Friday, November 14, 2008

Life at a slower pace

Here's a recap of my first week of holidays at home with the boys, sans Dick.

I love waking up late every morning (around 8AM), so much better than 6AM. I love that there's no need to rush here and there. I can take my time doing whatever I want, whenever I want. No schedules to follow. I love it! love it! love it!!!

So, 2 whole weeks of indulging in all my favourite activities: cooking, shopping, crafting, baking and surfing the net.

First, the cooking. I love surfing the net, looking for ideas for new recipes or to just improve on old ones. On Monday, I made Korean Beef for dinner, always a family favourite, especially for Derek. He loved it so much, he had a helping of the leftover beef each morning for breakfast. Tuesday was my first attempt at making Hainam Chicken. It's basically chicken boiled with salt, garlic, ginger and green onion, served cold with a sesame oil coating and a green onion & ginger paste. It's a very simple and tender way to serve chicken. I got the thumbs up from the kids on that one. On Wednesday, I made 2 styles of pork. One portion was marinated with Chinese BBQ sauce (another family favourite). The other portion was marinated with soy sauce, ginger, garlic and lime leaves. The lime leaf portion had a nice flavour, but came out a bit dry. I also roasted some potatoes, squash and onion along with the pork. That provided enough food for 2 days. Friday was good’ole pasta night.

As for shopping, I ventured out to the Mall on Tuesday just looking for Christmas Gift ideas. I got sidetracked at Zellers when they kept announcing that they were giving away free kitchen gadgets. And of course, I'm always a sucker for free gadgets, so I stayed to listen to the food demo. I didn't stay for long tho, as I didn't want to be suckered into buying more useless items. I did try out the free gadget at home, but it never works out as well as how the demonstrator shows it. I swear they must use extra soft fruits and veggies for their demos, because I had a hell of a time trying to remove the core from an apple when I got home. I struggled with it so much, I ended up using a regular knife to cut it up and then removing the core the old fashioned way.

On Wednesday, I broke down and used the old lady cart to cart back some groceries. I noticed that we were halfway through the bag of rice and since there was a sale on our favourite brand of scented rice… Well, I had to pick a bag up, but there was no way I was gonna lug that thing back using a shopping bag alone. I also bought a GIANT bag of Mini Marshmallows since the kids love having those with their Hot Cocoa and Colin enjoyed the Frosty Flakes Squares so much that I will have to make another batch for him this weekend. I also picked up some Baby Bok Choy which the dopey clerk insisted was Shanghai Bok Choy. I didn’t argue too hard back because I got a better price on it anyways. I tried to be helpful, but she seemed to think she knew better.

Thursday was a doozy. I promised my in-laws that I would water their houseplants and pick up their mail every Thursday, which worked out well when I was already working downtown. But since I was uptown this week, I had to make the loooong trek down to their place. Well, I thought my daily commute to work was hellish, this beats it. It took me nearly 2 hours to get there! On top of that, when I went to pick up their mail, I actually pushed the whole pile too far back and all the mail fell into a gap at the back wall. Needless to say, I was devastated. When I checked with the front desk what to do, he suggested that I wait until around 12 noon or 1 PM for the postie to come by to retrieve my mail for me. It was only 11AM, so I decided to head over to meet up with my niece for lunch first. As always, I had a nice time chit-chatting with her. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to stay as long as I had hoped since I had to head back to my in-laws’ place to retrieve the mail.

After that, I made my way up to Chinatown where I did some quick browsing. There were so many shops there, I couldn’t decide which shops to go to. Time goes by so fast when there are so many places to visit. While there, I wanted to buy some Gai Lan (Chinese Broccoli). There was a bunch piled on top of a table and I started to pick through for the best selection but the vendor comes by and tells me that I can’t pick and choose but he will bag some up for me. I asked him why can’t I pick and choose and he said because I CAN’T. So I thought, fine, I won’t and left. I saw he did the same to some other customer. I guess some people don’t really want to sell their stuff?!?!. I ended up buying some Thai Basil, a package of firm tofu and some tamarind paste. I’m gonna make some Pad Thai Noodles later this week. Wish me luck.

As I travelled north up Spadina, there were so many shops I wanted to visit, but alas, it was getting late and I didn’t get to spend time at Gwartzmans Art Supplies Store. That was an old haunt of mine from my U of T days when I thought I could make a go at being an artist. Then I dropped into one of the numerous Chinese Knick Knack shops and I knew if I entered one of those, I’ll be in there for hours. But because I also wanted to scout out the Sickkids Hospital, I forced my way back out after only spending half an hour in there.

So off I went to Sickkids. I thought about visiting a high school friend while I was there but because it was getting late, I decided to just check out the exact location so that I won’t get lost, should I need to take Derek there for his upcoming Job Shadowing assignment. Michael Tropak was kind enough to offer the time to show Derek around his lab working as a Research Associate for Sickkids. He is only available on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday to do that, so I hope that Derek’s teacher will allot one of those days to be the Job Shadow Day. Otherwise, Derek will end up job shadowing one of my colleagues at the Bank instead.

On the way back to the subway station, I came across the “New” Ryerson University Business School sitting atop the Big Canadian Tire store on the corner of Yonge & Dundas. Ryerson, my Alma Mater. I attended it when it was known as “Rye High”. Such memories. Those were fun times. Oh well, time to go home. Gotta get back before dinnertime or the kids will be wondering where I’ve been all day.

Korean Beef

Hainam Chicken

Roasted Veggies

Useless Kitchen Gadget. It's suppose to be a fruit corer, among other things. I'm sure I'll fiddle with it some more on another day.

My saviour - The Old Lady Cart

Baby Bok Choy, Shanghai Bok Choy

Ginormous Bag'o Marshmallows

A hangout from my U of T days

Knick Knack store in Chinatown. I can spend all day in one of these stores

The "New" Ryerson University Business Building sitting on top of Canadian Tire


Heat_It_Up said...

Wow, your day doesn't sound too slow to me. You're doing more than I am. Can't wait to see you in 5 days.

Joanie.S said...

What I meant by slower pace is that I have no schedules to follow, so I can take my time doing whatever I pleased. There was no sense of urgency in any of my daily activities and that's exactly how I like to live my life.

Only Thursday turned out to be a hectic day for me because I tried to schedule so many activities into the one day I had while downtown. Maybe it's being downtown which makes me want to hurry. Also, it didn't help that I spent so much time in transit.