Sunday, July 30, 2006

in concert

"I can work, I can travel, sleep anywhere, cross every border with nothing to declare. You can look back babe, but it's best not to stare.

I need a big weekend. Kick up the dust. Yeah a big weekend. If you don't run, you rust."

-- Tom Petty

tim and i are going with tim's buddy dave to the gorge amphiteatre today in washington to see tom petty.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

festival of salads

even though i make all these jokes about not being a cook and never making anything, i'd like to post a little about all the food that i have prepared in the last 2 hours. my aunt marylou and her husband brad and their two boys are in vancouver at this moment with my parents and brother and they are heading this way for dinner. i am in charge of dinner. it's just hamburgers BUT...i have made some other items to jazz it up a little.

first, a beautiful pasta salad:
2 cups PRIMO Rotini Pasta
2 cups fresh broccoli florets
1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
1/3 cup KRAFT CALORIE-WISE Italian Dressing
1/4 cup KRAFT 100% Light Grated Parmesan Cheese

no directions here -- you all know how to make pasta salad right? these measurements serve 4.

a fantastic and breathtaking fruit salad:
green grapes
cherries (yes, halved and pitted)

umm...a regular salad - use your imagination. and then we'll also have peaches and cream corn on the cob. yum.

for dessert: frozen chocolate mousse squares (get a pen, you'll want to write this one down.)

1 cup OREO Baking Crumbs
1/4 cup butter, melted
2 tubs (250 g each) PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese Spread
1 can (300 mL) sweetened condensed milk
4 squares BAKER'S Semi-Sweet Chocolate, melted
1 cup thawed COOL WHIP Whipped Topping

LINE 9-inch square pan with foil, with ends of foil extending over sides of pan; set aside. Combine baking crumbs and butter. Press firmly onto bottom of prepared pan.

BEAT cream cheese in medium bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until creamy. Gradually add sweetened condensed milk, beating until well blended after each addition. Blend in chocolate. Gently stir in whipped topping; spoon over crust.

FREEZE 3 hours or until firm. Remove from freezer 15 min. before serving to soften slightly. Remove dessert from pan, using foil handles. Cut into 16 squares. Garnish with chocolate curls, if desired.

now the reciepe says that this should be cut into 16 squares and 1 square is 290cal with 20g fat BUT i made it with light cream cheese and low fat cool whip and it still turned out great. so that's got to be less cals and fat, right?

yeah, i guess reading this over, the only "impressive" part is the dessert but here's a reciepe that i made on thursday night. this has been posted previously on my cousin rachel's blog as "Souper Skillet Pasta". the longer story on this dish is that i guess at one time, my mom made this when my grandpa macdonald was out and he loved it and now it is his second favourite dish to serve when you go to their house. seriously. he refers to it as "judy's lasagna". i can't ever remember eating it at my mom's house -- only at grandpas.'s really good and easy and the leftovers are good for lunches the next day.

Judy's Lasagna aka. Souper Skillet Pasta

A super easy, one pot meal.

1 pouch Lipton Onion soup mix
1 lb lean ground beef
1 tsp oregano
1 796 ml can tomatoes, undrained
2 cups water
2 cups uncooked, medium shell macaroni
1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
grated mozza cheese

In a large skillet brown beef, drain. Add Lipton Onion Soup mix, oregano, tomatoes and water. Bring to a boil; stir in macaroni. Simmer covered, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes or until macaroni is tender. Stir in parmesan cheese and top with mozza cheese.

I usually cook this in for 30min in the oven at 350 F but everything's cooked in it so you wouldn't have to if you were in a rush.

There you go. proof that once in awhile i make something other than chicken. :)

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

and i thought being a "gamer" was bad...

ahh yes, i have yet another "hobby" that i preface with, "i don't like to admit this but..." (anyone who's played games with me knows this line.) haha. yesterday, i began to scrapbook my first year of teaching. i've avoided this scrapbooking phenomenon since it began however, i've finally caved and thought, i'll just do one period of my life and see what it's like. it's not bad. if you've seen my photo albums from when i was in highschool, you'll see that i already had an edge on the whole scrapbooking thing before it ever surfaced. i liked doing this then...why not now?

kara's fantastic scrapbooks inspired to me to get going on this project that i'd talked about since spring break yet done nothing except buy the album. we got together yesterday, skipped the planned lap-swimming and did a little scrapbooking.

Monday, July 24, 2006

snow in july

yesterday, during the hottest week of my life, tim, his buddy jared and i were driving to crescent beach when we discovered a snowy oasis on the side of the road. yes, snow. apparently there is a movie being filmed out here called "Deck the Halls" and they're filming it on some very hot days. the trees are sprayed with white stuff. there's white cottony batting everywhere. houses have their lawns covered in white plastic sheets. ahhh...the things that look like snow. we actually got out of the car and did the tourists with cameras thing.
the main scene
here's the batting posing as snow.
yeah, these self taken photos aren't always the most flattering...
tim and jared
can you see the "line" where it suddenly becomes winter? crazy!

Sunday, July 23, 2006

a wedding of non-dancing

i know if you had seen me at the howie-thorpe wedding two weeks ago, you would not believe that i could go to a wedding and resist dancing all together, however, this is what happened two days ago at our friends trevor and jenna's wedding. all the same hits...from my girl to groove is in the heart to golddigger and permiscuous girl. not one move was made.'s a whole different story when you don't know the girls at a wedding. i knew some boys and i knew the bride and groom but how can i go out and shake it when i'm not sure if i'll be accepted into the circle or not? so overall, it was a good wedding and i chitchatted to the people at our table and met some old highschool friends of tim' was feeling all good. but as the night wore on, i was beginning to feel uncool for not dancing. and if you have at one time felt uncool in a situation, then you will understand what i mean when i say that the longer we sat at our table staring at the dance floor, the more increasingly uncool i felt. i mean, if we'd been having some good laughs and stimulating conversation at our table then, who cares about not dancing, right? but by 10:30pm, six of us at our table were just sitting and staring. staring. now, that is painful. so painful in fact that i was in tears when we finally did leave because i'd felt the desire to leave hours previous to when we did.
so here are some pre-tears photos of a beautiful and fun wedding (until the dancing hit and i was not a part of it) and then some proof from the previous weekend's wedding that i do dance and i am not as uncool as i came off at this past wedding. haha. tim shakes his head at this "uncool" feeling.

And the proof that i was dancing so hard that my hair is actually sweaty on a non-hot evening in these next two pictures at the howie-thorpe wedding (taken by domi and stolen from ang's blog):

(see the boys in the background on this one checking their watches? yeah, we were the last ones there for sure.)

Friday, July 21, 2006

i'm so hot

this morning i woke up at 9:30am and i'm already sweating. last night tim and i went to a movie at 10:20pm so that we could have the air conditioning. now, i know that apparently it's hotter in ontario right now so what am i complaining about but! ontario-ites expect the heat, right? it's supposed to be 35 degrees today!!! i'm going to a wedding at 1pm that is in a non-airconditioned church. oh dear.

okay...enough complaining. right now, tim and i are headed to the pool for the morning. tim has the day off because of his friend's wedding so we have the morning to hang out together.

i can't even think of anything else to say because i'm so warm.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

a workout buddy

well, i really like having a friend to work out with. today i went to langley and spent the afternoon with kara. we went to the pool and swam laps and then after dinner we went for a hard core walk. it was great. all these hours of working out alone in abbotsford...not as nice as having a partner in crime.

here's a picture that kara took of me swimming today. like my cap?
now after reading that nice paragraph above, i'm sure you're wondering, "swam laps? tell me more." i will. with the long version. the long version starts a few days ago when i was swimming in the shulba pool. the long version starts with discovering really how poor a swimmer i am. the long version starts with the comment i made to my dad yesterday about swimming: "see, when i put my face under water, i can't help but breathe in through my nose." needless to say, this quote results in laughter. i am just not a good swimmer. i thought that 400m wouldn't be that bad. it WILL be that bad. HOWEVER...with all these negative vibes getting me panic-y over the past couple days, i went to the pool at walnut grove with kara. she'd said on the phone, "i could coach you." i didn't think i needed coaching...i just have to stop breathing in underwater. (it's harder than it sounds. i swallowed a LOT of water today) what i learned today is that, it's great to have someone watch you and give you their perspective because she was able to explain the weird breathing thing! she did coach me. it's all about how i bring my head up out of the water to take breaths. i'll spare you the details because i'm already feeling the details spilling over into paragraphs and paragraphs of post. in conclusion, it seems that i need to work more on my breathing and how i come up to take a breath after every few strokes that will make the overall swimming a lot better. despite being totally wiped out after an hour of swimming, i feel like i am going to get better faster now that i know what i know about my crazy bad swimming habits. no wonder i never made it past maroon.

when i got home, i checked my email and i'd gotten my regular update from Women's Health and guess what one of their articles said...uhh...i'll tell you since i can't tell if you're guessing or not. it said, quote, "Water provides 12 to 14 percent more resistance than air, so swimming has the potential to blow your current dry-land routine out of the water when it comes to cardio conditioning and total-body _toning (not to mention the decreased risk of injuries because of water's buoyancy)." doesn't that make you feel good when you come home from swimming?

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

not all time wasted

even though numerous hours have been "wasted" of my summer vacation so far, i have gotten some things done. a wasted hour, for example, would be watching People's Court which is my favourite daytime television hour. a good use of an hour this week was cleaning out my closet. i like to save clothes that i've grown out of in hopes that one day i will be thin enough again to wear them. yesterday, i decided that the day that i am thin enough, i'll want to buy myself NEW clothes. so in combination with old unworn clothes from the past few years and other things that i just needed to get rid of, i came up with this pile to send to goodwill. you'd think i'd have a lot of extra room in my closet now but for some reason, i don't!

howie thorpe wedding

here are the few pictures that i took before the camera conked on me.

Monday, July 17, 2006

i take it back

yesterday's post? okay...i don't take back the whole thing BUT as i'd mentioned in sentence number 2...the weird burn patterns that turn into birthmark-like tans for the rest of summer? last night after all the tanning by the pool, my ankles to knees were still the exact same colour (white) despite having no sunscreen on them and my thighs were burnt. but not just all red. there were weird finger shaped marks of white at the tops of my thighs as though i'd been tanning with my hands there or as though i'd swiped some sunscreen there. but i hadn't!!! now i have "weird burn patterns that will turn into birthmark-like tan for the rest of summer." ahh...some things never change.

Sunday, July 16, 2006


now contrary to most, i have never been summer's biggest fan. my skin won't tan unless it burns first and then i'm left with a weird birthmark-like tan because the sunscreen hadn't been applied evenly. it's hot and i'm not a fan of sweating. i don't like swimming. i very much dislike wearing shorts with my blindingly white legs. etc. etc.

HOWEVER...i'm enjoying it more this year. maybe this is because i'm a teacher and i have nothing to do all day except find ways to enjoy summer. here are some of my favourite things about summer:

> warm evenings
> extra freckles
> peaches and cream corn on the cob
> watermelon
> cherries
> the pool at the shulbas
> it's light until 10pm
> warm breezes
> the ice cream man
> eating dinner on the deck
> wearing flip flops

ahh... today tim and i spent the day at the shulba pool (see number 6) which was only *gasp* 80 degrees. it was great. i wore my new bathing suit which is perfect for tanning in because it's strapless. tanning will really never be the same anywhere other than pool side because when you get hot, you jump in the pool and you're good to tan for another 25min before you're hot again. especially when there is a breeze. it's fantastic. i read my book: Hypocrite in a Pouffy White Dress which is very interesting. It's the memoirs of Susie Gilman who is apparently an author of other books but i picked it solely for it's title. tonight, sadly, we will not be partaking in pizza night in WR because we were in WR yesterday night and tim just couldn't work himself up for another drive out there. to console ourselves we have bought corn on the cob and rented Annapolis. it's been a very summery day. sing it: da da da da da, i'm loving it.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

circle dancing at it's best

so last night was laura and conor's wedding. what a great time. more circle dancing (see may 13 - rachel and dallas synchyshyn) however, as i even wrote in the blog on may 13, tim's "moves" definitely threw me off last wedding but this time i knew they were coming and i had a lot more fun dancing with him. haha. see...i never want to get on the dance floor even though deep in my heart i love dancing. i'd rather dance around by myself in my house where no one can see me. what was great about last night is A) laura started the dancing with a line dance so the floor is CROWDED with people for this line dance and then when the music changes, we're all already on the floor so we might as well stay. and B) the songs i like to dance to by myself like Groove is in the Heart and Video killed the Radio Star were played last night. awesome. i wore these super heavy earrings (pics to follow) so i think my lobes have stretched a little however only my shoulders and neck are sore from last night whereas everyone else i have talked to have sore feet and legs. i wore flipflops...they were barefoot on concrete. but all in all, beautiful wedding. i have a few pics of the ceremony and such but my batteries ran out so photo taking was cut short. i know ang or rach have lots so i'm hoping to steal some of theirs. yay for conor and laura being married!

in triathalon news, (i'm sure some of you have been wondering) i'm finding the transition from biking to running to really be hard. my legs are a little jelly like when i get off the bike and i really don't want to run but i force myself to and then i end up having to stop only ten minutes in or so. definitely something that i'm working on. i'm really counting on adrenaline and the motivation of other people running past me to keep me going on race day. i remember when i did the sun run (10km run) with no training when i was in university and i only stopped running once to stretch a little. that's amazing considering the not so great shape i was in so i feel like 5km? no problem on race day. any other day? not so great. haha. the real crazy part is going to be the swimming portion. due to city of abbotsford on strike, not only is there no garbage pick up, there is also no rec centre open for me to use the pool!!! what? so i have not done one practice swim yet. oh dear. next week i'm going to have to start heading to langley or WR for their pools because swimming is most definitely my weakest area.

speaking of swimming, i bought a new bathing suit on saturday. yes, another one. see...the sporty black bathing suit just isn't the thing to be wearing all the time, right? and my last bathing suit was a black tankini that was accidently washed and dried and shrunk a little. not to the point of not able to wear but to the point of "hmm...that suit looks a little tight on rebecca. is she gaining weight?". not a great look. bathing suit time. unfourunately for tim, the cheap bathing suits were just not fitting great so i hit up the horrendously expensive bathing suits on marine drive WR. yes, it was expensive, but it's the first bathing suit that i have owned that is not black since i was in grade 9. (uhh...wait, i've only owned two bathing suits since i was in grade 9) and this tankini fits nicely. yes, i know. this is very exciting news for you all.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

100 already?

this is my 100th post on my blog. here's are some memorable moments and quotes from the past 99 posts plus some added comments in italics:

Jan.10/06 - "So I started one and then never let anyone know and never wrote in it again. BUT here I am begging forgiveness and starting afresh. I'm not promising anything great -- just mediocre murmerings of a first year teacher."

Jan.13/06 - "i have decided to do a 7-day free trial at Just Ladies Fitness" (remember when i STARTED working out? now i'm entering a triathalon! crazy)

Feb.13/06 - tim gets a new wedding ring after having lost his a year previous to this date. (since this post, tim has lost this ring never to be found again.)

Feb 26/06 - new haircut.

Feb 27/06 - "THEN i get home and there's a message on my answering machine from buzz bishop. if you are from BC and listen to Z 95.3, you should know that buzz is the afternoon dj. i won $100 to use at Cannery Seafood on the water in Vancouver!!!" (i still have not picked up this gift certificate!)

Feb.28/06 - "crack an egg into a well-greased muffin tin. add a tbsp of diced deli turkey breast and a tbsp of chopped veggies (i chose tomato and green pepper). grate a little cheese on top. bake at 350 C for 12 - 15 min. you can freeze these little guys until you want one and then pop in the microwave for 35 sec. i had two for lunch today. FANTASTIC. travel - omlettes." (i froze a bunch of these for the time that i made them after this post and i just threw out a couple yestreday because they're not very good warmed up.)

Mar.4/06 - "[what cops will do] to give a ticket. apparently they'll go from one side of the highway over the grassy ditch and pull a u-turn to give a ticket. not the greatest end of a day -- that's for sure."

Mar.5/06 - "i went up four aisles with no luck in finding any popcorn. it didn't make any sense. finally i found someone and asked them which aisle popcorn was in. "oh! it's in aisle 9 - right there" he says pointing to the "paper products, salad dressing, and cooking oils". riiiight...that makes sense."

Mar.11/06 - "here's a sad reality my brother informed me of last night: tim hortons french vanilla has 240cal and 7g of saturated fat. the cranberry blueberry bran muffin that i eat to be healthy? 340cal and 2g of saturated fat. shoot."

Mar.12/06 -

Mar.15/06 - "BUT, the observation i will leave you with is this (read it slowly as though i am saying it to you): you all have tickets to get on the plane. there's no rush to stand in line holding your carryons when you could just wait in your comfy airport seat unti the line is gone. why are we rushing?"

Mar.31/06 - "in other news...quote of the day from ellen degeneres: "it is better to have danced and gotten whiplash then to have never danced before." i'd like to dedicate this quote to my mom as it turns out she hates ellen dancing so much that she changes the channel at that part of the show if she's watching it. that makes me laugh."

Apr.22/06 - "i think we're supposed to garden. i've been puttin it off like mad because i am just not a gardener (wait a sec...i'm not a cook, a kitchen or bathroom cleaner, a laundry-doer...hmmm) but our garden is a little out of control."

Apr.23/06 - garden before:

garden after:

Apr.25/06 - "any tips or sympathy ingrown toenail stories of your own, please let me know."

Apr.28/06 - "the point is that i was using all calvin and hobbes pictures and i said to the kids, "who know calvin and hobbes?" and guess how mnay kids raised their hands?!?! ONE!!! w-h-a-t??? matt and i loved calvin and hobbes as kids. i guess we were a bit older but i was just so amazed. anyways. that's the end of the story. sorry if you were expecting more."

May 2/06 - "imagine it's you: music was cued wrong to start so you walk on and then had to walk off again. that throws you a little off. then the dance begins and all of a sudden it hits you that you're dancing in front of an audience and your throat goes totally dry. like you're in a desert. but the dancing is going okay. THEN halfway through the dance you run off stage to grab your chairs (because there's a part where you use chairs) -- (i know you can't believe you missed this event) and you run out and your chair's not there!!! panic! what to do? what to do? then another girl grabs it from behind another curtain for you and you barely miss a beat...except the chair was turned the wrong way so when you go to open it, you can't get it open. but it gets worked out. now you're totally and completely thrown. you have a very serious look on your face as you concentrate but keep remembering you're supposed to be smiling. pop in the occasional big smile. serious look. smile. serious look. smile. it's coming to an end...big finish...strike pose one: oops, wrong arm. strike pose two: great. and done. run off stage and keep yourself from bursting into tears because you could have done it better but who cares because you're adults."

May 7/06 -

May 13/06 - happy wedding to rachel and dallas!

May 19/06 - "well i'm driving down sumas way towards the sumas border crossing and the truck dies. dead. thankfully i'm not on the highway because i don't have a cel. i coasted to the side of the road and walked into an office building right there and used the phone..." "...but at this moment in time, neither shaun nor i have gotten a hold of tim yet to tell him his birthday news. no vehicles. happy birthday tim!" (on this day in 2007, i'll be writing about alyssa and james' wedding!!!)

May 22/06 - "so i've had an inspirtaion to do a triathlon. crazy goal, i know. BUT...there's a race in Harrison Hot Springs on Aug. 6/06 called "My First Triathlon"."

May 31/06 - "Ode to Matt

There once was a boy named Matt.
When he was little, he wasn't too fat.
But now he's strong
And easy to get along (with)
So sometimes I call him for a chat."

June 6/06 - "in triathalon news: new running shoes: $159
new sporty ROOTS bathing suit: $29.99
no shin splints or tankini riding up: priceless."

June 9/06 - "as i was in the hall afterschool, one of the grade 2 girls comes up to me and says, "i can't wait to be in your class next year for grade 3!" "

June 18/06 - "so there you have it. the confessions of a chick lit reader." (the books that i had pics of from the library on this post, i didn't end up reading. i only read one. since then i have gotten other books from the library and am working on those...though still same genre.)

June 22/06 - "i'm definitely ready for summer and a new school year. they say your first year is your hardest so i'm looking forward to next year. so many things to do differently and new things to try."

June 25/06 -

Ahh...good memories.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

so i lied

there was not even a post yesterday. it takes forever to up load photos and i was just busy with other stuff. what can i say? ;)

ontario. what a trip. it was great having tim there with me for the first time and actually sitting down with aunts and uncles and cousins and grandparents and getting to chat it up. tim played a little street hockey and a little NHL 2005 with a couple of the younger cousins too so he was right in there. tim now understands why we sometimes call my mom, Norma, and my dad, Allen, after meeting my grandparents. he's decided that my mom and her three sisters really should go into business together and no matter what it would be, they'd be a force to reckon with. it was a great trip.

at one point, we were sitting in missisauga with my aunt and uncle (amy and steve) and we decided we should make some popcorn. steve asks, "should we make two bags?" and amy answers, "well, if rebecca can eat a whole one herself, we'll obviously need to make two." and steve looks at us and explains, "i wasn't wondering if we should make one or two bags, i was wondering if we should make two or four bags." ahh yes, i love being with family!

and speaking of eating, we ate like kings out there. everyone put on a spread. we ate not only the famous apple pie but also homemade strawberry shortcake ala allen macdonald. tim and i are sure that we've gained some major weight. this morning we got up and went for a run at mill lake. oh man, we're hurting out of shape. triathalon training will be re-starting in full form tomorrow with my first attempt at swimming lengths at the pool.

but at the not so polite request of my cousin joy (haha), here are a few pics. relatives: a kodak gallery photoalbum will be emailed to you shortly. i didn't know who'd be annoyed by having their photos published on here so i didn't put too many on here...hope it's okay. :)

this is the mann home
grandma and grandpa mann out for lunch with us
yes, i took this photo the macdonald homstead
the macdonalds and i at pearce park
the old "H" in the macdonald barn
the main street in dutton (where g&g macdonald live)
my mom's sister janice and her family with jumbo in st. thomas
my cousin joy and her husband jonny in london
university of western ontario, where my parents went to school (and my mom worked there too)
tim and mark playing hockey in kitchener
my mom's other two sisters carolyn and marylou and family out for coffee in kitchener
irony in old mennonite country

Sunday, July 09, 2006

ahh...almost there...

well, it's been quite a week -- full of visiting. pics will be posted tomorrow when we touch down at noon. and i'll have wonderful and insightful things to say i'm sure. ha.

BUT...while enlisting a new blog reader (my cousin sarah), i'm sitting here showing her this and she showed me this website. (make sure there's 8 i's) sure to have your speakers on. who has time for such things, hey?


Wednesday, July 05, 2006

things i have learned about farming

yes, here i am posting while i'm in ontario. my cousins have internet. it's in the guestroom. how will i get away from this? haha.

i've spent the past three days on the farms. here are some things for you to think about as you drive the paved roads through cities:

> if the corn is "knee high by the first of july" you're going to have a good crop. the corn is already waist high.

> "no till fields" are when farmers choose not to till their fields before planting a new crop which leave brown corn stalks sticking up everywhere in a field of soybeans. apparently, it still works but they won't have the best harvest.

> tobacco fields are decreasing in number in these parts.

> the wheat will be harvested in the next couple weeks.

> the soil around dutton (macdonald's) is more clay-like than around wardsville (mann's).

> while bean and corn fields can be alternated year to year, onion fields need two years of another crop before it's ready for onions again.

> onions need an inch of water a day to grow well.

useless information? i think not. there are some deeper meaning lessons here to be learned i'm sure. i'm still working on those. i wish i could post some pics to go with these facts that i've learned but that will have to wait until monday when i get home.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

leaving on a jet plane

"don't know when i'll be back again..."

umm...actually, i'll be back next monday. today we went to a wedding and it was quite a long day though it was fun. i wore my new GAP strapless dress. but it picks up lint like crazy. i need to get a lint brush.

we're leaving tomorrow morning at 5:45am to go to the airport. it's 11pm now. we're still packing/making lunches for the westjet flight/showering etc. we both have headaches. but here i am POSTING! because could i leave without a few more words?