Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Blogging Lately

Has anyone else noticed a difference in the blogging world lately?  I know some people have, because I have seen similar posts on their pages.  

I go to my feed, and there's very little that interests me.  I refresh my feed and no new posts pop up.  It seems that everyone, including myself, is out of things to say.  And I don't like it.

I want to talk about more than the day to day happenings of life.  I want to get deeper.  I want to share thoughts that strike me throughout the day.  But I'm not sure why that doesn't happen.  I think that sometimes I stop myself, because I'm scared.  Or maybe I'm just not as into blogging as I used to be and I just don't have the time to write these thoughts down or formulate them in a way that would make sense to anyone other than myself.

So this is my goal.  I want more randomness on the blog.  Less this is what I did this weekend and more this is how I feel right at this very minute.  I don't want to fear what my readers might think.  It's not the people I don't know who worry me, it's the people I do know who read my blog that make me nervous and cause me to hesitate when hitting publish.  I'm a fairly shy person, and so sharing my feelings has never been easy for me.  But so what if I'm open and honest and somebody doesn't like my opinion?  That's what a blog is all about.  Saying what's on your mind and having a voice.

So here's to bringing back our voices. 

And hopefully bringing back some inspiration as well.

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Saying Goodbye

How do you say goodbye to a cat who has been part of your family for almost 20 years?  I'm still not sure how to answer that question even though last night I had to do it. 

Lacey hasn't been well for a long time.  She has been living in my parents furnace room for a few years.  It started because she was throwing up frequently, but then she got comfortable there and wouldn't leave even if the door was open.  She had food, water, litter and a big comfy chair.  What more could a 19 year old cat want?

And she seemed happy.  When you went down there to visit she would purr as soon as she saw you.  She still loved us.  So we held on.
I bet she loved the trampoline for this Father's Day pic
But we knew that it couldn't last forever.  She had arthritis and couldn't groom herself.  She looked awful.  We kept expecting her to just go on her own.  I mean she's a 19 year old cat.  But it didn't happen.

So last night we finally said goodbye.  And I went to see her ahead of time to say my personal goodbye.  And I didn't know how to do it.  I know talking to pets might seem crazy to some, but I didn't know what to say to this poor kitten who had no idea what was about to happen.  So I just thanked her for being the best cat that a kid could ask for.  

We got her for Christmas in 1994 and although she was a family cat, she was really mine.  I was her choice when choosing a bed to sleep in.  If I was sick, she would cuddle up with me on the couch.  She hated when I played the violin though, she always left the room as soon as that started.  

Her name was Lacey, but she was more often called Goggie.  Because when my brother was little (he was only 2 when we got her) he said he wanted a kitty named Doggie, but Goggie is the word that came out of his mouth.  So she became a cat with 2 names.

She was a feisty kitty back in the day.  She gave me a few battle wounds, which I deserved.  But she was shy with strangers.  Most people didn't even realize that we had a cat. 

I'm not too sure what she thought when the first dog showed up when she was about 7, but her and Opie seemed to be pretty good pals.  Once she got older and wasn't moving as well, Opie eased up on her, it was like he knew.  When Opie died and we got Oliver, she wasn't having it.  A new puppy was too much for a 17 year old cat to handle.

I didn't think I would be sad when the time came to put her down.  I knew it was coming and honestly she hasn't been part of the family for a few years as she rarely left the confines of her furnace room "retirement home".  But I was sad.  Sad because that time in my life is over.  She grew up with us and was always there and it's just weird that she's gone.  19 years is a long time.  

I hope that there's an animal heaven and that Opie is giving Lacey hugs up there.

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Bacon Wrapped Jalepeno Poppers

We were at the cottage this past weekend, and generally while at the cottage we eat.  It sometimes feels like we don't get much more accomplished than that.  

I had made these jalepeno poppers before, but they were way too spicy.  So I decided to try again with a few changes, and these ones turned out amazing and delicious, just as I had hoped.

You need:
Cream Cheese
Grated cheddar or marble cheese
Disposable rubber gloves (optional but highly recommended).

The quantities of course depend on how many jalepenos you are making.
Last time I made these, I didn't use rubber gloves and I paid for it.  It's hard not to touch your eyes when you know you shouldn't! And it actually took days for me to get the jalepenos washed off of my hands.  So just wear the gloves!

First, cut your jalepenos in half.  Take all of the insides out and make sure you get all of the seeds, as that's what makes them spicy.

Mix together some cream cheese with a bit of grated cheese. Spoon into halved jalepenos until full.  

Wrap half a piece of bacon around each jalepeno.

Line a cookie sheet with tin foil and cook at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.  

We weren't quite ready to eat them so I turned the oven down a bit and left them in.  The longer you cook them for the less spicy they are.  I think that last time I cooked them at a higher temperature for about half the time.  So your cooking time can be based on how hot you want them, just keep an eye on the bacon.

They were honestly much more time consuming than I was expecting, but they were totally worth it.


Wednesday, 6 August 2014

Good Friends & Great Fun

To finish up our vacation week, we went to Darien Lake with a group of friends.  There were 16 of us who went in total, that's a lot of people!

We camped in the campground.  We brought our trailer and shared with another couple, and everyone else rented a trailer.  The trailer rentals is such a great bonus for them to have here!  Everyone could camp and keep dry and the rentals were spacious enough for two couples as well.

I have been to Darien Lake a few times, and I love it because the park is fairly small and easy to get around and the lines are generally pretty good.  A few of the rides you can basically walk right onto, and even the roller coaster lines aren't usually very long.

In the past, I have stayed in a hotel in a nearby town.  However the camping was nice because you could come and go from the park when you wanted.  Plus you had multiple days of park admission so you could really take your time.  One of my biggest issues is that I always want to get the most for my money, so I tend to rush through things to maximize my experience.  But this way you could be a bit more relaxed.

One thing that I really wanted to do there, was go to the Nik Wallenda show.  For those who don't know, he's the crazy guy who tight rope walked across Niagara Falls and the Grand Canyon.  The show was a bit slow to start.  It had a lot of people in it who weren't Nik Wallenda doing circus type things.  Some of it was interesting, some wasn't.  However, at the end of the show, Nik and his family came out and actually tight rope walked for us.  This included a pyramid with two people on bikes, and one on top standing on a chair.  I didn't take any pictures, because I didn't want to be responsible for anyone falling.  But it really was amazing and it was a pretty cool feeling to be 50 feet away from someone who has made history multiple times.  Even if I think he is completely insane...
We also went to a Blake Shelton concert at the park on the Saturday night.  Honestly, I'm not a huge Blake Shelton fan.  I like his music, but I don't know that many of his songs.  Plus, you tend to forget that smoking in the States is much more prevalent than it is in Canada.  Standing at the concert completely surrounded by cigarette smoke was not enjoyable!  However everyone else seemed to have a really great time, so I was definitely the minority there.  (It also might have had something to do with the fact that everyone else had a fair bit more alcohol in their system than I did!  Sometimes not being a drinker doesn't have it's perks.)

I left a bit early and went back to the campsite and was amazed at how clear the music was from our site!  I think that next time, I will skip the concert ticket and just sit at the site and enjoy the music!

 But it was a great weekend.  It was spent with good friends and we had some good times.