Archive | September, 2012

Failures

27 Sep

Let me start by saying I know nothing about our justice system, only that it is broken. It has failed us.

David James Leblanc currently faces charges of making and distributing child pornography, sex assault, and sexual interference involving two boys aged two and five, yet he lived among us.  He was able to live where our children ride their bikes, wait for the bus, and play in our yards.

Innocent until proven guilty?  It appears that they were found guilty of theft, break and enter, fraud, forgery and possession of stolen property.  Yet here they are…living among us.

So who’s to blame?  Who should carry the weight of knowing that these two individuals were roaming free to prey on our children and put them at risk?  Who should apologize to that 16-year old who has endured, likely demonic acts?  Who should should be held accountable?

Is it the Hon. Ross Landry, Minister of the Nova Scotia Department of Justice?

What about the crown prosecutor?

Maybe the judge? Someone had to let them out on parole.

Or maybe it’s us.  Maybe we are to blame. Why?  Do we scream loudly enough when this happens?  Do we ask those  in power to answer the tough questions?  Do we ask for resignations?  Do we ask judges to explain their decisions?  Do we care enough.  Will this be forgotten until the next monster gets released and then we become just as outraged?

I am mad.  Mad at everyone who I’ve questioned blame, including myself.  Will I demand an explanation of someone? Of anyone?  And does it even matter?  They’ll be found.  And they’ll be released.  Why?  Well, Leblanc was released after making child porn with a two-year old, so why wouldn’t he.

So I encourage you to be pissed off, and sad and upset and angry to be a bitch about it, all while thinking about that 16-year old boy, because no one else who was paid to think about him did their job.

 

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Hard Times Come Again No More

14 Sep

I was camping at The Ovens this summer with my Sister and our boys. We had eaten dinner in their restaurant (fabulous by the way) and then roasted marshmallows at our campsite.  The boys were playing Bingo and we were chatting over beers, when I heard live music at the Miner Diner, the restaurant where we had eaten only an hour or so before.  I’m a sucker for live music.  

I walked over and peered through the screen door and listened to the lyrics of the song that the man sang while playing a steal guitar.  The sounds of that guitar, the appearance of the man who somewhat resembled Willy Nelson, along with the lyrics to the song he sang, struck me.

As we pause in life’s pleasures and count its many tears
Let us all taste the hungers of the poor.
There’s a song that will linger forever in our ears:
Hard times, come again no more.

As we seek mirth, and beauty, and music light and gay
There are frail forms fainting at the door.
Though their voices are silent, their pleading looks will say:
Hard times, come again no more.

It’s a song that the wind blows across the troubled wave.
It’s a cry that is heard along the shore.
It’s the words that are whispered beside the lowly grave
When hard times will come again no more.

It’s a song and a sigh of the weary.
Hard times, hard times, come again no more.
Many days you have lingered around my cabin door.
Hard times, come again no more.

I stood at the door watching this man play for a captive audience and I couldn’t help but think of my dad as he sang that song.

Tonight I think of the song again, and I think of my dad who died September 13th one year ago.

Indeed, hard times come again no more.

Lyrics written by Stephen Foster

Music performed by Scott Ainslie, do yourself a favor and click here and hear the sample on the bottom right of the page.  I’ve since purchased the CD. It’s amazing.

You’re gonna love this story…

11 Sep

Pour yourself a drink, and get ready for your heart to ooze out goodness and love, because I have a story for you…and boy…is it a goodie!

So- You all know that my Colin loves to cook, he loves archery, drawing, pretty much all things that normal little nine year old boys don’t like.  I mean, he also loves hockey and swimming and girls in bathing suits, but the kid is not typical.  And I sort of love it.

He’s been cooking for some time and especially loves when I put odd ingredients in a basket and give him a time limit to come up with something edible, just like his favorite show on the Food Network, Chopped.

This summer he was addicted to Chopped Grill Masters, and especially became a huge fan of Chef Kent, a charming cowboy who cooks on his ranch in Texas.  Chef Kent won his round and made it to the final episode.  Colin stayed up until midnight to watch Kent win.

Only Kent didn’t win.  And Colin cried himself to sleep, no joke until 1:30 am!!

His emotions were so raw, like his girlfriend broke his heart or his dog went missing. As a mother that was hard to watch.  Colin only went to sleep when I told him that I would find Chef Kent on-line (you all know I’m somewhat of a web whore) and that I’d find him, and I’d buy Colin his cookbook or I’d give him a donation and that so many people in the world had probably fallen in love with Kent just as he did, and Chef Kent would be fine.  I think I might have even promised him.

I could still hear Colin sniffling and his pillow was still damp with tears when I found Chef Kent’s website and discovered that in fact he did have a cookbook, and I thought, surely I will get the ‘mother of the year’ award for this.  

I filled out the on-line form, only to discover that they don’t ship to Canada.  I thought…Sweet baby Jesus this can’t be happening.  I mean I seriously pictured Colin’s face as I told him that I lied, and that I really am a shitty mother.

Panic set in and I did the only thing I knew how to do.  Beg.  I hit the ‘contact me’ button on his site and I thought I would tug on the heart strings of cooking cowboy from Texas.  Someone who was likely famous by now, who probably had no clue where Nova Scotia is, let alone Mahone Bay!

My e-mail went like this:

Hi Chef Kent, My nine-year old son Colin is still crying in his bed because you were chopped.  He loves to cook and he especially loved you!!

I’m trying to console him and said that I would find you and give you a donation or buy your cookbook for him, but you don’t ship to Canada. Please would you consider it? I’d be happy to pay the extra for shipping! And just to guilt you into it, I’m attaching a picture of him, the first one is of him playing Chopped (I’m constantly asked to put weird food in a basket for him), and the other is of his mustard and bacon chicken, one of his specialties.)

Anyway, you were great, we loved all your sayings! I think you should run for president! I wish you and your wife the best success.

I mean, who could say no to that face!!

I went to bed, hoping that he didn’t already have an assistant who opened his e-mail.

I woke up and got myself ready for work, waiting for the babysitter to arrive.  I let Colin sleep in, seeing as he was up so late.  I peeked in his room to find him sleeping, his eyes still puffy from crying when the phone rang.

Unless you heard the thick accent of the Texan on the other end of the phone, you would not have believed it.   As a matter of fact, I thought for a second it was David playing a prank, except for the fact that the caller addressed me as Ma’am.  I thought, David wouldn’t have thought out the details to that extreme.  Ma’am, with his southern charm, this can only be Chef Kent!

Can you believe it?! Not 6 hours before had I requested that he send me a cookbook and now he was calling!   I got Colin up to Share the news.

“Colin, guess who’s on the phone and wants to talk to you?” I asked, barely able to contain my own excitement.

“Chef Kent??” He responded.  Talk about anti-climactic. 

“Umm, ye… yeah…it is.”

They talked, he was shocked and I tried very hard to control my bladder.

Chef Kent expressed his gratitude to Colin, told him a cookbook was on its way,  and said not to worry about him, he was gonna be just fine.

Yesterday, it arrived.

You would have thought it was the Christmas Wish Book.

Colin looked through to cookbook, and looked at the picture, and you wanna know what he said?

“It’s really him.”

The end.  Doesn’t you heart just feel better now?

1/7th Vegan

9 Sep

Have you ever seen a picture of yourself and thought, “I’ve got the lay off the beer?”  Well, that’s me, usually at the end of every summer.  And it was certainly me recently, when I downloaded pictures off my sons phone.

This is me, doing an on-line course I was doing this summer, and it was the most fun course I had ever done, mostly because I participated in the webinars, poolside, while drinking beer.

I mean, that’s my kind of course.

Anyway, now that summer is over and I’ve settled down to do more blogging, I’m looking at all the pictures realizing that I have to make some small changes, one of those changes is illuminating my daily beer habit. Not that I drink a lot, but during the summer, I have at least one a day.

Another thing: meat. This summer, I must have eaten a cow.  I mean, every day it was barbecued something, and while, I love meat, and I’m not going to apologize to anyone for that, I decided to give my intestines a bit of a break.

Once a week, we’re going vegan. Who can’t go meatless for just one day?  Surely we can.  Just do me a favor, and don’t tell my husband.

All you vegans are probably rolling your eyes (Gail Crosier, I can see you now…sigh).  But 1/7th vegan is a start.

This idea came in the spring when we had a vegan potluck at work in honour of Carolyn who is vegan but can never enjoy any of our delicious potlucks.  The food was out. of. this. world.

We all agreed that this was our best potluck yet, and we can do a potluck!

Here is the recipe for my roasted potato and pine-nut salad.  

Bag of mini new potatoes sliced in half, tossed in olive oil and roasted

1 jar of roasted red peppers, sliced

1 yellow pepper roasted and sliced

1 sliced zucchini roasted

12 olived slices

a bed of greens

1 cup of pine nuts toasted

Dressing

1/4 cup olive oil

1/8th cup rice wine vinegar

1 Tbsp maple syrup

1 Tbsp dijon mustard

1/2 tsp grated garlic

salt and pepper

Simple Sushi

5 Sep

The kids and I took a weekend this summer and went on what we dubbed, “Food Tour 2012.”

We each decided on a place that we wanted to go and enjoy a meal.  No surprise, Colin chose sushi.  No surprise because he’s constantly surprising me by his choices.

We went to Sushi Nomi in Dartmouth Crossing and we split several different variations.  It was delicious.

And of course, after having sushi, you continue to crave it days after, so we went to the Superstore and purchased everything we needed.  We thought, how hard can it be to make sushi at home?  Apparently, it’s pretty hard.

Again, no surprise, Colin was the best at it.  He was the first to take a bite.  We waited anxiously for his reaction.  “It don’t look the same but it taste just as good.”  He was right.

Could you not just eat my Colin’s cheeks right off his face? I digress.

But it did get me thinking about sushi and how hard it is to make, which is such a shame because it is so darn addictive.

And then, as I was looking at all the ingredients just sitting there, I remembered our Theme Night Dinners and how Jen’s husband, Wayne, made us deconstructed sushi as a side dish.

I immediately invented the Sushi Salad.

Certainly I’m not the first to come up with this salad, but around these parts, we steal ideas and call them our own.

So- Introducing, for the first time ever, Sushi Salad…you’re welcome.

Cooked sushi rice

sliced smoked salmon

slices avocado

julienned carrots, cucumbers, red peppers

toasted sesame seeds

toasted and chopped nori

For the dressing- mix together the following

tsp sushi grade soya sauce

tsp rice wine vinegar

dab of wasabi

sprinkle of sugar

Picked ginger if you fancy (we do not fancy)