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Life Changes & Maple Bacon Dijon Chicken with Quinoa

Just when I think I have learned the way to live, life changes.

 Hugh Prather

It was the summer between grade 4 and 5 that I met him. That was the first summer that I spent 6 glorious weeks visiting my Nana and Poppy here in Penticton, BC.

Back then there weren’t any fancy camps to put your children in over the summer and even if there were, my parents couldn’t afford them. I remember when my Mom told me I would spend the summer with my Grandparents in BC. I was horrified. A whole summer away from my friends? A whole summer with just my Sister? A whole summer without my Mom and Dad? The whole thought seemed terrifying.

When my Grandparents came to get us they brought 2 of my younger Cousins with them. When we left it was the 4 of us girls in the back cab of their F-150. We went to Edmonton first to drop off my Cousins and then we were on to Penticton for the summer!

It was one of the best summers of my life! In fact, 2 years later when we did it again, there was nothing but excitement and joy at the prospect of spending another wonderful summer in paradise!

We did so much in those summers with my Grandparents. So many memories that I am so grateful for now. We went camping in Wenatchee, we went to Portland, Seattle, Seschelt, Vancouver, Mara Lake, Edmonton, Calgary, and Omak. We picked cherries, and peaches, and helped my Poppy garden. We wrote musicals, sang with the church choir, did ceramics, went swimming, spent hours playing on the beach, made new friends, played cribbage, learned about history, enjoyed the library and had ice tea with the neighbors.

When my parents moved here almost 15 years ago they bought my Grandparent's house.

In the past 30 years our neighbours haven’t changed much. Frank and Kay, from across the street, passed on many years ago and a wonderful elderly couple from Portugal moved in. Our neighbours on either side are still the same neighbours that have been there for basically my entire life. To our left is a family and to the right is a single elderly fellow that used to get dressed up in an evil Knievel outfit and a reflective vest to ride his motorcycle up and down the street.

Over the years the family on the left has grown and their kids, who were/are older than me have moved on and have their own families now. Their parents have become my friends. She is a baker and every time she sees us with guests she brings us huge flats of cinnamon buns, salsa knots, and loaves of fresh bread! When she goes shopping, she picks my kids up cute little sweaters… Just because. She also crochets us mitts, hats, sweater and slippers! They have 2 of the fattest cats you have ever seen and we look after them when they go on weekend trips to the casino south of the border. He is a golfer and enjoys discussing politics! We have had so many wonderful conversations over the past 10 years! Sometimes we would lose track of time and discuss the Canadian government for hours over the backyard fence. He would generously give me bags of tomatoes, blackberries, and raspberries that he had grown with care.

On January 11 he was diagnosed with cancer. On January 14, he died.

HBear took it pretty hard. Cancer scares the shit out of her. To be honest, me too. Actually, so many things scare me. I was too scared to go to The Moog Hospice House to visit him in his last days. The thought of going anywhere near those rooms made me sick to my stomach. What if, gulp, he was in the same room my Mom died in? So, because of my overwhelming fear, I will never have the opportunity to say goodbye, to say thank you for being a wonderful neighbor, to say I will miss you.

Over the past week I’ve taken a look around, a real good look around and so much has changed since that summer between grade 4 and 5.

It has made me reflective.

The backyard has changed, the house I grew up coming to has changed, the view has changed and even the people who used to visit have changed.

So many of the people are no longer here with us.

Nana, Poppy, Uncle Jack, Uncle Ronnie, my Mom, Aunt Maxine, Uncle Byron, Aunt Dorothy, Anne down the street, the neighbours across the street, and now Colin.

Change is hard. The memories are up in my head but when I look around... I can't see them anymore. The people that made them with me, are gone. Every time I look around I see shadows of the past and the ghosts of my loved ones.

Just when I think I got the hang of this thing we call life, I get thrown a curve ball and realize that I don't have it all figured out. That even if I did, a change would come and mess it all up anyways so I best just roll with each day, make memories in every moment that I can and focus on the stuff that I can change and not on the stuff that I can't.

I'm sorry I let my fear get in the way of saying goodbye. Farewell Colin, thank you for being a great neighbour to my Grandparents, my Parents and to my little family as well. I know Mom was waiting for you (probably with a drink lol) and you guys have a lot to catch up on 💛.

This week on How Was Your Week, Honey we had some technical difficulties 😂. In the end we needed to make a decision to either record with less than stellar audio quality OR for the 1st time missing our weekly episode release. We chose to record but only had the laptop for audio! Check out Ep 103: Howling at the Moon HERE!

My kids have recently decided that they hate rice. We love rice and eat it 1-2 times a week. So, I'm trying new grains and new starches in hopes that the Girls will find something that they like. This was perfect because the sauce is so amazing that once stirred into the quinoa, it is practically irresistible! This is a healthy and delicious dish that everyone loved... even the kids!

Maple Bacon Dijon Chicken with Quinoa
Adapted from Centre Cut Cook

4 chicken breasts
1 teaspoon garlic powder
6 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 cup uncooked quinoa
2 tablespoons oil
1/4 cup dijon mustard
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Cook 1 cup quinoa according to package directions.

As the quinoa is cooking, prepare the chicken by seasoning it liberally with salt, black pepper and garlic powder.

Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, add the chicken and cook for about 6 minutes, 

then flip the chicken and cook for another 4-6 minutes, or until the chicken reaches a temperature of 165 degrees.

Combine dijon mustard, maple syrup, salt and pepper.
When the quinoa is done cooking, stir in half of the cooked bacon, and half of the sauce.

When the chicken is done cooking, transfer it to a plate and spoon the remaining sauce over the chicken. Cover with a foil tent and allow to rest for a few minutes.

To serve, place a heaping spoonful of the quinoa on a plate. Top with a piece of chicken, then sprinkle bacon on top.




This was a weird week. Dad is in Mexico, Ninja and I just hung around the house doing nothing and the weather was bonkers.

The week started with the the Girl's annual dentist checkup. No cavities! HBear is loving reading The Hobbit and it is awesome to see her reading MY actual grade 7 copy of one of my favourite books!

It snowed in the middle of the week. Our 2nd snowfall of the year. It was WET and HEAVY! It was a gorgeous day though ☀️!

I had my monthly DPAC meeting this week and followed it up with a brand new experience! This week I recorded with my RASBesty on Ninja's show, Our Liner Notes! Ninja has been busy with his new radio gig so I am filling in hosting a few episodes!

On Friday I learned how to edit! 

SBean got to pick a reward the other day! After a full week of checking off her chore chart she receives a sticker. After 5 stickers, she can pick a reward coupon! She picked 1 hour of alone time with Daddy! After her skating lesson they went to the mall and she bought a new LOL and a new book! After shopping they had Subway for lunch.

Grandma and Grandpa just got home from their latest cruise so we went to their house for delicious homemade Chinese food to end the day.

On Sunday the sunshine was out and we went for a walk on the beach and picked up a geocache. The sun was so warm! What a great way to end our week ☀️💛.





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