The Torture and Temptation of the Lust for Really Good Chocolate

I’m having a small problem with chocolate… I want it! I want it often and I want it served warm and tasting like real chocolate with cream to smooth it out. I want it every day, more than once.

But, I’m trying to ignore chocolate and cheesecake and ice cream and all those soft, warm or chilled, yummy things. I lost almost 20 pounds but last month I put back two of them.

I blame chocolate, whether the chocolate truly deserves the blame or not.

I Know it will be Warm, Rich and Creamy – Everything I Lust for in Chocolate

Did you know how nice and easy it is to order chocolate to be delivered to your door? I ordered a box of chocolates from a Canadian chocolate company out on the west coast, Vancouver, British Columbia. To get to my house that chocolate had to travel across thousands of kilometres, several provinces and it made the trip a day early. I opened the box, reverently. I tried to be mindful and enjoy every moment and each nuance of chocolate. But, I had eaten three of the milk chocolate bars before I could make myself put the box away.

So, ordering chocolate is not the best way to deal with a craving for chocolate.

I’m still looking for alternative ideas. Today I noticed this Bialetti hot chocolate pot, mostly for the photo. I can taste that chocolate. I know it will be warm and rich and creamy… Everything I lust for in chocolate. I haven’t decided whether or not to order the machine. It’s a risk. What if I like it too much?!

Then I started looking at other well known (to me) chocolate companies who will send packages of chocolate to your door, via Amazon. Oh, the torture, the temptation… I can taste it and it tastes GOOD!

The best I can do is give in to the craving for chocolate but moderate it. This means letting myself have the chocolate but only once a month and then making sure the chocolate I have at that time is the best possible chocolate on the planet at that particular place and time. No supermarket chocolate bars. No packaged hot chocolate mixes. Only the best, real chocolate and I want it smooth, rich and creamy. A chocolate pudding, but not something out of a cardboard box.

I’m adding the hot chocolate maker to my list of things to buy, along with a bathroom scale. Next month there will be chocolate! Better chocolate.

I’m the “Oh Canada” Contributor on Squidoo

This was originally posted to the Squidoo network when I was accepted as the “Oh Canada” Contributor.

ohcanadaWhy become the Squidoo Contributor for “Oh Canada”?

First, I am Canadian. Born in down town Toronto, grew up in and around Ontario but mainly in the town of Port Union (which became Scarborough, a suburb of Toronto). I have travelled across Canada on the Via train, Greyhound bus, and by camper van, staying in youth hostels and the odd fancy hotel when the budget stretched enough. I’ve been from the ocean in Vancouver out to the ocean on PEI (Prince Edward Island). I have yet to be north enough to see the Canadian tundra – but I have been to Timmons and Thunder Bay at least twice.

Secondly, I really love to find out about Canadian art, history, culture, people, places, traditions…. all of it. When I see the word Canada on something it pops out at me and I will read whatever it is about. Even something I would otherwise not have an interest in or not even like all that much. I absorb Canadiana, greedily. That doesn’t mean I immerse myself in everything, there is only so much of me I can give, but I like to know the good, bad, and the ugly so I can create a whole picture of what Canada is and who we, as a people in the world, are.

I think it is a shame for people to say they are Canadian if they have not done some travelling to see Canada and meet more of the people than they find in the area they begin in. Canadiansare told we don’t have a real identity so we often defend ourselves with what culture, art and history is uniquely our own. That is a shame too because it just shows how well we know Canada is the country which people think of as nice but don’t really know who we are.

So, that is why I have taken on the challenge, the project, of being the Contributor for “Oh Canada”. I want to teach the world (at least those who stop by here) about Canada and Canadians.

I Really do Love the Canadian Flag

February 15th is National Flag of Canada Day

What is the Canadian National Anthem?

Listen to us sing it!

(The original post had videos here).

The Canadian anthem is “O Canada”. Here are people singing it, making their own versions. One of these is a video without singing, but I remember watching this as a kid.

My Background (like an About Me).

I am a proud Canadian and I do like to write about, research, and teach the world about Canada and Canadians.

I photograph abandoned, derelict farm houses. I like the history, the feeling of something surviving in spite of time and neglect. I like the way old buildings give us so many links to both our past and our culture. Travelling around Ontario (day trips and some over nights) I take a lot of backroads, get coffee in local restaurants and I keep in touch with other explorers across Canada through the groups I founded and moderate on Flickr.

I especially like Canadian music, literature and movies/ TV shows. Here we get so much media from the US it can be overwhelming. I make a point to support our own Canadian media by watching and listening to CBC, the oldest Canadian broadcaster and the most Canadian focused of them all. If you want to know about Canadian music, writers and others you can count on the CBC to have current news and old facts in their archives too.

I studied Canadian Literature as a course in high school and college. I do read a lot of everything, not just Canadian, but I am aware of Canadian writers and did belong to an online group (until it folded). I had thought to start up another group but that does take a huge amount of time and energy so it on a project on the backburner. Meanwhile I continue to write my site for writers and it does have some focus on Canadian resources (just because that is what I find most useful for myself, as a Canadian freelance writer).

As the Oh Canada Contributor at Squidoo I would be happy to bring some niches of Canadian culture, history and art to light.

Canada Day in 2017 Will be Canada’s 150th Birthday

1867 – 2017

Canadian Heritage
The Canadian heritage site from the Government of Canada.
Canada 150
In 2017 Canada will have it’s 150th birthday.
Flickr: Canada Day
Canada Day photographs on Flickr.
Imagi Nation 150
Canada’s Sesquicentennial from Calgary, Alberta.
Explore 150
Explore150 is a uniquely Canadian project that brings together mobile technology and youth engagement inviting young people to discover, celebrate and share the beauty and inspiration offered by natural, cultural and historical sites across Canada.
The CBC Digital Archives
CBC is the Canadian media and broadcaster. There is more than one, but CBC is across Canada and (as far as I know) has the most history.
The Canadian Encyclopedia
Today in Canadian history.
These were the comments with the original post on Squidoo. Also the poll.

Continue reading I’m the “Oh Canada” Contributor on Squidoo

I Am Not at Home

I’m not sure what I’m doing. The upstairs tenants have not moved out their stuff. So work on fixing and cleaning up there is not making any progress. Yet, I am 100% sure they do not have any thought to paying another month of rent for April. Just free storage for them. I’d like to bag it up and burn it all. But, you can’t do that. People who do wrong are protected by law. It’s the poor idiots who have done nothing that are screwed over and over again. Ugh!

I might go back down to the apartment this week for a day or two. It’s so messed up right now. Too many things. My brother is away in Vancouver and I told him he should go. Though it is a bad time with the house trying to be ready to be sold, or at least on the market. I had a feeling George and the elephants upstairs (his family) would be jerks. But, I let optimism reign and I encouraged my brother to go even when he said to me (in that way of asking me) that it wasn’t a good time to be going away. My brother worries too much about his sisters and his Mother though. He is a good brother but needs to get away. Not that he won’t worry and he does have something to worry about. Will it really be a break now when they are making life so difficult for him back here?

Graham asked me to be down there and get George and elephants out of there. But, I can’t. I talked to the real estate agent and she said there is nothing to be done. The police won’t do anything. We can’t do anything but ask them to get the fuck out, in a nice, professional ‘can I lick your ass’ way. How bloody stupid. You could insure your home for a bundle. Move all your valuables out to another place and torch the house just to get those pests removed. I think that really is the only way to do it.

Anyway, I don’t know where I will be living again. I don’t know if I really want to put a lot of energy and time into job hunting now. If I actually get a job I’d likely have to leave it. I can’t afford the rent in Toronto. Not unless I live under someone’s sink or something.

Why do I always end up back in the same place, the same stuff always comes back to get me. It’s like it doesn’t matter what I do I always end up right back here as the vagabond. No wonder I daydream about winning the lottery. Though I try not to cause it’s not getting me anywhere.

Today I am meeting Zack, the nephew, for a Tim Hortons after school. He wants to go to Goodwill and look at books and game CD’s. I saw one he was interested in yesterday and mentioned it to him. I will have to put grocery money into the car as gas to keep it from getting too close to empty. That car seems to suddenly lose all gas once the quarter tank shows. More financial planning for me. I’m so sick of it. I want to not worry about having food in the last half of each month. I want to know where I will be living for the rest of my life and not have to move at least once a year.

No doodle today. My scanner is away. I don’t even have plain, crisp white paper to doodle on here.

Toronto Not Yet Known

Unknown Toronto

Sarah’s journal of secret Toronto facts and mysteries: TTC lore, hidden spaces, history, art, urban wildlife, film shoots and great Toronto food, clubs, bars, galleries, museums and shopping.

Unknown Victoria

Victoria: The Unknown City is a new guidebook about that eccentric town on the southern tip of Vancouver Island. This is the author’s blog. Look here for Victoria lore, updates and additions to the book, and hate mail.

Get Paid to Have and Abandon Kids

This is a real post from Toronto Craigslist. So strange that a guy would ask for a woman who wants kids and then offer to pay her to get pregnant and abandon them. Would that be the kind of guy you would want to raise your kids?

Short term relationship
Reply to: removed
Date: 2006-03-22, 1:27PM EST

Have you been thinking of having kids and not sure if you can carry the financial burden?
I am looking for a surrogate mother to bear my own kid/’s and in return you would be compensated for your time. Should you like to meet up for a chat and possibly take it further, feel free to reply and take it from there.

Another Ad for a Surrogate Mom

I’m not out looking for these things. I was looking at the Vancouver Craigslist cause there was a telecommuting job. Then I wandered into the personal ads cause they are always interesting. I wondered if there was much difference with men in Vancouver versus Toronto. I think it’s a bit more arty out there. Not much else of difference though. I was surprised to find the ad below. But, at least he isn’t intending to pay off the Mother and have her disappear. He seems to want a family but is looking for a short cut. My take on it anyway.

Looking for a pretty girl for Surrogacy
Reply to: removed
Date: 2006-03-21, 12:35PM PST


I am an Asian graduate student in Vancouver, 175cm, 68kg, smart, healthy, nice, and for sure handsome. I am looking for a girl (specificly 18-28 years old, 165cm+, beautiful, smart, healthy and nice) whose race is different from me (Caucasian is prefered), for romantic and meaningful love and, possibly, its “product”: a baby. By the way, I am serious and responsible for the coming child and the mom.

Your pic will get mine, if you are interested.

Hope this will not disturb you. Thanks.

[bbe] Father, if it is your pleasure, take this cup from me: but still, let your pleasure, not mine, be done.

* this is in or around Vancouver

Comments (cut and pasted from the old blog this was originally posted to.)

At first, it hit me as really strange too, but as a single lady who never had a chance to have a family of my own, as much as I wanted one, I can kinda understand where he’s coming from. And it’s gotta be worse for a guy, since he can’t have the child himself. At least I could’ve if I chose to go that route.
Comment by skye

I understand that part too. But, if he feels such a need to have kids why does he expect he can pay off the Mother and have her disappear. Also, why doesn’t he WANT the kids Mother to be around? Most women would want at the very least, contact with their kids. Would you give birth and then disappear with your pay cheque? Those would be YOUR kids, no matter what the arrangements you made with him are. I think it’s very strange. I would like to have kids, even still. But not this way. No way. I want to know my kids and have them know me.
Comment by ThatGrrl

I never said I would be able to give them up. But, really, in a way, it’s like a woman giving up a child for adoption. Everyone has their reasons for doing so, and some are just very passionate about helping anyone they can to have a child. Some people don’t do it just for the money.
Comment by skye

Putting the money issue aside. Don’t you think it’s odd that he wants to keep the kids but get rid of the Mother?
Comment by ThatGrrl

No, I don’t. It’s not like he has feelings for this woman. If she stayed in the picture, she might want to have a say in how the kid was raised, which may go totally against how he wanted it raised.
Comment by skye — March 23, 2006

She’s Doing it Again…

Yet again, I’m looking at the personal ads online. It’s like something I must do about once a month to torment and abuse myself. Most men don’t bestir themselves to reply. Those that do only write once, to see if I’ll screw them. There is the odd one who claims to have feelings for me. (Based on not knowing me?)

Anyway, this one sounded nice. I do like people watching, spending time online, and yard sales and flea markets. Maybe… He’s actually in Ontario, that’s a step up for me. The last guy I dated was from Vancouver.

About Me: I am only looking for a lady to share my life with.I prefer Full figured women but that is not written in stone.I am a shy quiet sort and can be funny if called for.I love to cuddle and contiually show my affection at home and in public.I am honest and a one woman man.I like to stay in in the winter and sun tan in the summer.I like to read,surf the net and sit in the mall and people watch while drinking coffee.

Looking For: BBW who has a sunny disposition and likes to shop and go to yard sales and flea markets.A woman who takes me as I am.She should be willing to relocate for the right man.

Canada and the Rest of the World

I just started reading this in an email.

These questions about Canada were posted on an International Tourism Website and obviously the answers (jokingly) came from a fellow Canuck.
Amazing how nieve/ignorant people can be of different countries/cultures.

Q: I have never seen it warm on TV, so how do the plants grow? (UK)
A: We import all plants fully grown and then just sit around watching them die.

Q: Will I be able to see Polar Bears in the street? (USA)
A: Depends how much you’ve been drinking.

Q: I want to walk from Vancouver to Toronto – can I follow the railroad tracks? (Sweden)
A: Sure, it’s only Four thousand miles, take lots of water.

Q: Is it safe to run around in the bushes in Canada? (Sweden)
A: So its true what they say about Swedes.

Q: Are there any ATMs (cash machines) in Canada? Can you send me a list of them in Toronto, Vancouver, Edmonton and Halifax? (UK) A: What did your last slave die of?

Q: Can you give me some information about hippo racing in Canada? (USA)
A: A-fri-ca is the big triangle shaped continent south of Europe. Ca-na-da is that big country to your north … oh forget it. Sure, the hippo racing is every Tuesday night in Calgary. Come naked.

Q: Which direction is north in Canada? (USA)
A: Face south and then turn 180 degrees. Contact us when you get here and
we’ll send the rest of the directions.

Q: Can I bring cutlery into Canada? (UK)
A: Why? Just use your fingers like we do.

Q: Can you send me the Vienna Boys’ Choir schedule? (USA)
A: Aus-tri-a is that quaint little country bordering Ger-man-y, which is..
oh forget it. Sure, the Vienna Boys Choir plays every Tuesday night in
Vancouver and in Calgary, straight after the hippo races. Come naked.

Q: Do you have perfume in Canada? (France)
A: No, WE don’t stink.

Q: I have developed a new product that is the fountain of youth. Can you tell me where I can sell it in Canada? (USA)
A: Anywhere significant numbers of Americans gather.

Q: Are there supermarkets in Toronto and is milk available all year round? (Germany)
A: No, we are a peaceful civilization of vegan hunter gatherers. Milk Is

Q: Please send a list of all doctors in Canada who can dispense rattlesnake
serum. (USA)
A: All Canadian rattlesnakes are perfectly harmless, and can be safely
handled and make good pets.

Q: I have a question about a famous animal in Canada, but I forget its name.
It’s a kind of big horse with horns. (USA)
A: It’s called a Moose. They are tall and very violent eating the brains of
anyone walking close to them. You can scare them off by spraying yourself
with human urine before you go out walking.

Q: I was in Canada in 1969 on R+R, and I want to contact the girl I dated
while I was staying in Surrey, BC. Can you help? (USA)
A: Yes, and you will still have to pay her by the hour.

Q: Will I be able to speak English most places I go? (USA)
A: Yes, but you will have to learn it first.