Beware the Flower Pickers

Written February 27, 2019

There’s an expression about plucking flowers that I think is important.

If you love a flower, don’t pluck it, because then it will die and no longer be what you love. If you love a flower, water it every day.

I recently broke up with someone. She was a flower picker. She thought she knew what I wanted and needed better than I did. Back in October, I realized we both wanted different things out of life, and so I ended things between us, because I recognized that if we continued we’d both just be trying to convince each other to do something we didn’t want.

She came back and told me that she was sure we wanted the same things. We took a month to think, and to decide if this was what we really wanted. We decided we did. And then a week or two in, she started waffling.

A couple nights ago, she made it clear that she absolutely didn’t want the thing that I wanted, and that she was trying to convince me that I should want the things that she wanted. She believed I should want what she wanted. She believed that I would come around and see that I really wanted what she wanted given enough time and convincing, so she felt justified in pretending that she wanted the same things that I did.

So, of course, we had several months of conflict, trying to work something out that couldn’t be worked out. If two people want the same things, a relationship can be beautiful. If someone thinks they know better than the other though, and is trying to completely change the others mind, the flower will die.

Beware the flower pickers.

Black Bean Soup (Instant Pot)

Written February 25, 2019

This is another one of my favourite recipes. It’s really easy to make, very high in protein and exceptionally tasty too. It takes a little while in the instant pot, but the effort is low and the taste is fantastic.

Ready in a little over an hour, start to finish, including 40 minute cook time.


  • 2 tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 yellow bell pepper
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 4 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon chipotle pepper powder
  • 6 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 pound (2 cups) dry black beans
  • 1 can chili peppers
  • Instructions

    1. Turn on the Instant Pot and select Saute function. Add oil and heat. Add onion and yellow pepper; cook and stir until frgrant, about 5 minutes.
    2. Add garlic, chili powder, cumin, oregano, salt, pepper, and chipotle powder. Stir until fragrant, about 1 minute.
    3. Add broth, beans, and chile peppers. Close and lock the lid. Select high pressure and set timer for 40 minutes.
    4. Allow pressure to release naturally. Unlock and remove the lid. Use a stick blender to blend beans until thick and creamy.

    This is really tasty, and high in protein. Freezes well too and great for taking to lunch at work! Makes 4 servings.

    Ice Storm Photographs

    Written February 6, 2019

    I love the look of a good ice storm. I woke up this morning to find out that work was closed for the day because of the freezing rain. The roads were slick, and I even fell on the sidewalk trying to get to my car first thing in the morning.

    I’ve stayed in mostly, but I did go out for a bit, and I’m glad I did, because things look beautiful when they’re covered in snow.

    These are some photos I took today, and some from an ice storm in Hamilton a few years ago.

    I hope you enjoy them.

    Feb 6, 2019, Grimsby, On
    Feb 6, 2019, Grimsby, On
    Feb 6, 2019, Grimsby, On
    Dec 22, 2013, Hamilton, On

    Dec 22, 2013, Hamilton, On
    Dec 22, 2013, Hamilton, On
    Dec 22, 2013, Hamilton, On

    Learning French

    Written February 6, 2019

    So, I’ve been trying to learn the French language on and off for a couple of years now, and I feel some success but I’m still running into challenges.

    I’ve been using DuoLingo, and I find to not be a complete way to learn. I’m learning the lessons that it has, but it’s not giving me the flexibility to say anything other than the words that come in each lesson it provides.

    It’s also very apparent where it’s strengths are. It’s great at helping me learn written words, and I can understand things when they’re on the screen, but then when my girlfriend says something to me in French, even if it’s a word I know, my ear hasn’t been trained to understand it properly.

    So, I’ve found something new to try now. I managed to find a free live stream of the CBC’s french station called ICI TOU.TV. You have to sign up for an account, but it’s completely free.

    I can stream this, and it even provides subtitles. I watch for about 15 minutes a day so that my ear can start to be trained on how people actually speak rather than the same words being used in a rather unnatural setting as I get on DuoLingo.

    I’m generally only able to pick out bits and pieces at this point, but I’m understanding enough of it to get the gist of what’s being talked about. For anyone else who’s trying to learn French, I highly recommend it.

    High Protein Macaroni and Cheese (Instant Pot)

    Written February 6, 2019, updated February 25, 2019

    This is it, in a microwave, freezer safe container. It reheats really well for lunches.

    This recipe is one of my favourites that I’ve learned with my new Instant Pot. I received an Instant Pot for Christmas, and I’m enjoying it so far.

    This is a high protein Macaroni and Cheese. It also reheats very well. It doesn’t seem to lose any flavour after being frozen and taken to work for lunch.

    When I do it, I use a gluten free Macaroni, because my girlfriend needs to eat Gluten Free, but you can use any kind of Macaroni that you want.


    • 4 cups Elbow Macaroni
    • 4 cups water
    • 2 tablespoons Ghee
    • 1.5 teaspoons Dijon Mustard
    • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
    • 1 cup cottage cheese
    • 1/4 cup Greek Yogurt
    • salt and pepper to taste.


    1. Put the water, the stock bullion, the elbow macaroni, the ghee and the mustard into the instant pot. Stir it really well.
    2. Set the instant pot to 5 minutes at high pressure and let it run.
    3. Quick-release the steam and stir in the remaining ingredients.

    Makes 6 servings and tastes really good.

    A bit about me

    Written February 6, 2019

    So I should start by telling you a bit about myself.

    I’m a 37-year-old guy with two wonderful kids, and a home in Grimsby, Ontario.

    I love running, but honestly I’ve been neglectful of it the past year or so. Up until today, I’ve ran for 3 mornings in a row though, and I was stopped today by some freezing rain (damn Canadian weather…) . I used to really enjoy doing karate at United Family Martial Arts in Hamilton, but other things have taken me away from it for now.

    I’m a cub leader with 1st Beamsville Cubs, although I think this will be my last year doing it. I do love camping, sleeping in a tent is so relaxing. I have just too much on the go, and I’d like to get back to karate.

    I used to run an in-home daycare when my kids were younger, and being home with them was the happiest time of my life. I worked part-time at a Build-a-Bear Workshop at the same time too, and it was a lot of fun.

    I sit on the left of the political spectrum, and I work full time for the Canadian Government.

    My son is 10 years old, and an absolutely wonderful, excitable kid. He loves baseball and video games, although I’m trying to get him off of them because he gets sucked in. He understands though, he’s a smart kid. And he speaks French, which I’m trying to learn, but not very good at as of yet.

    My daughter is 14 years old, and she’s so focused, smart and tough. She’s been doing karate since she was 4 years old, and she took home some amazing awards when she graduated from grade school. She’s very driven, and even has her first part-time job already. An amazing kid.

    I also do website design as a side business. I’ve set up websites for a few local businesses. I do static sites, and also some that allow for online ordering for restaurants, and online sales for photo prints.

    With everything on the go, it’s hard to find time to relax, which this blog should help with. But I’ve got a lot on the go, and a lot of demands on my time, which is why I only plan on posting anything once a month here. And sometimes these may be short, and sometimes longer.