Healthy Cookies

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A Facebook friend posted a recipe for healthy cookies.

“They’re amazing!” she gushed. “Dairy-free, egg-free, fat-free and best of all–my little boy loooves them!”

How could I resist a recipe that’s not only good for you, but kid approved? I hit the kitchen, ready to enjoy some delicious homemade goodness.

What’s left when you take away the dairy, egg and fat from cookies you ask. Not much I discovered!

These had mashed bananas, apple sauce, almond milk and oatmeal.

I didn’t have almond milk so I used skim (so much for dairy-free.) No regular apple sauce, either so I substituted one of those apple/strawberry fruit cups.

My usual breakfast is unsweetened oatmeal cooked with skim milk and topped with fruit. I happily eat it most mornings. These cookies, almost exactly the same as my go to breakfast, should have been fine.

So why were they such a disappointment? Perhaps because the flavour bar is set so much higher for homemade cookies than for oatmeal.

Will I make these again? Perhaps, but with a few changes.

I’ll add chocolate chips and toasted coconut. Chunky peanut butter, too and maybe a bag of mini M&M’s if I remember to pick them up. Oh, and a couple of eggs for a lighter texture and butter to make them melt in your mouth.

Sigh–maybe I’m just not ready to hop on the healthy eating bandwagon.

How Awesome are You?

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M posted a quiz on Facebook–How Awesome is Your Husband?

Her husband is 86% awesome.

I love quizzes. I love to be successful on quizzes.

My sailor is pretty damn awesome so this quiz was like a gift–an opportunity to bask in the reflected glory of his awesomeness.

Sigh–he’s only 56% awesome.

I called him at work to share the bad news. His reaction?

“Don’t post that on Facebook!”

I decided to take the sister quiz–How Awesome is Your Wife? We all know how jaw droppingly awesome I am. All I had to do was answer the questions as my sailor would and I’d get my super high score. The only downside to doing the quiz on my sailor’s behalf–I couldn’t share the results of a “How Awesome is Your Wife” quiz without causing some confusion.

Turns out confusing my Facebook friends about my sexual orientation was the least of my worries. Apparently I’m only 65% awesome.

When my sailor got home, I sat him down at the computer. We went through both quizzes together.

I was determined to uncover our inner awesomeness!

We were especially generous (yet honest) in our responses. Our scores increased.

My sailor peaked at 64% awesome. Sigh–I couldn’t get beyond 69% awesome.

We learned two things from this experience.

1. We are obviously meant to be together as we are mutually mediocre.
2. M’s husband must be a saint.

Five Signs it Was a Good Reunion

007The big high school reunion was Saturday. I had a hoot! I connected with people I haven’t seen in years, made some new Facebook friends and got a chance to wear a pretty dress and high heels.

For anyone else with an upcoming high school reunion, I’ve compiled the top five indications of a great event.

5. You tell everyone they haven’t changed a bit and by the end of evening you realize it’s true. We’re all a little older and dumpier, but everyone still has that special spark that makes him or her unique. After a few hours and a glass or three of the questionable house white, you see their inner teenager emerge.

4. One of the cute boys you were way too shy to talk to back in the day says he’s sorry he never dated you in high school. Yess! My mom always said it would happen and it’s better late than never–I’ve finally bloomed!

3. You can’t wait to Skype your sailor about the reunion. Even while you’re there, you’re making a mental list of everything you want to tell him so he can share the experience secondhand.

2. You get home so late you hear this: “You were supposed to be back hours ago! Why didn’t you answer your phone? I left four messages and texted you. This behaviour is unacceptable!” In a weird circle of life way, it’s your son telling you off for missing curfew, not your dad.

1. You decide you want to move back to your hometown. The people are so friendly and you’ve known most them since you were six years old. You have history in this place! Your roots are here! The feeling is so strong you start looking at MLS house listings and telling the boy how wonderful the local schools are. You’re not sure what kind of job your sailor will be able to get in this isolated spot, but he’s so talented it’ll sort itself out. You’ll happily give up work to be a housewife. The feeling lasts until you get stuck in the ferry line up and realize why you left in the first place.

Must Love Chihuahuas

What I say: Why is there a pile of clothes on your bedroom floor? I do your laundry and put it on your bed. The least you can do is put it away. Throwing it on the floor is not only disrespectful to me, it creates an unsightly mess!
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What he hears: Blah, blah, blah . . .

What I say: Things are going to change. I’m not a servant. From now on it’s your job to load the dishwasher. That’s not too much to ask since you have no chores and I do everything around here.

What he does:

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Really??? You’re welcome??? Could he be any more sarcastic? It’s too early to open the wine, so instead of drinking I try to remember my yoga breathing techniques.

What I really need is another adult to help me out here. Sure, I can vent to friends over the phone, over non-fat lattes at Starbucks and over Facebook and I can whine to my sailor over Skype, but it’s not the same as having a supportive grown-up at home with whom I can co-parent.

I’m tired of being the bad cop, setting the limits, enforcing the rules and (I can’t believe I’m admitting this) yelling until I’m hoarse. If I’d wanted to be a single mother I wouldn’t have worn that lacy white dress in front of a room full of witnesses and said good-bye to friends and family (not to mention job prospects) to follow my sailor from coast to coast and back again.

Wanted (desperately!): one co-parent. Must be kind, compassionate and sexy and must look good in a uniform. Must think I’m funny and be prepared to laugh at ALL my jokes. Must love Chihuahuas, burned food and chick flicks. Must be willing to carry my packages on shopping expeditions even when I buy heavy hardcover Nigella Lawson cookbooks, wait patiently outside fitting rooms while I try on dresses and fish my golf balls out of the ditch when I invariably hit them in there. Ability to wipe off slimy balls before returning them to me an asset. The successful candidate will assume permanent designated driver status and will interact in a positive manner with the boy providing guidance and role model-ness. Abilitiy to work evenings and weekends essential in this temporary, unpaid position.

I’ve Been Unfriended!

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By most people’s standards, my Facebook friends list is pretty short. I haven’t gathered them. Each has found me and sent a friend request. That’s just the way I work. Asking someone to become my friend would leave me open to rejection. I’m too sensitive to chance a rebuff like that.

Because I don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings, I’ve accepted every friend request I’ve received except for two from people I’ve never actually met. A little FB digging revealed they were friends of friends. Maybe I’m old-fashioned, but I can’t consider someone I wouldn’t recognize in the Tim Horton’s line a friend.

D, an actual in the flesh friend as opposed to a Facebook friend who may in fact be a mere acquaintance, has a glamorous cousin.

Glamorous Cousin lives in Europe and travels extensively. I’ve met her a few times. She’s a little overbearing, but other than that, seems okay. She sent me a friend request a while ago. Although she’s not an actual friend, I accepted because we’ve met. I was fairly confident she wasn’t some kind of creepy stalker.

She posted a few family photos. The usual stuff: New Year’s Eve in Barcelona, Easter Sunday in Rome and that mid-winter break in Paris to see the museums. I made concise comments. (Looks like a great trip. The kids are sure getting big! Did you see the medieval fortress walls in the basement of the Louvre?) She never liked or responded to any of my comments or posts.

I’m not a prolific Facebooker. When I post, it’s either extremely interesting (like a photo of a freak April snowstorm) or funny (a warning not to drink the water over a public toilet).

I thought Glamorous Cousin was taking a break from Facebook as she hasn’t posted anything in ages. Perhaps that demanding vacation schedule doesn’t leave much time to muck about on the computer.

Then yesterday D mentioned something about Glamorous Cousin’s latest trip. She’d seen pictures on Facebook.

“That’s odd,” I said. “I wonder why they didn’t show up on my news feed.”

Awkward silence from D.

“Hang on,” I said, “I’m checking my friend list. . . She’s not on it. Did she unfriend me? Can you do that without telling the person?”

“If you unfriend someone, they’re not notified.”

“But she sought me out and asked to be my friend. It’s not like I went looking for her on Facebook and then swamped her with messages. The least she could have done was send me a note to say she’s condensing her friend list or something before she chopped me.”

“Don’t take it too hard. Maybe it’s not personal.”

Not personal? How can something as brutal as being unfriended not be personal?

I googled reasons to unfriend someone. None of them are good. Some are unfriended for posting vulgar language or polarizing religious or political messages. Yikes!–I wouldn’t want a friend like that, either. Cluttering news feeds with daily (or more) photos of cute kittens, mind-numbing “today I brushed my teeth” type posts or endless boasts about your better-than-everyone-else’s life can also get you unfriended, as can threatening or abusive behaviour.

As none of those apply to me, I am left with the real reason Glamorous Cousin unfriended me: I am uninteresting. She invited herself into my online life, looked around and decided it was too boring for her. I was too boring for her.

Thanks a lot, Facebook for bringing the highschool experience of not being good enough for the popular girls to adult life!

A Sailor in the Desert

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The dark side of that debonair uniform and the collection of medals my sailor sports across his chest is a single word: Afghanistan.

Sailors are supposed to serve aboard ships and live in pretty seaside towns. Nowhere in that vision is a journey to a desert on the other side of the world. He assures me that he will be safe, working at a quiet job in an office that is, above all, safe. (He repeats that word like a mantra every time I question him about his upcoming deployment–safe, safe, safe.)

I understand the mission is being scaled back and he won’t be involved in a combat role, but I also recall the list of fallen Canadians that scrolls across the TV screen every Remembrance Day and I worry.

I am outraged when I read stories of women being abused or killed and little girls denied an education because of their gender and I think, someone needs to step up and protect these vulnerable people, but my resolve weakens when it is my husband who will be in danger.

We will have SKYPE and email for private communication and Facebook for more public updates. I’m able to access news reports twenty-four hours a day, learning about the situation there in live time.

I don’t know if that makes it easier or more difficult. Wives left behind when their husbands went to earlier wars didn’t have reports of every battle, every casualty. Did they worry less because the news wasn’t so immediate?