate to have an eccentric artist living a couple of blocks away – walks are always a surprise.

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When I got home, I made us scrambled eggs with light cheese, and two more pieces of Little Big Bread.  I also had a piece of fruitcake that one of my colleagues made.

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Later in the afternoon, we had “Recipe to Riches Montreal Deli Dip” with wheat crackers.  Dennis was born and raised in Montreal, but I liked this dip WAY more than he did.

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We also had a little bittersweet celebration for our kitty Raleigh, who we lost 3 years ago today.  We still think about the stripey little scamp often, and we were happy to toast him with a little prosecco.  I had him for 15 years (longer than I’ve had Dennis! :)) and his loss was very emotional for us.  However, the tears have long been replaced with laughs and memories of his fun little antics.  Can’t say he was a “quirky” as our Neva – who is the princess of kitty quirk, but we loved him very much and miss him.

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We decided to nix our “fancy smancy” date night dinner and sent out for our favorite Swiss Chalet dinner.  We had the festive special, which is roast chicken with stuffing, cranberry, a bun, gravy and I had mine with a baked potato.

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We had a more romantic dinner together 13 years ago, but tonight, this was perfect.   Hope your pre-Christmas weekend is full of fun, festivities and hugs.

In the last 24 hours, I realized something about myself (that I knew all along, just didn’t think too much about it)  I am a hugger!  And people seem to hug me in return. (thanks google images!)

Today was not only my last day of work this year, so I hugged several of my colleagues for the holidays, it is THREE of my friend’s birthdays today (Happy Birthday Kathy, Caroline and Jane) and  birthday hugs were given out freely to all attendees at Kathy’s party last night, I was hugged by a familiar barista in Starbucks who said it was really nice to serve me (aww), of course I hugged my husband and we had dinner with friends tonight where the hugs flowed like wine. (more on that in a bit)

I haven’t always has such open arms, but I’m glad I’ve evolved to the point of giving and getting warm gestures from people I care about, or those who just make my days better.   So for the holidays and beyond, lets all HUG IT OUT!    For me, it feels good to give and get ‘em.

Hmm…..I’m going to be rebranding this blog in 2013, maybe it should be called weightingforhugs.  Not…  However, if it was Neva’s blog, it could be called hugyourcarrot.

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Enough hug talk, here is the day’s recap.  Breakfast this morning was a mini bagel with light cream cheese (and a Santa whose eyes are hidden)

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And on my frosty walk to work, I saw this frozen (but thawing) puddle and thought the pattern of the ice was really interesting.

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Lunch was yet another “clear out the fridge” lunches.  It was light swiss cheese, triscuits, grapes, olives and mini oranges.

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This afternoon, I had two little Christmas cookies, and didn’t take photos.  They looked KINDA like this….thank you google images.

We had dinner over at our friends Sharon and Gino’s place tonight.  Sharon is my fellow Warrior Dasher.   Tonight we worked out our upper body by toasting with red wine.

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We started out with cheese and crackers.

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Dinner was an amazing feast of beef, polenta, brussel sprouts, squash with spinach and salad.

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And dessert was biscotti, panna cotta, and fruit and pound cake with melted chocolate.  I had one of the panna cottas, but was too full to sample the rest.  Dennis did though, and he gave it all a hearty “thumbs up”.

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Here are the group, Dennis, Brian, Gino, Sharon and Tina.  Brian and Tina are friends of Sharon and Gino’s….we’d never met them before but they’re so fun, we look forward to seeing them again!

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Thanks for such a lovely night Sharon and Gino, hugs to you.  Your turn….are you a hugger?

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