Review of Week 2 – Thinking BIG with My Household Skills


Cooking for the week on one day

Cooking our meals for a week on one day



Bulking up on fruits and veggies

Bulking up on fruits and veggies

This week, I went BIG with my household skills associated with meal planning and preparation:  making a grocery list and planning the meals for one week, shopping, preparing the ingredients, cooking the food and cleaning up the dishes and kitchen. 

I did a bulk grocery shop at Costco, and then went to the farm market to buy fruits and vegetables.  Making multiple meals at once, and freezing some for the rest of the week saves time in terms of shopping, cooking and cleaning.  Getting bulk pricing also saves money, and saves making multiple trips to the store.  It is also healthier and tastier to freeze home cooked meals rather than buying frozen meals.

It’s easy cooking everything at once, because you already have all the ingredients and tools out, such as knives and cutting boards, oil and pots, and you are already working at the stove, so it’s not that difficult to stir a few more pots at the same time.  You can also wash all the dishes and wipe up the stove and counters in one go.

This week by cooking lasagna, spaghetti, chicken stir fry, and pizza all at once, I saved time, effort, and money, and went BIG with a big household skill. It is a great new habit to form for those weeks when the family is super busy and need some quick lunches and dinners to heat up.

Photos by: Ann Hoy

How To Survive The Winter Hot Flashes

For 50 years, I have been cold.  Although the winters on the BC Coast are moderate, it still gets chilly in December.

This year, however, I did a complete 180, and am incinerating with menopausal hot flashes that are hotter than July. I shunned hormone replacement therapy, so had to devise a strategy to survive my change of life.  The following is my plan:


Since summers end was only an illusion, sleeveless tops are perfect to wear in the house.  A hoody can be worn over them outside, and in case of a meltdown, the zipper can be undone.  Removing layers of clothing allows you to escape the heat, but how can a bra still make you feel hot?  Knitted sweaters, hats, gloves and fur lined boots are sooooo pre-meno.

In the house:

Open the windows until someone everyone complains that they’re freezing, and the dog goes missing under a comforter.  The furnace is the enemy, so turn down the thermostat each time you walk by it, because said freezing people keep turning it up.  Freeze plastic mugs in your freezer to keep your drinks colder, and volunteer to go get everyone a mug out of it when they want a drink.  While you’re there, grab the ice pack and place it on your spine and go sit down.  Cover the heat vents with magnetic sheets to block the heat from you, and divert it to the freezing people.  Hair dryers are sooooo out – wet hair is cooler. Seize the following opportunities: running your hands under cold water, refilling the ice cube tray, standing barefoot on the cement floor in the carport, or the backyard ice rink (see photo), which didn’t fully freeze due to aforementioned moderate winter.


Back Yard ice rink

Back yard ice rink

Going out:

Going to stores, theatres, and coffee shops, feels like you’re going to the beach.  Seek shade, and avoid standing directly under high wattage lights. At the theatre, reserve an aisle seat, so body heat is only radiating on one side of you. Avoid sitting near roasting fireplaces inside coffee shops, and dress your dog like you’re going ice fishing, as an excuse to sit at the outdoor patio at Starbucks.  Drain your frapuccino until you achieve your brain freeze, and remove the ice from the dog dish outside and add fresh water, so the pup will be happy.

keep cool walking the dog

keep cool walking the dog


Apparently, it won’t be too much longer until my change of life is complete, and I’ll be in the middle seat of the theatre again, wearing a winter coat and sipping a hot tea.  I only hope it’s not in July!