In need of recipe!

Does anyone out there have a fabulous slow-cooker recipe for a beef roast? I have a two pounder just waiting to be made into sandwich meat for Tom.

Any suggestions? I don't own Worcester sauce, and that seems to be a killer for most recipes.

Additional question: does anyone know a good replacement for worcester sauce?

A Word to the Wise

Always make sure the lid is on before shaking the pasta sauce.


And, so? What are you going to do about it?

A question of wisdom, which was accompanied by consequences and required digestion of my own thoughts.

Last night my husband and I chewed through some thick conversation.

Sexual exploitation.

I can barely even type that last word. I hate the 'R' word. It is an action I have absolutely zero tolerance for. None. I shudder at the sound of its name. Even as I type this, I find my blood boiling and my mind racing to find the sharpest, most piercing yet non-cursing words to describe my feelings. But I'm sure you get the picture.

I can recall every tv or movie scene about a women being assaulted. Every image has been burned into my mind. I lose sleep. The thoughts crawl into my head for months and even years after. The tv show or movie goes off the minute I see it coming. If we think the story is worth continuing with, we wait for the next scene.

Last night's conversation led us to discuss the lack of adequate support for abused women, especially those who conceive due to the violet act. Especially for those who are already marginalized, whether they be in the first or third world.

So my husband asked, "And, so? What are you going to do about it?


God gives us passion, and more than likely it's for a reason. If there's something that you're wildly concerned about and boiled by; think. Why? Where is that passion coming from? And I don't mean why does the act/situation/ritual/or whatever get you, but why were you granted the passion against it.


What are you going to do about it?

The things that bother people to the bone are usually the things they bury deep; bury them in a place where they don't have to deal with them any longer. Down into a place where nothing will be done. Leave it for someone else.

And that, my friend, is what cripples this world.


New Year's Resolutions

A while back we were challenged to post about NY'sRs. Maybe by posting them we will be held more accountable.

To be honest though, I'm not really a New Year's Resolutions kind of girl, but here are a few that made the non-existent list. Even though I wrote this list a while ago, at the time we were first challenged, I just didn't feel comfortable posting them, but now that I am actually going through with them, I'll share;

This one is usually up there on my (and everyone else's) list. But then you see *everyone else* out at the gym (or at least their cars parked outside the gym, because I don't actually get all the way into the gym) and you think to yourself "Gee, it's going to be too crowded in there with those New Year's go-getters, I'll just wait to start this in February when they have all quit." But February comes and goes....
  • Update: We've started! Last week we went to the gym twice and ensured to get out for a walk one day too. Don't poo-poo me! You have to start somewhere. To kick it up a notch, I'm also signing up for aerobics classes, which start next week. What I really want to do though, is get into lane swimming. I got into it a while back when I was in first year university in Brandon, Manitoba. I really liked it. There is a pool like 100 steps from our apartment building and I can go for cheap because I'm a student, but I'm concerned that if we do to the gym, aerobics and the pool, things will get out of control. I think the gym and classes are a good start, and maybe when the weather gets above freezing and my hair won't be frozen solid by the time I walk home, I'll try the lane swimming again.
2. Read more scripture. I haven't been a devote Christan for many years, so this one is still relatively fresh on my non-existent NY'sRs list. Tom and I received a "Devotions for Couples" book at a Christmas gift exchange (one of those steal a gift ones, not a secret Santa one, which makes me think how awkward it would have been if one of the single middle-aged women would have opened it...)
  • Update: The couples book hasn't exactly been opened yet, but I have been carving out some of my alone time to crack The Good Book. It never fails, when ever I read it, I'm like "Wow, why don't I read this more often!?" Hopefully that will happen. Tom and I have been reading 'the message' version of scripture lately, I highly recommend it! The scripture is more modern and definitely clearer. It in no way replaces the more traditional versions, but it is a nice change and definitely less overwhelming.

3. Get involved. It's time to start giving more and doing more. We're having a blast sticking to ourselves and focusing on a few things, but it's time to get out there a little more and lead rounder lives.
  • Update: We're on this one too! We've signed up for weekly Spanish lessons at the college across the street (right beside the pool!) and we are considering the gym to be outings as well. Additionally, we've been talking to the youth pastor about helping out with youth and we've also decided that it's time to start getting together with friends more. Something that Sonya said a while back stuck with me: Guests don't really care if your house is spotless, so don't let that deter you from spending time with others. So, on that note, we've having people over for a birthday party in a few weeks (wanna come??!!!?) Plus, we've decided that it's time to start inviting ourselves over to our friends-with-children places - the Good Lord knows our place isn't child proof so they can't come here.

The challenge - I usually get really excited and want to try and do everything, then the problem becomes that I have no time for my obligations to get done (like the masters degree, for instance). So, although I've also noticed a photography class is starting up at the college this month (which I would just LOVE to attend!!!!) I'm concerned that with weekly Spanish, aerobics, gym with my husband, and youth (ALL of which will be newly added to the weekly schedule) there may not be a lot of room left for weekly photography classes along with our usual activities. I've never been one to sign up for too many things and then drop them because I'm too busy - I'm the one who signs up for too many things then runs themselves ragged doing them all.

How are your existent/non-existent New Year's resolutions coming along?


The Best of Blogger

As you know, I frequent other people's blogs and I just have to recommend that you read this story written by a substitute teacher. I'll warn you, it's honest and hilarious. As for other 'Posts of the Millennium," I don't know if the authors would consent to me recommending complete strangers to go to their sites, but I know this one wouldn't have a problem, so check out the story about teenagers who'll eat anything, it's hilarious.


The "Real" Wal-Mart Story

So, I bet everyone is just dying to know how in the world we managed to track down Tiffany in Portage's Wal-Mart over the Christmas holidays. Well folks here you have it;

It was a Monday afternoon, the Monday of December 29th, 2008, to be exact. T&Me were returning to Dauphin from Winnipeg and happened to stop in at the happenin' Portage Wal-Mart to get some pictures printed out for a gift for my parents (we took some family photos over Christmas, and some of them were keepers!).

Let's set the scene: T&Me have just walked into the big box store in the town of P, we're heading straight to the back where we believe the photo shop to be:

T: Right! This is the Wally-Mart with the ugly floors!
Me: Yup. Weird we remember such strange things. You know what also would be weird? If we ran into Tiffany in here!
T: Yup.
Me: (Pretending to shout, frantically searching for someone she knows as she darts her head around looking in the jewelery and clothing departments) "Tiffany! Tiffany? Ohhhh...Tiffany!!!"
T: Guess not.
Me: Nope.

We make it to the photo shop spot and accidentally start trying to make prints from this crazy "Creative" machine they have set up there. Soon we realize that this particular machine is for creative stuff only, not for us; regular prints need to be done on the yellow machines. My bad. I saw a lady working diligently at one of the yellows, all of a sudden I was kind of embarrassed of us making such a scene. T&Me pull up beside her and start getting our prints in the most "we've-been-in-the-car-too-long-and-we-think-we-are-funny-when-we-actually-aren't" way possible. As T goes to the counter to get a clerk to print them for us (what's the point of self serve if they have to get involved anyways?) I get bored and begin to try and see what the woman beside us is up to. She's still busily picking pictures to print and, unfortunately, is quite good at hiding the screen from any on lookers. But wait!!!!! I know that profile...I think.

So, instead of tapping this very involved woman on the shoulder because I didn't want to disturb her processing, I stood closely to her and shouted to Tom in a voice louder than required "Wouldn't is be strange if we say TIFFANY right here?!?!?" As I say this, I intently watch the involved woman for a twitch, or any other sort of sign of recognition that her name was just called. I was standing like 3 feet from her. But I got nothing. No twitch or anything.

Alright, back to being obnoxious then. "I'm sure this woman is irritated with us" I thought to myself. Then, all of a sudden she's done, whips around, sees me and freezes.

Tiffany and I are now looking at each other in the face. Her mouth hung open just a little and then (I'm not kidding you) she actually leans forward towards me to get a closer look, like a granny that can't believe her eyes.

"Candice!!!?????" She squeaks, with the most confused look on her face. Then, her head slowly turns to her right and sees T "Tom!!!????" What are you guys doing HERE?"

I suddenly felt like applying to be a Detective.

We hug.
We exchanged pleasantries.
We grabbed our pics, then parted ways.

T&Me thought it was so funny that we *did* see Tiffany there! And laughed when we remembered me being silly and pretending to look for her through the rows of cloths. Image if we did find her when I was goofing like that? That would have been hilarious! Not that the confused look on Tiffany's face wasn't.

Cheers Tiff!
Hopefully we bump into each other again sometime.


The results are in; thanks for voting!

So, Panamanian New-Rice Paddy takes the cake!

I submitted my entry earlier this evening and now I'm eagerly anticipating seeing it (hopefully!) next week at the contest. If it does get in, that is. I know I'm going to be lame enough to want to take a picture of one of my pictures on display.

Wish me 'luck' and thanks so much for voting!!



Something New

There is a newer post below the post below this post, but I wanted the post below this post to show like a new post so people don't miss it. So, for a new post, look below the post below.


Picture Picking

Thanks for your honesty guys! I uploaded the discussed pictures from the previous post just so anyone can change their answer if they'd like. I'll have to inquire as to whether man made stuff can be included (canoes and docks) and apparently the original copy of 'The Stairs' is gone, so I guess that one's out.

But I have a question for you about the rocks and grass one below: does it seem that the photographer is a creep hiding in the bush???

By The River Side - (St Lawrence River)

A Day by The Dock


100 things about me

Here are a few things you may, or may not know about me;

  1. I'm 24 (for another few days!)
  2. I'm a happily married to TMS
  3. We live in Montreal
  4. We foster cats from the human society (SPCA). People in our building who see us carrying all sorts of cats in different carriers over the last year think we're nuts.
  5. We aren't too sure ourselves if we are nuts or not.
  6. I love Costa Rica; Tuis to be more specific.
  7. I speak poor, poor, poor Spanish.
  8. I would love to be fluent in Spanish one day.
  9. I can't spell the Englishh Lannguage. Nor speak it good.
  10. I forget how to do long division by hand.
  11. I'm not kidding.
  12. My favorite colour for a cat is orange, my second favorite is charcoal grey.
  13. One of the best trips I've ever taken was to New York City with my husband and parents. Yes, I heart NYC, but will probably never return because we could never top the last trip.
  14. I'm a masters student at McGill University.
  15. I'm interested in paraSITOLOGY not paraPHSYCHOLOGY. Big difference. Unfortunately, people often misunderstand me.
  16. I check my e-mail dozens of times a time, or I just continually leave it open in a window while I work.
  17. I chat all day with my husband while he's at work - like two sneaky love birds.
  18. Most of the time I'm working from home.
  19. The internet saves my life.
  20. I don't understand how things could have got done in a efficient manner before the internet.
  21. I have two brothers. Both are older.
  22. You couldn't pay me enough to go through primary school again. Or high school for that matter.
  23. I had my tonsils taken out when I was little.
  24. I had my adenoids taken out too. Twice!
  25. My husband and I met at a food bank. We were both fortunate enough to be working there, not clients of it.
  26. I gave my life to Christ (became a Christian) on August 7th, 2006.
  27. I love to travel. I've visited England, France, Italy, Ireland, Holland, Belgium, Germany, Cambodia, Mexico, Costa Rica, and Panama. Some of those visits were drastically shorter than others.
  28. The furthest east I have been in Canada was to Quebec city.
  29. I would love to travel all the way to the east coast.
  30. Sometimes our apartment toilette gets stuck and drains continuously. This annoys me to bits.
  31. Sometimes our shower gives off a high pitched whistle the entire time you're in there. This annoys me too.
  32. I dream that our next living container (apartment, house, or hut) will have it's very own front door. You know, a door that enters right into your own place from outside, no more of this hallway and knwoing your neighbors business. That would be sweet.
  33. I've always wanted to live in a town house.
  34. In Montreal, town houses are $300,000.
  35. We won't be living in a town house in Montreal.
  36. I dream about working for World Vision one day.
  37. My first cat after I moved out of home was named Sam. Sam wasn't very good looking. Nor was he very nice come to think of it, but I loved him. So did Sonya, the kitty I brought home for his entertainment.
  38. I have moved 'living containers' pretty much every year since moving out of home. I think it's fun. And exhausting.
  39. I love to vacuum.
  40. I do NOT love doing laundry.
  41. I still can't get the gigabit byte bitty world.
  42. I love to ski. I've tried those itty bitty short skiis, they're actually pretty fun!
  43. Maybe we will have kids one day. There are millions of babies in this world who don't have parents - maybe we will be fortunate enough to take care of some of them.
  44. I realize adoption of children doesn't work the same as the SPCA.
  45. I was the Maid of Honour for my Maid of Honour's wedding.
  46. What goes around comes around!
  47. My first car was a grey 1991 Mazda Protege (aka Road Runner). I drove the Road Runner up until the government of Quebec prohibited me to drive her any longer (7 years!!!)
  48. I bought the car from my dad for $500. A few years later I sold it back to him for $1000, then I bought it back from him for $800 (in between it was written off due to hail damage - so don't worry, he got his money back).
  49. My dad would do anything to help his kids out - even get ripped off in car sales.
  50. Over the last 13 months we have traveled to Manitoba 4 times.
  51. I love chocolate.
  52. I've only been picked up by the cops once.
  53. I adore coffee.
  54. I have a vague interest in nutrition. I can't help but notice the number and types of food groups I'm eating during a meal. I also can't help but go through a quick synopses of how it will be metabolized and used. (Everyone does this with their own profession, right???)
  55. The main blogs I follow are Tiffany, Sonya, Ange, Lyla, Hes, Trevor, and Amanda. There others, but these are the ones I stalk the most. Some of these people I know in real life, some I don't.
  56. I check people's blogs multiple times a day for updates.
  57. What can I say, I work on the internet allllll day. You are my coffee break people!
  58. Once in a while I track the number of hits we get in a day. Don't be freaked out, we can't tell who you are.
  59. After talking to some family over Christmas I realize we actually know most of these frequent stoppers - this makes me shy to share deep things anymore, so I figured I'd give you a 100 random things instead.
  60. My husband is super cute. Seriously, haven't you seen him?
  61. Apparently I've checked out 93 different books from McGill Libraries over the last year. No, I didn't read all of all of them.
  62. I have an over due book right now. Don't tell Tom.
  63. My library fines are at $5.50. Library fines are only really a problem after they reach over $10. Let's see how long it takes me to reach that limit.
  64. I have 7 nieces and nephews.
  65. "Auntie Candice" is still a little weird.
  66. I answered a question wrong in class yesterday. The only disease eradicated by man in recorded history is Smallpox (not Cholera - what was I thinking?!??!)
  67. Our family dog when I grew up was named Sadie. She was a cross between a chawawa and a terrier. She had the tendency to bite the ankles of cattle farmers. What's up with that?
  68. Secretly, deep down, I want a miniature toy poodle (but the real kind, not a toy). Don't judge me!!!! There's one that lives in the building and she is pretty much the coolest dog I've ever met. She doesn't have the Poodle 'do nor the stereotypical attitude.
  69. I'm really trying to get into photography. I have some great equipment thanks to a shared interest by my father in law. Now it's time to hone some talent and spend the time learning the lingo and settings.
  70. I like photographing nature. I'm not really into taking pictures of people.
  71. I've gotten into the scrapbooking thing. I only have a few pages done in T&Me's book, but I did do an entire album (12 pages!) for my mom's birthday present. It took me over 4 months.
  72. I love surprising people.
  73. I do not enjoy being surprised by people, especially if multiple people knew about it before I did. It makes me feel left out. This probably can be tied back to the primary school thing...
  74. I have two sister in laws, which is kind of exciting considering I've never had a sister. Now, if we only lived a little closer to each other so we could actually hang out.
  75. I have 4 different e-mail accounts, most of them are forwarded to my main one.
  76. I receive a full scholarship for my masters. How sweet is that!?!?!
  77. My grandmother is awesome. She is a strong willed vegetarian. Not your average grandma! I love her.
  78. In February my parents are taking a Caribbean cruise, one of my brothers will be in Cuba and the other in Belize. Currently, my in-laws are in Victoria and my brother-in-law is in Portugal. I, on the other hand, will be enjoying winter in Canada. (To you spying thieves out there: there are people watching everyone's stuff!!!!)
  79. My girlfriend Taryn and I went on a hot air balloon ride in the fall of 2006. It was one of the coolest things I've done. At the time, little to my knowlege, Tom had a crush on me and continually asked to hear more about the venture before and after it occurred. I didn't really think anything of it at the time - but now he tells me that at the time he was trying to find clues as to whether 'Taryn' was a girl or boy!
  80. Up there with the top coolest things I've done it go tandem bungy-jumping with my cousin Meghan. It was awesome!
  81. I will never bunjy jump again in my life.
  82. I have a class downtown this semester. Although commuting on Montreal's transit system does make me feel like a city girl, I can't get over how fortunate I am to be living so close to campus for the rest of my classes. I am so lucky (spoiled?) to have a husband that insisted on this when we moved here.
  83. I thoroughly enjoy online banking.
  84. We are now officially Quebec residence. This means that Tom has lived here for over a year without attending a post secondary school and that I am married to someone who has lived here for a year without attending post secondary school. Why is residency important? Tuition is half price for Quebec residence.
  85. I am a huge fan of Mac computers.
  86. I am a huge fan of the philanthropy work by the Bill and Malinda Gates Foundation.
  87. I love the soy beverage "Silk", my favorite is their fortified light version. Sooo good.
  88. My favorite appliance is the dishwasher.
  89. A close second is my blender (which has this handy add-on for a food processor.)
  90. I've had more radiation this year than most get in their life.
  91. When I wear my Sorel winter boots the sock on my right foot always slides up an gets bunched at the toe.
  92. One of my favorite Dutch foods is Chocolate Sprinkles on toast. If you haven't tried, you probably shouldn't.
  93. Honey spread on cheddar cheese is super delicious. Keep this in mind for a snack if you are planning on going camping and don't want to 'go' until you get back home.
  94. I enjoy most songs by 'Lifehouse'.
  95. My office always looks like a mess to the 'untrained' eye.
  96. My laptop has a name, it's Red. For those of you who are wondering - no, it isn't my laptop that leaves comments on my blog.
  97. I love being reminded about how fortunate I am to have been born Canadian and have grown up in a home where love was abundant and we weren't worried about going hungry. No, I don't like the reminders for pride purposes, but as reminders that I should be giving more of myself and what I have to those who don't have the same luxuries. We need constant reminders that the way life is here isn't the way it is everywhere - there are horrid inequities in this world. My 'problems' aren't real in comparison to the problems of millions around the world.
  98. I would love to volunteer for an orphanage one day.
  99. The pastor at my church has been known to incorporate YouTube videos into his sermon.
  100. I've taken a while to compile this list.
  101. I challenge my fellow bloggers to tell us 100 things about them!!! (Except Sonya, she doesn't have to because her list is where I stole this idea from! She can, however, resurface her old one for us, or, if she's up to it - make us another!)


A little shy

Recently I saw an advertisement for McGill's graduate student society's nature photo contest and auction. The contest is pretty much just for fun, with a few small prizes for the winners. The photos are printed, displayed and auctioned off as a charity fund raiser.
Believe me, I am *well* aware that I'm no expert, I understand I would barely reach a novice category - but the contest states nothing about level of expertise, just a submit a photo, then they display them (it doesn't even say anything about displaying only the top ten or anything), and all are auctioned off with proceeds going to a local charity. Each grad student is allowed to submit one photo only, and it must be a shot of nature. That's all the poster specifies. What do you think? Should I try? What do you think of either of these?

Fall in Montreal

Panamanian New-Rice Paddy

One of my 'greadest' fears


I have never been fond of these things - they are huge, destructive, and very unpredictable. They spontaneously go forward, sideways, and backwards, and often to do so at high 'productive' speeds. What started out as an understandable unease around these monstrous machines, has now turned into a huge fear of something that is trying to do good. I can hear these puppies miles away with their high pitched diesel motors, loud scraping of ice and snow, and the loud slam! made when the bucket contacts the pavement. My ears perk up and the hair on the back of my neck stands on end.

Last year I was walking on campus after a huge snowfall, the place was deserted as it was a Sunday afternoon over the Christmas break - I was returning a library book. The sidewalks were buried under mounds of snow so I had to walk on the road. Suddenly, out from behind a corner leaps a swiftly moving truck fitted with a shiny, yellow bucket, and he was moving fast! He was coming up on me from behind and moving swiftly, I tried to jump out of his way to the other side of the road, but he figured he's do the same for me, which ended similar to two people trying to get by each other on the side walk, both moving to get around each other in the opposite direction, just to end up face to face in the end. I was horrified. And, since then, my fear has grown out of control. I have nightmares about these things; me, unable to run or scream, and the grader operator unable to see me or unwilling to take a detour around me. I'm even scared of the little bobcat ones that do the sidewalks. To make matters worse, in Montreal we have these graders with ice pick-like things on the inside of the bucket that mulch ice - yikes!!!


a dozen posts in one

Pardon the scatteredness - I have about a dozen blog posts buzzing around in my head. Some I have no idea where I'd start, others where I'd end. So here they are, incomplete, and in complete random order;
  • The weather in Montreal is waaaaaaaay nicer than Manitoba. Tobans are crazy. Seriously. According to The Weather Network, Winnipeg was at a -32 degrees this morning, while we were at -10. By the tine I began my walk to school, the snow was melting due to a balmy -2.
  • Our trip to Manitoba was crazier than ever. Christmas was amazing, we did make it out to the Bakers in time and spent a wonderful few days there, then we zipped back to the city for a few days with the Scatliffs. Then I returned to Dauphin and Tom stayed in Winnipeg. Or at least that was the plan. For reasons not needed to be explained at the moment, Tom returned to Dauphin to pick me up and we were going to leisurely drive to Winnipeg to spend New Year's Eve day visiting and were to fly back to Montreal on New Years day. Then, someone dropped a bomb shell. For Tom and I, it was my mom. In the morning of December 31, 2008 she calmly came into our room, explained that my father wasn't feeling well the night before and he had gone to the hospital a few hours ago. She had just got off the phone with the Intensive Care Unit nurse and was informed that my dad had a heart attack. Yes, you read that right. That was the beginning of a few days of flury. The details of the story are not mine to tell, even though I can think of a million blog posts that could be written about the happenings, each with their own ability to bring tears, heart warming moments, and even laughter. But, I have come to the conclusion that the conversations, moments, and overwhelming thoughts and emotions are too much to sort through and too tender to share on this blog. The story ends happily though, and I can share that willingly. The story has a happy ending with us having a great game of cribbage with both of my parents, in their own home the night before we actually did fly back to Montreal (yesterday evening). The past few days have been nothing short of amazing.
  • The health care system and the human body are fascinating things - put them together along with a dedicated and educated health care staff and you get a healthly dad back at home only days after a serious assult on the heart. I need to give a shout out to the intake nurses at the Dauphin hospital for recognizing what was happening and taking action that was needed, to Dr. Hussain and his OR crew at St. Bonfice hospital for tinkering with my dad's ticker, and the staff at the Health Sciences Centre's Coronary Care Unit for whipping my dad back up into shape. [Not to mention the ambulance attendents, paramedics, flight crew and dozens of others employed by Oh Canada! who took take care of us when the time called.]
  • We're exhausted. (What, you can't tell from my lack of ability to write in a comprehendable manner?) Tom (he is such a strong man) was up and digging out the car this morning before work after arriving back in Montreal at 1:30am last night. Ice storms do tricky things to vehicles when left for a few days.
  • I started new courses today. I can't believe its class time already - I had such big things to "finish up" over the break - and some of them I didn't even get a chance to start. Ah well, life is good.
  • On a completely different note, I've considered blog-striking a month before taking a visit to Manitoba. It seems as though there are more readers of this blog than I originally anticipated, meaning many people are up to date on the happenings of my life, leaving me with few stories to tell...And still little feedback on my thoughts!
  • Tiffany nearly fell over when we saw her in Portage Wal-Mart.
  • I accidentally dropped my flat-iron on the floor this morning - smashed it to bits. The best part? I was only 3/4 done straightening my hair. Yes, a little lop-sided at the moment.