Friday, April 28, 2006

More Recipes...

I haven't perfected these yet...but they sound interesting. I'll let you know if they need to be adjusted once they have been through a more thorough taste testing.

Honey Dew Martini
1.25 oz Vodka
.25 oz Melon Liqueur
.25 oz Triple Sec

Shake with ice, strain into a glass and garnish with melon.

Caesar Martini
1 oz Vodka
4 oz Clamato
1 Dash of Tabasco
1 Dash of Worchester
Ground Black Pepper

Rim the martini glass with celery salt and garnish with celery greens.

Sweet Tart Martini
1 oz Melon Liqueur
.75 oz Apple Vodka
.5 oz Lime Cordial
.5 oz Cranberry Juice

Throw in a few blueberries and serve with a small dish of "Sweet-Tart" candies.

Spring Fling Martini

1 oz Vodka
1 oz Peach Schnapps
1 oz Cranberry Juice

Garnish with mandarin orange slices or peach slice.

Experiment and enjoy!

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Administrative Professional's Day...

Wednesday, April 26, 2006 was Administrative Professional's Day. My Executive Director presented me with a bouquet of orchids, a gift card for Chapters and a thank you card "for all of the support" that I provide. Our Manager of Support Services presented me with a hot coffee and a muffin and her verbal appreciation of my contribution to our agency.

Now...was that really all that difficult? One day, to take the time to say "hey...thanks, we appreciate your hard work". One day, to enjoy some well earned appreciation for all that we do. I have been fortunate to work with people who realize that it's important to take the time to say thank you. But that is not always the case with the population at large. Now, I have some mixed feelings about this day. It use to be called Secretary's Day. And just so we're clear..."I AM NOT A SECRETARY!".

I heard the announcer on the local radio station poking fun at this day no less than half a dozen times. He maginalized my profession by saying "hey, Administrative's just a fancy name for a Secretary. After all it's still the chick that answers the phone. Right?".

I SO take offence to this attitude. I will have you know that: a) answering phones is less than 1% of my job b) I am not a receptionist c) I do not get coffee c) my duties include, tech support (hardware and software), network administrator, accounts payable, accounts receivable, payroll, database management, facility management, project coordination, Employer's Certified Health & Safety Rep, Health & Safety Accident Investigation & Inspections, Health & Safety research and training, audit preparation, budget development and yes, I prepare correspondence too. Then, there are all the duties that fall under the "and other duties as assigned" category of my job. Which, basically, includes all the crap no one else will do.

When I hear people belittle my profession with comments like "Domestic Engineers...still vacuum your house and prepared your meals, it's just a fancy name for Housewives after all. So why not call Administrative Professionals what they are, Secretaries?". I'll tell you why. Because we would RIOT. We are tired of being the beasts of burden who do most of the work and get none of the credit. Actually, in some cases, I've taken the blame for something that was not my fault, just so that my boss was not portray in an unflattering light.

We perform these duties unflinchingly, we know our responsibility is to keep things running smoothly and to make our Executives look good. And for the most part we accept our role as "the person behind the curtain" and we carry on. But for one day a year...I would appreciate it... if I could actually enjoy the acknowledgement of my dedication and hard work without some chauvinistic, sarcastic, blithering idiot disparaging my profession.

Enough said. I need a martini!

Monday, April 24, 2006

Life, Stranger than Fiction...

My mother-in-law currently resides in a retirement home. It's a small private home that is located in the countryside. It use to be owned by the Dorlands and was called Dorland House. A nice strong, quiet name. It was recently sold to new owners and we were informed of the new name. Wait for it... we now make cheques payable to "Fairyland Retirement Village". I kid you not, after all who could make this shit up.

My mother-in-law is not a retired pixie, (maybe a retired witch, but that's a whole different blog) she does not frolic in the woods with imps, fairies and wood elves. Who in their right mind calls a retirement home "Fairyland"? What kind of reaction is she to expect when she informs people that she now lives in Fairyland? She has been diagnosed with dementia (among her other ailments), did we really need to complicate any hospital visit by having to explain to health care professionals that she really does live in Fairyland?

File this one under stupid moments and the thoughtless abuse of the elderly. Some days you just have to shake your head and wonder what the hell they were thinking.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Motherhood Moments...

My thirteen year old son recently had his grade eight graduation photos taken. Now, I realize that kids grow up...but I think it's the small milestones that occur that remind us just how quickly it's happening.

In preparation for this auspicious event we discussed what he would wear and decided that his hair needed to be addressed. So, off we go to the hairdresser to make the child (pardon me, young man) presentable.

Now, I'm an army as far as I'm concerned, if a man's hair is touching his collar, it's time for a haircut. I raised an opinionated, independent, free-thinking, confident child. (Who, strangely enough, often agrees with his opinionated, mother.) But on this topic he was adamant that he wanted to grow his hair longer. Which, really is fine by me. After all... it's just hair. There could be a lot more destructive ways for him to rebel or assert his independence. So the hairdresser just "cleaned it up a little" and we put in some blond highlights.

Boys colouring their hair. This must be a sign of the times because when I was his age, boys did not colour their hair. (Hell, I'm not sure that girls my age coloured their hair.) Now in days, it seems very commonplace. It made for a kind of surreal mother - son bonding moment. I always figured that this would be the type of thing that I would do with a daughter. I never envisioned it to be something that I did with my son. Not that I'm complaining, he is my one and only and I hope that I have raised him not to have preconceived ideas about gender roles. But it's kind of like getting an unexpected having a chocolate craving and seeing a box of chocolates, and just knowing that it's empty, preparing yourself for opening it, and seeing that it's empty, and then looking inside to be surprised that it's a beautiful, brimming, full box.

The morning of the photos he asked for my help blow drying his hair. Now, I know that these type of requests are going to be few and far between, so I enjoyed every moment of it while it lasted. He wore one of his dressy, button down shirts and his father's tie and as I gazed at him, I realized...that he's grown another inch and is now at least four inches taller than me. Funny how you don't notice this on a daily basis.

He's growing up. I keep waiting for the angry, disgruntled, teenager to emerge from my sensitive, considerate child and it hasn't happened...yet. I know, I know, my days are numbered. But a mother has to hope that the teenage angst that infects the greater population will elude her son. Maybe I will be one of the lucky ones. Maybe he will remain the sweet, abiding person with the quick laugh and the sharp wit, while the others around him cave to peer pressure, trend and rebellion. And maybe.....pigs will fly loop-dee-loops over the grand canyon next week. I know it's unlikely...but a mothers still got to hold on to that small scrap of hope.

Do me a favour and keep an eye out for those pigs.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Too True...

I saw this poem and just had to share...

I like to have a martini

Two at the very most

At three I'm under the table

At four I'm under the host.

- Dorothy Parker

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Links for the Martini Lover...

For glasses, garnish, martini sets, gift packs, reviews and a several databases of recipes.





Tuesday, April 18, 2006

The Martini Experience...

I sometimes wonder why I have become so enamoured with martinis. It's a fairly new obsession but there is just so much about the whole experience that I enjoy.

It isn't just the drink. (Although taste does matter.) It's about the ritual.

There is something compelling about preparing a martini. The chilled glass, the presentation, the preparation, the ingredients and let's not forget the garnish. I use to think that garnish was simply that horrible Maraschino cherry that you had to fish out of your drink before it became contaminated. But now I understand that two or three fresh raspberries or a little lemon zest floating in your lovely, chilled martini glass, actually does make it taste better. A feast for the eyes, a cool kiss on the lips and a decadent experience for the palate.

My hunny recently took me to a small Inn in Merrickville. They, oddly enough, had a nice selection of martinis on their bar menu. I haven't tried them all yet, (I need to get a few more ingredients first.) but thought that I would pass on a few of them.

Red Apple Martini

1 oz of Apple Vodka
1 oz of Apple Liqueur
1 oz of Cranberry Juice

Shake with ice, then strain into a martini glass. Float a thin slice of apple on top and enjoy.

This next one is for my lovely transplanted Jules. A taste of Canada, eh.

Maple Martini

1.5 oz of Vodka
1 Tbsp of Maple Syrup
Splash of Soda

If you have maple sugar (or crushed maple sugar candies), then when you prepare the glass, rub the rim with a little maple syrup and then roll the edge in the maple sugar. MMmmmmm yummy and pretty too. Shake with ice and pour into our pretty glass.

Moon Dust Martini

1 oz of Vodka
1 oz of Goldschlager

Rim the glass with a mixture of brown sugar and cinnamon. Shake with ice and strain into a martini glass. Cinnamon hearts might work as a garnish in this too, but I haven't tried that yet. I'm not sure if the colour on the hearts would bleed into the drink and whether that would be a bad thing or not. (maybe it would be good, we could call it a Bleeding Heart Martini.)

It's all about experimentation. The next one I plan to try is a SoHo Martini, but I need some SoHo Lychee Liqueur first. I'll let you know how it turns out.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Reflecting on Birthdays...

I recently celebrated my birthday and I've decided that the older we get the more childlike we become. When you are a's all about instant gratification. The universe as we knew it revolved around us and our needs and our wants.

Then as we matured and became more sophisticated we learned to be more giving. This is especially true if you become a parent. Suddenly our life and our universe revolved around another human being. Our child or even our partner to some degree becomes a new focus. The universe as we know it shifts.

Then as the child or children grow (and in some cases, as your partner matures and grows up) and their immediate needs become less demanding, I think that our universe changes focus once again. (You have my sympathies if you have had to raise your partner, sometimes they never grow up.)

We age, and reflect back on our lives, we evaluate our accomplishments and reassess our regrets and we discover that we care less and less about fitting in, making good impressions or justifying our life to anyone. We care more about "doing" the things that we wanted to accomplish in our lives and less about "what the neighbours might think".

I don't worry, any more, about whether or not people will understand why I want to do the things that I do, and worry more about getting them done in the time I have left on this planet. This, I think is the how we revert back to our childhood days. Children don't justify why they want the things they want, or why they want to do things that they do. They get excited about life and living and they have fun.

So I have finally reached the age that I have officially embraced the child within me. My universe has changed orbit once again and I have become the centre of my own universe. It's my birthday...and, to quote Kat, "After all, at the end of the day, it's all about me".

So...if I'm going to be the centre of my own universe...I might as well christen myuself goddess. Happy Birthday to me!