Tuesday Ramblings

“Getting to know you (me), Getting to know all about you (me)”

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Have you ever played 21 questions? By yourself? Me neither! So I googled 21 questions, and 21 questions to ask a guy you like popped up in the search bar. And I thought, “Let’s DO THIS!”

And no, I am most definitely NOT a guy.

  1. What are your personal goals? – Deep. This almost sounds like a job interview. I hope this isn’t a first date because I’d be taking an urgent phone call right about now that requested my presence elsewhere.
  2. What kind of childhood did you have? – Awesome! I feel like everyone wants you to say that your childhood is why you have to spend 3 days a week in therapy, but mine was great. We had rules, we had to work, and there was nothing scarier than an angry parent. It was very similar to running into the ass end of a bear during a trail run, but we all turned out fine. 
  3. What makes you insecure? – This question makes me insecure, so I will give the same answer I would expect from any man who was asked this. Insert ‘blank stare’ here.
  4. What do you expect from a love relationship? – Love?
  5. Do you want children? – Yes. I want two, which is super lucky since I happen to have two. It would have been super awkward if I had said I only wanted one.
  6. What do you find attractive in a woman? – Guys, I am going to give you a piece of advice, no matter how much you want to say, “me.” This is not the answer that women want. Strange, right? I would seriously choke on my water (not water) in a restaurant though if someone actually said this. I may even require the Heimlich. For ‘water’
  7. What expectations do you have for yourself? – To have the stamina to be able to finish this quiz, but things are not looking good so far. Are we really only on question #7?
  8. What are your professional goals? –  My professional goals mirror those a loveable group of guys from a trailer park in Canada. Freedom 45, baby! It used to be freedom 35, but just like Ricky, Bubbles and Julien, my plan didn’t really come to fruition and my sights have now been set on a more attainable??? decade. 
  9. What do you expect from your partner? – The same things I expect from myself.
  10. Who are your friends and family? – I have a select group of friends that are my family.
  11. What would you do if you had a million dollars? – Is this even a lot of money anymore? If I had a million dollars, I think I would try to triple it and fall victim to some shady business deal. What? You have a perfectly legal pyramid scheme that I can get in on the ground floor of? Sign me the fuck up!
  12. The worst thing you’ve done? – Justify my actions.
  13. Where would you like to move? – To a cabin on a lake in the middle of nowhere.
  14. How is being…? – Is this even a question? How is being what? No one likes trying to define existentialism. It stresses them out. Do yourself a favour and skip this question.
  15. Which is the result? – Again, this is a super weird question that I don’t even understand. I thought this would be more fun and include questions like, “What’s your favourite food to eat that everyone else finds disgusting?” Answer: lentil soup with cut up European Wieners and drizzle of mustard on the top to class it up. See? You know me better already. 
  16. If you could describe yourself with one word, what would it be? – Annoying
  17. What is your favourite food? – Finally a question that is so awesome that it needs to be broken down into categories. The Early Years – Spaghetti with meat sauce. This was the best meal ever, and my mom made the best meat sauce in the entire world (which at the time was pretty small, to be fair). It wasn’t until I was living on my own that I discovered that some people thought that meat sauce that came from a can was an adequate substitute. Gross. The Teen Years – chicken fingers and caesar salad. Adulthood – Anything that includes pickles. I have had pickle soup, put them on pizza and even drink the juice. My palette has obviously become quite refined.
  18. What is your favourite character from childhood? Batman and Papa Smurf
  19. What kind of animal do you love the most? – The ones that will give you kisses and let you go all Elmira on them including giving them raspberries on their tummies. 
  20. Would you rather go fishing or hiking? Hiking. Rough waters make me hurl.
  21. Are women equal to men? – This is a stupid question, and I choose to replace it with, “Are humans equal to pugs?” – No. Pugs are way cooler. Especially the black ones named Dolly. – C.U.NextTuesday, – R.Dolly
Tuesday Ramblings

Jekyll & Hyde

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My youngest daughter is allergic to puking. As a little girl, she would sit beside the toilet for hours holding in her puke. Trembling violently, head hanging over the toilet, crying, insisting that her back needed rubbing while valiantly holding everything inside. Whoever was on puke patrol would tell her that she’d feel sooooo much better if she’d just get it out of her body. She was a little trooper though, and there was no way she was giving in. We’d end up making a little nest on the bathroom floor with blankets and settling in for the long haul.

To this day, she shudders in horror whenever anyone mentions The Amazing Race. She’s been scarred for life because I happened to be sick with the flu when my husband was working night shift. We’d been watching The Amazing Race when I first became sick. I was in the bathroom, dying on the inside, and I called for Sarah to get me a cold cloth. Little did I know, the reason that I had to yell so loud for her to hear me was because she was huddled up on the couch, knees to her chest, plugging her ears so she couldn’t hear me being sick and rocking back and forth trying to find her happy place. She was only about 4 years old at the time. When I finally got her attention and again asked her for a cold cloth, I could hear her walking down the hallway so slowly that you’d think she was walking to her death while quietly sobbing. This little voice asked me where the cloths were. I said, “In my closet.” She stopped walking and waited a few seconds, sprinted past the washroom I was in, grabbed a facecloth and ran back past the washroom to the kitchen. I heard her running water to wet the cloth and then the whole “walking to her death” scene repeated. I heard her stop walking just before the washroom door and then the cloth came winging at the back of my head as she threw it around the corner in my direction and ran back to her perch on the couch.

My oldest daughter turned 19 and she invited us to go to the pub with her and her friends. At first, I was honored to be invited to an event that was usually reserved for friends. Honestly, I thought we must have the best Mother/Daughter relationship in the whole wide world!!! Then, I realized that Mamma didn’t raise no fool and she was most likely hoping we’d buy her dinner and drinks. When I asked her if I was correct, she smiled and said, “Well, maybe but I also want you there!” Mhmmmm. I can’t blame her for being so resourceful and ingenious. After all, she’s learned from the best. Her birthday is the day before Remembrance Day and it was also on a Tuesday so we pretty much had the place to ourselves. We had a great meal, my husband had a few drinks and Surprise!…we paid for her dinner and drinks. After dinner, the designated drivers brought everyone back to our house to hang out, play pool and have a few games of beer pong. Out came the Jager Bombs and drinks.

Rachelle’s best friend ended up being the first casualty and was throwing up in the bathroom before her boyfriend could rescue her. I walked in to check on her and he was rubbing her back and saying, “It’ll be okay” while taking selfies with his sick girlfriend. I’m not a psychic but I see blackmail in her future.

I went upstairs to get her water and when I walked back into the washroom, I almost fell over in shock. My puke-a-phobic daughter, who’d also had a couple of drinks, was in the washroom with the puker. Not only was she in the same room as her, but she was also putting her hair up to rescue it from the toilet water. She was tackling this mission with the flourish of a hair stylist on crack who is intent on creating a hair masterpiece. All while singing to whatever song was playing on the stereo at the top of her lungs, shaking her booty and smiling. What. In. The. Actual. Fuck.

It still amazes me what alcohol can do to lower someone else’s inhibitions (My husband and I already know what it does to mine but I just thought I was special.) I warned her to watch how much she drinks because if she was able to put up a puker’s hair with so much unbridled enthusiasm after having a couple of drinks, then there’s no limit to what she’ll find acceptable. – C.U.NextTuesday, C.Dolly

 

Tuesday Ramblings

Getting Back in the Game

When you start losing your mind, like I have recently, and you can’t even remember what day it is, there are a few tried and true things that help me get back in the game. Or bury my head in the sand. Whatever you want to call it, I tend to feel better.

Some people like to read inspirational or self help books. That stuff just makes me feel bad about myself. Like I’m a hot mess in need of professional help. Instead, I like to do the following:

  1. Drink some wine. It’s easy and I don’t have to make a mess in the kitchen by whipping up some multi ingredient concoction. And there is also no danger of accidentally adding way too many ounces of hard liquor by drink number 4 (what do you mean my drink looks strong, I can’t even taste it. It’s like I’m drinking water! – sound familiar?)
  2. Listen to my favourite music. The louder the better. Dance with the kids, or myself! My family doesn’t judge. They’re quite used to it.
  3. I also like to wear my favourite pair of heels with my sweat pants. In the house. Because they make me feel fabulous dahling! There is also the added benefit that you get to practice walking in heels so you don’t look like Bambi on ice when you’re out on the town.1466077023917_mermaid
  4. Put on some lipstick and paint my nails. Shallow? Possibly. But I feel like it can honestly help fix anything. My favourite lipstick in the whole wide world? Besame! (also available from Sephora) Fabulous colours and you’ll instantly feel like a pin up model. Pinky swear.
  5. Exercise! But fun exercise like flow movement. Google it. It’s awesome fun and you can do it at home. But maybe exercise before you drink your wine. Or you can sign up for  a new class like a balance surf class, pole dancing or circus.  Just be careful what you’re signing up for if you’ve already had your wine though, because by the next day you may be questioning yourself. Or don’t be careful, and try something new. You just might surprise yourself.
  6. Now, this last one may seem like really bad advice, but I like to also online shop. I give myself a limit before hand and it’s usually for stuff that I need. Like a new pair of pants that have cats shooting lazer beams from their eyes. I’m saving myself a trip to the store, and I start to feel like I’ve accomplished something.

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All of the above are things that reinforce who I am already and help lift my spirits. Everyone will have a different list, but I think it’s important to realize limitations and look after your own personal well being with things that make you feel like you. Some people might want to eat brussel sprouts and clean their house. If that helps you get back in your game, then that’s awesome. Yay, team us! – C.U.NextTuesday! R.Dolly

 

Monthly Articles

Fishing in the Dark

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When I started to write this article, I realized that I’ve experienced three types of camping. All three have been vastly different and it’s been fun thinking about my camping memories. Perfect camping for me is now a trailer with a tv, dvd player, air conditioning, shower and a real bed. Fuck it, I’d just take the real bed…and the air conditioning.

When I was a child, camping was filled with reading, swimming, riding bikes with  my siblings, fighting with same siblings, and fishing. Fishing was my least favorite thing to do. Unless the fish were actually biting, then I’d happily worm up my hook and catch some fish to clean and cook over the open fire. For some reason, I loved cleaning fish. Maybe it was because it was always a surprise to see if there were eggs inside or not. Plus, I loved the feeling of the fish guts. I know, fucking weird. It’s a good thing I didn’t choose to become a surgeon because it would have been awkward when asked why I chose the life of a healer to say “Because I like the feeling of your intestines between my fingers.” If the fish weren’t biting I’d read in the boat while my family fished. My parents always said that you catch more fish when it’s raining so we’d still have to fish if it started to rain. I’d sit on the floor of the boat, huddled underneath my rain poncho and read in the red light that filtered through my shelter. If you ask my parents what the worst thing about camping with me was, their answer would be my asking “How many scoops?” every damn time they asked me to make a pot of coffee. I wasn’t being sassy. Numbers will forever be my kryptonite.

Before children, camping meant my boyfriend (now husband) and I taking off in our Toyota pickup with pillows, blankets, chips, water, and a can of ravioli or some other food in a can that you could sit on the edge of the fire pit to heat up. *ALERT!! Don’t forget the can opener like we did on one occasion. We looked at the tools in the truck and the grease/oil caked on them and decided we could survive off of chips and water for the night.* We’d spend 5 minutes packing the truck, drive an hour and a half to a forestry campsite and start a fire. We were the only ones there in the middle of the week and could skinny dip and do whatever dirty things we wanted to each other while being one with nature. We slept in the truck while listening to music with the sunroof open like a portal to the stars. The song that we listened to the most and reminds me of those trips whenever I hear it is Fishing in the Dark by Nitty Gritty Dirt Band.

Then came children. It became a lot more work to shop, pack and unpack for relaxation. I guess the work/relaxation ratio kind of evens itself out by the end of the trip. Tenting is fucking evil and if I never inflate another air mattress in my lifetime I’ll die a happy woman. The first trip with a new air mattress usually works as intended. Somehow, even if it’s in perfect condition when you deflate it and carefully pack it away (using 2 people to hold it and fold it so that it doesn’t touch ANYTHING), it has a slow leak the very next trip. Not packing repair patches, even with a new mattress, leaves one parent sleeping on the inflated mattress with the kids and the other parent sleeping on the ground. We rotated nights for ground duty. It was surprisingly much warmer sleeping on the ground but the next day my body felt like it was 80 years old.

Our pre-children forestry getaway campsite is the first place we took the girls tenting when they were little. It was on a weekend and the site was full with people wandering everywhere. My oldest daughter was using an outhouse for the first time and when she was done she yelled, as loud as her little voice would go, “Where’s the flusher??” That still makes me smile. That was also the trip with the one flat air mattress.

As much work as it is to go camping and as much as I detested tenting when that’s all we could afford to do when the kids were small, the memories that we have will make us smile (and sob quietly on the inside) and hopefully be continued on by the girls with their families. I hope they experience tenting with small children, just once, so they know how much I fucking love them because of the years of pain and suffering I endured in that asshole tent.

Check out our Top 10 Ways You Can Ruin Your Family Camping Trip.

After reading Beerlicious Volume 1, The Art of Grillin’ & Chillin’ we wanted to try a menu of make ahead, easy to prepare food for our next camping trip. We had a great evening listening to live entertainment in the park and then returned to their house at 9 pm and fired up the grill. Everything had been prepared early in the day and was ready to throw on the grill. This made for a fun, relaxed dinner with our two families. The number of planned and impromptu dinners our families have had over the years is too many to count, especially for a number-phobe like me.

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Make Ahead Menu

We also took the grilling theme to the next level (just like Cotton Weary did in Scream 3) and made two completely different campfire grills:

~C.Dolly

Top 10

Top 10 Ways You Can Ruin Your Family Camping Trip

  1. Not prepackingNOTHING will get your camping trip off to a shitty start more than leaving everything until the last minute. I’m the queen of procrastination so I have life experience with this and know what the fuck I’m talking about. You will start your magical family trip off with anger, stress and hours of wondering “Did I forget anything?” You will have even less patience to deal with your annoying husband who had everything on his list done ahead of time and lets you know it every time you mention that you’re feeling a little stressed. You will tell him to “Shut the fuck up or I’m gonna cut a bitch” and he will laugh and say “That’s okay. I have time to go to emergency because all my shit is done.”  If you have small children, you will not only be frantically rushing around but you will have to deal with: 

“I’m hungry!!!!”

“Lucifer hit me” “

“I lost my marble up my nose!” (In which case, you can tell your husband to take your child to emergency with him since he’s headed there to get stitched up anyways)

2. Not packing appropriately – Depending on where you live, rain gear is essential to having a happy camping trip. Rubber boots, waterproof jackets and waterproof pants are a parent’s best friend. Blowing through every outfit that you brought for your child in 5 hours because of a downpour is hardly conducive to a relaxing trip. Also, forgetting your swimsuit and watching everyone else splashing each other, having fun and keeping cool in the sweltering heat either leaves you swimming in your undies or damaging your children for life by skinny dipping with no fucks given.

3. Not calling ahead to make reservations – Don’t be a douche. Seriously. Pulling into a RV park/campsite and getting pissed off at the person in the office because YOU didn’t make a reservation and THEY have no room to accommodate you is a dick move. It’s not their fault that your poor planning has led to everyone in your vehicle being hot, tired, cranky and homeless for the night. When you make reservations, also ask if there are gates that are locked at night or office hours for check in. Some of the provincial parks have gates that are locked at 11pm.

4. Not packing supplies for emergency repairs – Make sure the spare tire on the back of your trailer/motorhome is in good shape. Things like tarps, extra tent pegs, tent patches and air mattress patches are essential for tenting. Also, make sure you have a fully stocked first aid kit for when you or your husband get hurt from flailing around, cursing and all but throwing yourself down on the ground in a tantrum while trying to successfully repair something.

5. Food poisoning – Dealing with vomiting children while vomiting yourself is hell. Sorry, I mean it’s HELL!!! If you’re camping in a trailer, it’s pretty much like being at home except you have nowhere to hide and pretend that you’ve disappeared so your partner has to take a turn on vomit patrol. If you’re tenting, well, you’re fucked. Ain’t nobody sleeping while the air mattress is moving like the sea in a storm because someone on the other side is violently hurling over the edge.

6. Tenting – Tenting, for me, is akin to willingly taking a family road trip to Hell for a week. Fire and brimstone raining down upon you as you canoe down a river of lava that is filled with big-ass hungry spiders who have been waiting for your arrival so that they can: #1 – Eat you and #2 – Lay their eggs in your corpse to hatch. A bit dramatic? Maybe, but that’s what the definition of “tenting” should be in the dictionary. No matter what you put underneath it, the air mattress sucks up every bit of cold from the earth until you can barely sleep because your body has become hypothermic. However, once the sun even begins to rise, your tent is like a fucking incinerator. There is no happy medium.

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Dusk
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Dawn

7. Lopping off a body part – Any sort of medical emergency while camping can put a damper on the festivities. Laying back and relaxing in your anti-gravity chair, drinking wine and eating some delicious junk food that only seems to be purchased for camping trips is completely ruined by your husband or child running up to you holding a finger from their left hand in their right hand. Sometimes you’ll luck out and they’ll only lose the tip of a finger. Fingertips are like lizard tails, they grow back. At least that’s what I told my kids and they could be hand models now, so I wasn’t wrong.

8. Obnoxious neighbours – The best camping trips are those that you take with friends and family. You expect to hear: kids playing, laughing and crying; music playing in at least one campsite; and boats and Sea-Doo’s razzing around on the lake. Obnoxious parents who have 8 obnoxious kids, ranging from late teens to small children, that run around with their spawn playing hide and seek underneath your trailers and trucks, running behind the lawn chair that you’re sitting in and almost pulling you over backwards because they grab onto it so they can crouch down to hide, peeking in everyone’s windows, their kids stealing someone’s canoe in the middle of the night and then abandoning it part way down the lake at the end of a trail are the neighbours we once had and that you hope to avoid. People also need to respect occupied campsites. Don’t be a dillhole and walk through the middle of an occupied site. Take an extra few steps and follow the path to your destination.

9. Not having enough things to keep busy – “I’m bored!!!” Two words guaranteed to destroy that nice relaxed glow you’ve got going on. We always hauled the girls bikes with us when we went camping and we had a dvd player for the car so they could watch a movie in the tent/trailer before bed or if it was raining. Most kids are pretty good at seeking out others of their kind and we’d quite often see the horde of bikers grow with each lap they made around the campground.

10. Underestimating your alcoholic needs – This is a biggie. Especially if you encounter any of the above situations. You would sell your soggy, vomiting, bleeding 9-fingered children for just one glass of wine. I mean, I wouldn’t because that’s WRONG! I could probably get a whole bottle for one of my kids. This is why I love camping in places that aren’t too far from a city. You run out of booze? ROADTRIP!!!! ~ C. Dolly


Monthly Articles

Beerlicious Volume 1, The Art of Grillin’ & Chillin’

BeerliciousCropI would like to start off by saying that my husband is a fantastic cook, but lately, due to our hectic lifestyle, his cooking hasn’t exactly been blowing my skirt up.  His dinners of glazed salmon with mushroom risotto and home made cream puffs have been replaced with kraft dinner, canned tomato soup, microwaved hotdogs and fried eggs.  Over the years, I have started buying him cookbooks that I thought might subtly drop the hint that I would like more than indigestion for dinner. Beerlicious Volume 1, The Art of Grillin’ & Chillin’ by Ted Reader was one of said purchases.

If you love eating meat and drinking beer, then you’ll love eating meat that has also been soaking in a lovely beer bath before being grilled to perfection (sometimes, I like to dim the lights, light a few candles and give the steak some privacy because, after all, a relaxed steak is a delicious steak). After leaving the book laying around on the counter for the prescribed period of time with no results, I decided to wipe the dust off and flip through it myself. There is not one recipe in this book that doesn’t sound over the top delicious, and I really really do want to eat some of them, but I am a super lazy cook and the 2 pages of instructions per recipe is a little overwhelming for me.  After discussing the book with my husband, he said he also had come to the same conclusion – hence the layer of dust on the cover.

I don’t like a purchase to go to waste though, so I have been slowly wading through the book. First, I read all of Mr. Reader’s tips at the beginning of the book in regards to grill, heat and cuts of meat and found it very informative.  Then, I started by making some of the rubs and sauces. All have been excellent, and my favourite so far is the Bone Dust. Just like Ethel Herman and her Frank’s Red Hot Sauce, I put that Sh*t on everything!

Overall, I would have to say that the majority of the actual recipes sound like a heart attack in waiting, and I think there’s a reason why none of the nutritional info has been printed in the book. The pairing notes from Roger Mittag for the beer makes for some interesting reading and I learned a lot about beer and grilling, even if I will never make a lot of the recipes due to their complicated nature. I have taken the basic tips (beer marinade, spices, rubs, etc…) and use them quite frequently. There are some interesting side dishes that I would still like to try and have added some of the simpler recipes into our dinner rotations, such as Diva Q’s Double-Grilled Jalapeño Beer Cornbread and Früli Apple, Rhubarb, and Strawberry Crumble

Bone Dust™ BBQ Seasoning

  • 1/2 cup paprika
  • 1/4 cup Chili powder
  • 3 Tbsp salt
  • 2 Tbsp dried coriander
  • 2 Tbsp garlic powder
  • 2 Tbsp granulated sugar
  • 2 Tbsp curry powder
  • 2 Tbsp hot mustard powder
  • 1 Tbsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp dried basil
  • 1 Tbsp dried thyme
  • 1 Tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 Tbsp cayenne pepper

Combine spices and store in an airtight container in a cool, dry, dark place. Keeps for up to 3 months. (makes 2.5 cups) – R.Dolly

 

 

Recipes

Spicy Shrimp and Sausage Skewers

Even if you prefer the taste of grilled food without dipping sauces, give this dip a try. It’s amazing!! There are some recipes that my husband instantly says, “That’s a keeper!!” This was one of those recipes. He even said it was delicious reheated at work the next day.

Spicy Shrimp and Sausage Skewers

 

Ingredients

  • 1 lb 16/20 count raw jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined, you can remove the tails or leave them on, whichever you prefer
  • 7 oz chorizo sausage (I purchased mine at Costco)
  • 2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp Cajun seasoning – divided
  • ⅓ cup mayonnaise
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 6-8 bamboo skewers

Directions

  1. Soak skewers in water for at least 30 minutes to prevent them from lighting on fire on the grill. Pat shrimp dry with paper towels then mix in a large bowl with oil and 1 Tbsp Cajun seasoning. Slice the chorizo sausage the same thickness as the shrimp and then tuck the sausage slices between the curve of the shrimp and skewer
  2. Combine mayonnaise, 1 Tbsp Cajun seasoning, and lemon juice in a bowl then mix to combine. Store in refrigerator (can be done 1-2 days ahead)
  3. Preheat grill over high heat for 10 minutes then turn heat down to med-high. Spray both sides of skewers with non-stick spray (I skipped using the non-stick spray and my skewers didn’t stick) then grill for 1-2 min per side or until shrimp are cooked through. Press down on the chorizo to get visible grill marks
  4. Serve skewers with dipping sauce

*I used chorizo sausage for the spice and heat that it brought to the dish. You can use Andouille sausage or, if you prefer a milder sausage, try Kielbasa.

* I used ‘The Keg’ Cajun seasoning but you could make your own Emeril’s Essence

Emeril’s Essence Creole Seasoning

Mix up a batch of this seasoning and keep it on hand for giving just about any savory dish a “kicked-up” flavor.

YIELD: About 2/3 cup

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INGREDIENTS

  • 2 1/2 tablespoons paprika
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon dried leaf oregano
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme

DIRECTIONS

  • Combine all ingredients thoroughly and store in an airtight jar or container. ~C.Dolly