The Story of the Travelling Baking Soda

I had a whole Saturday to kill this weekend so I decided to do some baking. I am due to give birth smack dab in the middle of December and figured maybe I would get some cookies or something baked up and stored in the freezer for Christmas time.

I know. Not like me.

First, I usually couldn't care less about Christmas.

Second I don't bake.

Cooking - yes. Baking - not so much.

So I found this peanut butter cookie recipe from a reputable cookbook, that looked easy enough and I knew I had all the ingredients on hand so I got to it.

And so I was happily measuring, beating, stirring, and just about to add the baking soda to the concoction when I just happened to look at the box of baking soda. I caught a glimpse of the expiry date on the side of the box....

December. 2003.

Now you know I don't bake often but have I really not baked anything that required baking soda since 2003???

And when you buy baking soda, just how long is the shelf life of it? I mean, what year did I actually buy that box of baking soda?? 2002? 2001???

Which got me thinking about just where that box of baking soda was purchased and how far it has travelled and how many times it has moved since, say, 2001.

Steve and I moved to Williams Lake in 2001. We rented an apartment in a 4-plex that was infested with spiders, had disgusting carpets and the bathroom flooded into the rest of the house anytime someone ran water. Apparently one of our landlords was none other than the famous (and recently deceased) Bob Ackles - although he was a silent partner in the venture but still the other landlord liked to brag about it. Our time in that apartment was not overly enjoyable as I could not find work for months and became a miserable bitch. (More of a miserable bitch than I already was). I remember being desperate to fill my days of pure boredom by pouring over cookbooks and trying out different recipes. I do believe that this was when the baking soda was originally purchased.

After living in the 4-plex for a few months we were asked to either kick out our "roommate" (wayward family member) or leave. Me being the stubborn bitch that I am (and being sick of the spiders and the carpet and the flooding) I told the landlord that we would happily move out. Even though we really had no where to go. I didn't care, we had 30 days to find something.

After scouring the papers I found a house for rent which was lovely. I managed to connive the owners into letting us move in over the 3 or 4 other couples who had viewed the place and also wanted to live there. The rent was high but I had finally found a decent paying job and we had nowhere else to go. So we spent the next year or so in the house which we sometimes shared with a couple of other "wayward" individuals in an effort to afford the rent. Our neighbors were a house full of young guys whom we became friends with. I remember baking them a batch of chocolate chip cookies once. I'm sure I used the baking soda for that.

But Williams Lake wasn't the place for us and it was soon time for us to move on. Coincidentally Steve was laid off from his job at a local lumber mill at about the same time my one year maternity leave contract was up with the bank I worked at so we packed up our things -including the baking soda and we headed south.

Sometime in later 2002, we landed in a very small, dark, beetle infested basement suite in Port Coquitlam that flooded every time it rained. And when it rained hard, the water would sometimes rise up almost to my ankles. We endured flood after flood, appliances that didn't properly work, and ignorant landlords who lived in the house above us. I did however, enjoy the local surroundings and spent a lot of time jogging on the local trails and along the Pitt River. This was the time when I became quite thin and was very strict with my diet. I don't remember doing much baking during this time (which may or may not have contributed to my weight loss) and so I'm sure the baking soda sat, idle, in the back of some dank cupboard. Although once, I got so sick once that an ambulance had to be called and I spent the night in the hospital. I never did find out what I ate that made me so incapacitated that I had to be carried out of my home on a stretcher - but since I wasn't doing much baking, I'm sure I can't blame the baking soda which at this time would have probably started getting stale.

Then one day Steve and I found a lovely townhouse complex in Burnaby that was just being built so we put down a down payment. We still had a few months to live in the Port Coquitlam basement suite before the new place would be built and during that time, Steve slipped a ring on my finger and asked me to marry him - even if I wasn't doing much baking.

In October 2003 we officially became home owners and left renting behind. We moved into Burnaby - baking soda in tow. During our time there, we also officially became husband and wife. We hosted quite a few good little parties in our years living there - for which I obviously didn't supply any baked goods but still did my fair share of cooking. Did nothing I made call for baking soda???? It was in the first few months of living in the townhouse that the baking soda actually expired.

Fast forward 5 years and the only baking being done is a bun in the oven - which required a couple of rounds of IVF, a lot of money, and a lot of heart ache but which did not require any baking soda to create. Realizing that 1063 square feet had become too small for the two of us and would certainly be too small once our bun was done baking we set out to buy something bigger and better.

In August 2008 we moved into our current home in North Delta. There is no shortage of space there. And once we'd been moved in for almost a month and are feeling quite content and settled - it was then and only then that I decided that maybe I would start baking again. Steve works on Saturdays and I usually have the whole day to myself. And so instead of wasting the day away, last Saturday I thought I would bake some cookies to store in the freezer for this coming December when I am due to give birth.

And it was then, that I realized that I had been carrying around a box of barely used but opened baking soda for at least 6 or 7 years. I'm almost sad about it now, that I threw it away - thinking about how far it has travelled.

I had to make an emergency trip to the grocery store to buy a fresh new box of baking soda. I made sure to buy the smallest box they had because who knows when it might get used again...

New neighborhood affects blog

It seems that by moving to a new house and new neighborhood has seriously affected my blogging.

The crazy annoying things are just not happening over in the new hood.

Nobody has tried to kill me for honking my horn at them. Actually, my horn requires much less honking now anyways.

No ancient asian women are leering in my front window barking at my dog.

Nobody has barged through my door and hung out for a while because they thought they were at their daughter's house.

No crack heads have come into my back yard, ransacked it, and then tried to bar-b-que some dog shit.

Nobody has broken into my vehicle and stolen my beloved White Stripes CDs and then dumped them in the mud just down the street.

And so far none of my neighbors have hung dead turkeys outside their front door and left them there for over week, rotting.

So good for the new neighborhood, bad for the blog.

Pet Peeve

Here's a pet peeve of mine:

When someone buys a box beer and then puts the whole box, containing the beer, into the fridge. Instead of taking the beers out of the box and placing them individually in the fridge and then placing the empty box somewhere convenient to put the empties in.

Instead - the person will pull one beer out of the box at a time as they drink them and then leave empty bottles scattered around the house. Then when someone else attempts to clean up, there is nowhere to put the empties because the box is still in the fridge holding whatever beers are not yet drank.

The box also takes up a lot of space in the fridge and is ugly.

(And this has always annoyed me, I'm not just being sour because I currently cannot drink beer - although it may have slightly increased the level of annoyance that I feel)

What I Learned Today #12

Today I learned that giving a massage does NOT always put Steve to sleep.

And yes, that was Steve giving the massage that puts him to sleep, not Steve getting the massage.

When I am feeling tired / exhausted / worn out / cranky - Steve will sometimes offer to give me a massage at bedtime to help me relax and fall asleep. In the beginning of our relationship I used to be so thankful that I had such a thoughtful guy who would think of doing such a nice thing to help his girl feel better.

However, the thankful thoughts were short lived when I realized that giving me a massage, mysteriously sent Steve off to dreamland in record time.

He would start by rubbing my back so hard that it hurt. I would ask him to ease up a bit and he would ease up to the point where he was rubbing one fingernail up and down over the same 1 square inch area repeatedly until I thought he may have dug a hole in my back. And very shortly after that I would hear him "snoring". The whole thing lasts about 67 seconds.

So when in prenatal class the other night, the instructor advised that she was going to teach the dads some ways that they could be helpful to the moms during labour and she mentioned massage... I was a little confused as to how that would work. How could Steve sleeping through labour be of any help to me? (well, maybe).

Then near the end of the class when she had the moms sit on the floor in front of the dads and instructed the dads to massage the moms for a few minutes, I got a little worried. How ever would Steve get through this part of the class? Would I have to carry him out to car, over my shoulder afterwards because he was in a massage-giving induced sleep? Would I have to explain his "condition" to the other people in the class?

But something miraculous happened... Steve started massaging me - nicely. No rubbing so hard I wanted to cry. And no pushing one fingernail over the same spot so much that I needed a bandage afterwards. No, he actually gave me the nicest massage he has ever given me. And it went on for the entire 5 minute time frame that we were given.

Perhaps most surprisingly, when I turned to look at him after the instructor told us to stop...? His eyes were still open!!!! And he was not snoring.

Will the miracles ever cease???

Strangely enough, we have not been able to recreate that particular massage since the prenatal class. I wonder if there was a special "awake gas" being pumped into the classroom???

Needless to say, I will be looking forward to our next class.

Eat your dinner!!!

Yesterday morning when I was thinking of what I would make for dinner that night, I couldn't stand the thoughts of making a regular "meat and potatoes" dinner so I decided that we would have tuna salad sandwiches and tomato soup instead.

I advised Steve of this in the morning before work and he gave me the thumbs up.


Then he called me in the afternoon:

Steve: What do you want to have for dinner tonight?

Tarable: I thought we were having soup and sandwiches.

Steve: Oh yeahhhhh.... Ok. Cool.

Then he called me a couple of hours later:

Steve: What do you want to do tonight?

Tarable: Nothing. Why?

Steve: Are we doing anything for dinner?

Tarable: Uhh. Still soup and sandwiches.

Steve: Oh right. Ok.

And then he got home and I put the soup and sandwich on the table and I even threw some potato chips on the side. He was noticeably absent from the dinner table when it was being served. I had to call him to the table to eat.

After I finished my meal (which I enjoyed, by the way) I noticed he had stopped eating. His potato chips were all eaten, half his soup was gone and about three bites from one of his sandwiches was gone. He claimed he was full.

Tarable: How can you possibly be full??? You hardly ate??

Steve: I ate a big lunch. Late. A big, late lunch. So I'm full now. I'll wrap these sandwiches up and have them later or in my lunch tomorrow.

So as he's wrapping his sandwiches up that he was just too full to eat, he is eating more potato chips out of the bag...

And then about an hour later, we are out in a store and I mention that I feel a bit light headed. He asks if I'm hungry and asks if I need a McDonald's cheeseburger.

No, I do not need food. Much less a cheeseburger.

After we leave the store, I mention that my head still feels a bit fuzzy and he suggests we drive through McDonald's because he thinks I just need some food. I tell him I do NOT need food because we just ate.

But he says he is hungry now and he might like a McDonald's cheeseburger.

So I remind him of his uneaten tuna sandwiches and tell him that as soon as we get home he can fill up on those.

When we get home, he eats half a pan of the brownies I made the night before but the tuna sandwiches remain untouched.

This morning on my way out the door I reminded him that his lunch is already made and sitting in the fridge. Tuna sandwiches. He says that OF COURSE! He's going to take those for lunch today.

Who are we kidding here? Those sandwiches will either still still be in the fridge today when I get home because he "forgot" them, or they will end up in a dumpster somewhere between our house and Steve's place of work.

Is he 6 years old???

Lack of creativity, not lack of stories

Having trouble putting together a post lately. It's not really for lack of mentionable happenings. There have been a few things going on but I lack the creativity lately to put them into a story. For example:

There is the fact that that I was deathly ill with a cold or allergies last week - and I worried that I might never breathe through my nose again - or at least until the baby came because I couldn't take any medication to make myself better. And then my overactive imagination started to make me think that maybe my new house might have some mysterious illness floating around in it (along with the cocktail making ghost) which was making me sick and that I would be perpetually sick forever.

And then there's the debate that Steve and I have been having about throwing a house warming party. Hey I'm normally all for throwing a party (for any reason) but the situation is a little more complex right now. The fact that I'm 26 weeks pregnant and get really tired, fairly early is one issue. The fact that Steve works on Saturdays and doesn't even get home until 6ish is another issue. So people couldn't come til around 6 and in reality they probably wouldn't come til around 8 and I'm usually really tired and ready for bed around 9 however I think it's a little bit of poor hosting when you go to bed while you have company in your house. And I don't think one hour is long enough for a party. Also, with my reputation of being the life of the party, I feel that it might not be fair to my guests to have the party now while I am sidelined from the cocktails. Should we just go ahead and have the party now? Or wait until a couple of month after the baby is born - or will things be worse for me then, and will that be too late?

Or I could have written about when the other day we were couch shopping, and one salesman tried desperately to "connect" with me by commenting on my tattoos... and then he launched into a diatribe about how he used to have a sleeve but it got melted off his arm when he was in a horrible pyrotechnics accident when he was performing in a band on stage and his drum kit was moving around the stage and then things caught on fire and his arm was severely burned which melted off his tattoo and he had to have a whole bunch of plastic surgery.

Dude, I just wanted to know if you had this couch in any other colors...

So you see, there is lots of things that I could be writing about. I just haven't had the mental wherewithal to put it into a formal post.

Coming up for air

The past week has been crazy busy and I've had little time to do anything "extra". This means no blogging (reading, writing or commenting), no emailing, no facebooking. The week was crazy with packing, moving, unpacking, visitors, appointments with cable, phone, etc.

And before I knew what was happening, I woke up this morning and had to go to work already! I need another week of vacation to catch up and rest from the manic week I had last week.

Happily though, I am all moved in to the new house, and it's fabulous. No pictures yet as I still have a few rooms that are empty due to moving from 1063 sq ft to approx 2500 sq ft. Also, it will be a while before the finishing touches are done - pictures on walls, new shower curtain hung, etc.

The only drawbacks to it all is that it doesn't quite feel like home yet - I feel like I'm staying in someone else's house right now. And also, I get a little nervous at night time - not quite used to all the space and not quite used to the noises that the house makes. On the first night that I slept there, I had myself convinced that the house had a ghost in it and he was making himself a cocktail in my kitchen after I went to bed.

(I later remembered that I had turned the dishwasher on before I went to bed which would explain the glasses clinking and water running...)

And so now, I can hopefully get caught up on my rest and start getting back into the swing of things. And get something that resembles a normal life... whatever that is.