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01 March 2014

Cold, cold and more cold. Temps of -30C and wind chills down to -42C. No way I'm leaving the house today. The dogs are only getting 10 minute outdoor breaks. Even though they are furry things they are still indoor dogs and not use to such intense cold. During the last cold spell I got busy with work and they were out for over 20 minutes and Whitey came in on three legs. I thought he might have cut himself and when I went to touch his paw he yelped. There was no damage so it must have been starting to freeze.

We had some nice weather last week and my patio doors finally unthawed and I could close it properly, now the ice is building up again. Suppose to stay really cold for the next four or five days.

Good day to do some more cooking, today its beef stew. The meat in my stews always ended up really dry. Did some research on the web and going to try cooking it really low and slow. I'm thinking about 250F in the oven for hours and hours. Also got a tougher cut of meat with lots of marbling of fat and connective tissue. Having the oven going all day should help keep the house warmer as well.

Took a day off last week and finally went in for the test my doctor ordered back in January. Ultrasound for that unexpected period and some blood tests to see if there is something else causing my chronic tiredness. I was going to see a counseler about my eating issues but he wasn't available on that day. Have to try some other time. If I don't hear from my doctor next week then all is good.

Work is still messed up but I'm either getting use to the stress or just not letting it bother me so much. My manager is getting pressured by the other managers because we are not producing as we should. Nice to see that he is getting some of the stress from his poor decision.

Off to clean the house and start cooking.

23 February 2014

Hmmmm, what to do, what to do. My house is clean, shopping is done, all of the plants are watered, bills are all paid and its freezing frigging cold out today. Wind chills into the -30s.

Don't feel like wasting the day watching TV and playing on the computer. Might do some more cooking, I have all of the stuff for some chilli. Made a big pot of spagetti sauce yesterday, trying out my own garlic chili paste and it turned out pretty good. The sauce has a bit of a bite but its not overwhelming.

Work continues to suck. I finally told my boss how I feel and he told me he needed me to be less negative. How can I be positive about a situation that has no positive aspects? He said there will be an annoucement this week that will make me happy. We'll see, I'm not holding my breath.

Bars in the city openned at 4:30 this morning for the gold medal hockey game. You have to be a die hard fan to stand in the freezing cold so early in the morning.

I have to find something to do for the winter, this sitting around the house is not good for me mentally or physically. Maybe some sort of volunteer work in the village? Have to look into that.

16 February 2014

The chinook winds are howling and banging against the house. But they are bringing warmer temperatures and we are above feezing for a change. Might even be able to open up the doors today to freshen up the place.

Took the dogs with me shopping yesterday, I only had a few short stops and it wasn't to cold or to hot to leave them in the car. I thought the change of scenery might do them some good, they are so bored from being stuck in the house. Whitey was very nervous the whole time and I realized that the only time he goes for a long car ride is when we are going to the groomers or the vet, both of which he hates. I will have to take them with me more often...hopefully he will start to see this as a fun outing. He does get very excited when he sees cows or horses or any kind of livestock.

It actually feels good to do those mundane weekend chores of shopping and house cleaning. Takes my mind off of work problems for a while. Still woke up this morning pissed off thinking about work.

Thanks all for your kind comments on yesterdays journal. Still not sure how to deal with it but it felt good to get some of my frustrations out.

Todays plan is to organize the garage for a dump run, my year end cleaning filled it up with all sort of stuff that needs to leave. Then clean the carpets.

15 February 2014

A combination of work stress and cabin fever has me totally off my eating plan. Back to stuffing my face with anything available.

I'm trying to get mind mind wrapped aound how I will deal with these work problems. I know that I can't change anything except my response to it. I can work crazy long extra unpaid hours to make things work or I can say screw it and let things fail. Neither one is easy. I don't want to spend my life working, especially with no compensation, but I also want to have some job satisfaction...feeling like I did my job to the best of my abilities. Damn work ethic. I really resent being put in this position. And its only going to get worse as the amount of work is just going to increase with no more people to deal with it. How to find that balance of doing the best I can without feeling like I'm letting people down by not completing an unrealistic work load?

I realize how much my daily walk use to help clear my mind, just spending that time wandering around the park and village with the dogs was such good therapy. But that is still not an option. We are just getting out of another deep freeze, highs in the -20s with wind chills in the -30s, and the ice will be around for a couple more months.

When thing really fall apart, as far as my eating goes, I tend to avoid this site as it just reminds me of how I'm failing in another part of my life.

26 January 2014

Got a weird error message when I went to save this. It said I couldn't record another journal entry so soon after the last one but then it saved it anyways.

A nice drop in weight despite some mini binges and minimal exercise, I'll take it.

I don't really measure things when I cook, I've been trying to track the major calorie ingredients but spices and flavourings are kind of different each time.

I start my cabbage rolls by sauting an onion and a couple of stalks of celery in butter until they are really soft and mushy. Add in some garlic and continue cooking until its done. Put it aside to cool.

Add worchestshire sauce and your favorite hot sauce, I like the garlic chili paste, to the cooled veggies. You can also add fresh chilis if you prefer. Just remeber the more seeds you leave in the hotter it will be and wear gloves when handling them.

Rip up about 100 grams of bread, I like those Cosco triangle buns, and add it to the veggies worcheshire and chili. Mix in the bread until it disolves into the veggie chili mixture. If I have some fresh thyme I add some as well.

Take about one kg of ground beef, 2.2 pound for my southern friends, and mix with about one cup of uncooked rice. I use a mixture of ground buffalo and ground beef. Add the veggie, chili, bread mixture and some salt and pepper and mix well. I cook up a small piece to check the seasonings and add more of anything that seems lacking.

Cut the core out of a large cabbage, try to get one that has nice smooth leaves. Get a large pot of water boiling and throw in the cabbage head. Peel off the leaves as they loosen up. This can be a bit tricky as you want them slightly softened so that you can roll them but not to soft as they will rip.

Roll up the cabbage rolls, I like small ones so I cut the larger leave in half and trim down any thick parts of the leaves so they cook evenly.

Once you have a layer of cabbage rolls cover with a layer of chopped canned tomatos and some crushed tomatos. If I have some fresh basil and oregano I add them to the crushed tomatos. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Put down another layer of cabbage rolls and then more chopped canned tomatos, crushed tomatos and salt and pepper. Top up with tomatos juice. Leave enough room for the mixture to boil. I have had some messy overflowing situations.

I like to cook them in a slow cooker. This gets rid of those burned bits that you can get when cooking them in the oven, some people like them but I don't. If you do cook them in the oven covered the top with any unusable leaves to protect them.

I use to make one large slow cooker full but they lacked enough sauce so I now use two cookers. This make a lot and they freeze well. I give quite a few away as they are a good way to thank my friends that help me out.

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