AN AUTUMN ESCAPE (Relaxing) (MY VIDEOS)

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From my 'Relaxing' series...
Be sure to watch in HD ;)
Enjoy.





CHEEKY SQUIRREL DEVOURS PEANUT BUTTER

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So while having lunch with a co-worker the other day, we came across 'another' cheeky squirrel standing so close to us and just staring at us.  He wouldn't move for anything.  Then we realized it was the peanut butter packets we were eating out of.  He smelled the peanut butter, lol.  I guess it was the wrong thing to eat around a bunch of squirrels!

You know what's cooler than the pictures of him eating it?  It's me capturing it on video. I was only able to capture it for a few seconds - but that was good enough.

He licked that thing clean before throwing it away, lol. Slob!

Peanut butter packet
It never ceases to amaze me how dexterous their little paws are. The way he held on to that peanut butter packet and licked it clean looked similar to how, well, I would do it!

The majority of the squirrels around here at work seem to be rather 'friendly' and of course, cheeky.  I hope to capture more of their antics when time and weather permits.  For now, I was just happy to capture this moment with one of them.


BEAUTY AND THE BEAST? - COLOURFUL CHRYSANTHEMUMS + MONSTER TRUCK...

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So I stopped by the Home Depot today and just had to take some pics of the beautiful mums they had on display. They were everywhere but none as vibrant as these ones. I love all the colours - especially the vibrant yelllows and fuscia. Some of the pots even had 3 different colours in one!

Everytime I go out shopping and I see them, I just have to buy one.  They always seem to cheer me up.
Sometimes I wish they could last forever like this, but unfortunately they don't.

I also seen a nice 'monster' truck in the same parking lot and took some pics of that, lol.  Anyways, I hope these colours will brighthen your day too. Fall is in the air!


The Beauty...



KEEPING MY DARK LAMINATE FLOORS SMUDGE FREE - THE EASY WAY!

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Had a few friends over the other day and they were wondering how I kept my dark laminated floors so 'smudge free'.

The thing is, laminate floors are great but the darker ones show everything and I mean everything!  Everyone who owns them, knows this.  Everyone also warned me about this before I had them installed but I didn't care.  I love dark, warm colours inside so it was never a question of getting dark or light laminate flooring but rather how to keep them from showing all the footprints, smudges, etc.

First of all, let me say from experience, you'll never get a dark laminate floor completely smudge free or even shining like new - at least not for any length of time, but that's ok.  It doesn't matter anyways.  After awhile, you get used to the 'not-so-perfect-dark-laminate' and just enjoy it for how it is.

Yes, I've tried wearing socks but once your feet gets sweaty, it shows on the laminate also.  I also don't like using too much liquid or products such as Murphy's Oil, Orange-Glo, etc. because I don't want to create a build up over time.  The smart thing to do is to clean with the least amount of chemicals possible - try using just vinegar and water. (See the video I made at the end). The next thing to do and I think the most important thing in order to keep your floors looking their best after cleaning it is to wear something that leaves a minimum amount of trackable evidence.

Welcome to my discovery of the 'Slipper Genie'!...


GRRR! NO MORE WASTED BREAD!

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Don't you just hate it when you go to take a couple slices of bread and you've discovered there's mold growing on them?? Yick! Grrr!
I am so tired of wasting bread that I had to take drastic measures.

I already took drastic measures a few years back when I literally had to throw out whole bags of bread that were molded from not being touched. I would bring them home fresh, then everyone would touch them and say "ooh, fresh bread, nice".  A week later, they would touch them again - "ooh, they are getting stale mom"... grrr.  "That's it!". I had decided to freeze the entire bread immediately after purchase, this way the freshness was locked in, and only took it out if it was needed the next day. This worked great for a short while until they wanted fresh bread NOW.... not later or tomorrow.  I would tell them to "throw it in the toaster".... "no thanks, we don't want toasted bread, we want fresh bread...".  So much for that plan.
"Yick!  Molded bread!"

They would eat 4 or 6 slices out of the bag then that was it. No one touched it again until they needed it - then it was stale. So then I would end up tossing out almost an entire loaf of bread!

Grrr!

The way the economy's been going lately with prices soaring on everything - especially bread, I had to do something.  I felt like we were slowly reverting back to the 1918s during the U-Boat era when bread was so scarce due to those merchant ships that carried the sacred stuff getting sunk left right and centre, that they had to start rationing it.   Maybe I should stick the poster below somewhere up in the kitchen as a hint...


POLL: GRAPHIC IMAGES NECESSARY?

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WARNING:  GRAPHIC IMAGES!

So last week I sat down to read the paper only to discover amongst the flyers a postcard so graphic it left me dumbfounded.  Why would anyone even think to send such a thing in the mail is beyond me.

Usually, I can handle gross images, but when it comes to children, I can't.

Even more confusing for me is the fact that I'm actually for graphic images. In Canada, along with over some 30+ countries, graphic images are used everyday on cigarette packs to get messages across about the dangers of smoking.  How effective this is, is another story, but I'm sure those graphic images saved a few lives.  This for me however is different.  What if a child discovered this image first? Or are today's children desensitized to all this?  What if some adult sees it and immediately goes into seizure? Maybe displaying these images has opened up a lot of eyes - it sure has mine!  I didn't even know the laws in Canada allows one to abort fetuses so late in pregnancy!  This is like murder to me, of a human being! But was this the right approach?  Couldn't they have inserted them in an envelope with some kind of warning on the envelope itself?




These postcards were created and distributed by the Canadian Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform which targeted a few MPs who voted against an anti-abortion backbench motion, a motion which wanted to start a study to define when a human life begins.

Jonathon Van Maren, communications director of the anti-abortion centre stated:
"We know these images will turn some people's stomachs. They turn my stomach. But we looked at the history of social movements … and they often used graphic images to get their message across."  
Ok.  So maybe he has a point but like I said, did they have to do it this way?

I don't know. I remember reading a long time ago how Russia displayed on it's billboards real accident scenes to deter drinking and driving. On one hand it's good to 'wake us up' to reality but on the other hand, too much and we will only be desensitized after awhile.

For the rest of that day, all I could talk about at work were these images. A lot of my co-workers were shocked and some wouldn't even dare to look at the postcard.

So what are your thoughts?  Are graphic images really necessary to get a point across?





Warning:  Read more only if you want to see the unblurred pics.


HOLY DEAD CICADA!

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So yesterday, while cleaning up the backyard, I found myself a huge space-like looking creature - dead.  I thought it was alive at first, the way it just laid there on the patio stone... looking up at me and all, but soon realized it was as dead as a doornail.
I immediately started screaming, "Honey! Come look!  I found me a space insect!  Quick!"

Well, when he saw it, he immediately responded "That's not a space creature, that's a seecada!"  "A see-what?" A CICADA.   Boy, did I ever felt like a reeeeetard! I knew of crickets and grasshoppers but not cicadas.

"Ah, those are the insects that makes so much noise all the time", I mumbled. (It was huge!  It was almost as big as my pinkie finger!)
"Yes, those are the culprits.  Now leave it alone and throw it away in the dirt."

Well, he might as well have been talking to the tree 'cause I used a stick to poke it and flip it around, turn it upside down and examined it more closely...


ASIAN-STYLE BEEF - USING CROCK POT!

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So while on vacation a few weeks ago, I've been whipping up some chinese dishes that I've found either in magazines or online.  My teenagers were happy I was off on vacation since this meant some 'decent' and different meals for a change.

This recipe I found in a "Kraft" magazine.  I use to cook - a lot, but with my job demanding so much of my time, I hadn't really cook anything different in months!  Those few weeks were quite a treat for everyone.

The first recipe I made was Asian-style Beef using the Crock Pot! This meant I had time to set it and forget it, lol.  It was a hit with everyone! Check out the full recipe in my video below!

Some of my ingredients...




CHEEKY SQUIRRELS AND THE HEATWAVE

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OMG.  Talk about heatwave!  Fall officially arrives on the 22nd of September, but you'd think summer had just begun with the heatwave we've been experiencing in the past few days.  Even my cheeky squirrels are trying to cope with the temps... at least one of them anyways.

By the end of the week, temps will drop like a stone, but in the meantime, this cheeky squirrel did what he had to do to keep cool.

Talk about being cheeky.  He seen me taking shots of him and instead of running away.... he just laid there.  So cheeky.  As usual, while this one is distracting me, the other one is up to no good... getting into my flower pot. That's a first!












Wished I could have joined him but I had to get to work!  As for his partner in crime...












Have a good day!


BIRD FLYING AROUND IN WALMART STORE

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Well, for my sightings today, I was able to observe a bird who apparently liked shopping at Walmart also.

Seriously though, this is not uncommon. There are all kinds of birds such as sparrows and doves that regularly seek out 'spots' in homes and buildings for nesting which, unfortunately, causes them to end up in places where we live and work - like Walmart!

This is not the first time I've encountered a bird flying around in a grocery store.  I'm sure they won't cause any harm but for sanitation reasons among other things, they probably won't be sticking around...







INVASION OF THE CHEEKY SQUIRRELS

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So I was taking a few shots of the neighbour's cat... again, because this time it was on my fence and not on theirs when I happened to snap that cheeky squirrel going by - talk about perfect timing! I am a bit fascinated with this cat, and cats in general since I don't have one of my own.

I assume this is how they act - laying around anywhere they please.  This one, however, seems to love hanging around our place.  He's always under my car, on my door step or as you can see now - on my fence, lol.


He also doesn't seem to give 'two shits' about me taking pics of him, since he looked at me then turned away. I'm not sure if it's a him though.  I will have to find out from my neighbour... and it's name.







Anyways, before snapping these pics, I was already taking pics through my screen door of the cat.  It wasn't until later, when going through them that I noticed that cheeky squirrel in the background...


MY SCORE!: 3 PACKS OF INDEX CARDS, 2 CALENDARS... ALL FOR $10!

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So today I went to my newly discovered favourite store - the Dollar Tree store. I had to get a few things for school... and for myself :).

I used to love shopping at the DOLLARAMA store - a Canadian 'dollar store', (read more about it on MFS-Canada) when everything was a dollar. All you North Americans will know what I'm talking about. These dollar stores have been popping up all over the place like a bad penny.  I couldn't believe everything in the store was for a dollar when they first opened.  Then a year or so later, it was 'a dollar or two'.  I was still fine with that. After all, we all knew EVERY, SINGLE, SOLITARY thing in that store was MADE IN CHINA.  These kind of stores make it so hard for us to support our economy in terms of 'buying locally made products', but that's a whole other story I won't be getting into right now.
Anyways, so then it went from a dollar or two to three dollars or more, on a lot of items.

Now, you still find things here and there for a dollar but mostly it's 2.25 or 3.25 so now the store is just called DOLLARMA - $1 Plus.  P-lease.  Who are they trying to kid?  Now you have to be careful what you pick up since not everything is a buck or two anymore. (By the way, there's also another Canadian dollar store called A Buck or Two, lol).

Dollarama Store

Happily, by chance, I found a new store - Dollar Tree store, where EVERYTHING, and I mean EVERYTHING is for a $1.25 or LESS!!  This discount chain store is American operating in various parts of Canada.

Look what I bought for $10 (before taxes):


POLL: DO YOU WASH YOUR RICE BEFORE COOKING?

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Ok, so the other day I made some white rice which I needed for some chinese fried rice I made the following day.  On that particular day, I did not wash the rice.  The fried rice turned out great and everyone loved it.

However, it had me thinking... do we have to wash our rice before cooking?  It seems sometimes I do it and sometimes I don't, lol.

Personally, I don't care either way. As long as it taste good and not too sticky (which is the way I prefer, but my kids don't), then I really don't care.  Still, I'm curious as to what the majority of you do. Do you wash YOUR rice before cooking?












AAH! WASPS!

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There have been wasps buzzing around the neighbourhood lately, my front door to be exact, and my son was sort of freakin' out about the whole thing each time he had to enter and exit the door.  Finally, I decided to call in the experts.

For a while there, I felt like I was on an episode of whatchamacallit again... uhm, Billy, The Exterminator?

Anyhoo, she came a few days later all decked out in her gear but I wasn't watching from the outside - no siree!  I was staying behind closed doors... (see video at the end).

I felt bad for spying on her through the window but HEY!  I had to do what I had to do!  Eventually I went out there to speak to her, (see video at the end).

She explained to me why my conventional method (using a can of RAID), didn't work.  All in all, it was quite an experiencing day...






MY QUICK ASIAN SESAME DRESSING

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Found this recipe some place online or in a magazine - can't remember where exactly - wish I did. Read too much darn stuff everyday, online and off. Anyways, I've used it over and over so I thought I'd share it with you!


1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 tbsp. soy sauce
2 tsp. sugar
2 tbsp. white wine vinegar**
1/2 tsp sesame oil
1/4 tsp. dried crush red pepper


Whisk all ingredients together and voila!  Makes about 1/4 cup but if you want more, just double the recipe!






** No white wine vinegar?  Only regular white vinegar?  No problem. Just use this ratio for a quick substitute!:  3 parts white vinegar + 1 part water


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