Frozen Canned Food For Dinner?

As you know we are living in a camper, a 5th wheel to be exact. We were lied to by the seller and we have been experiencing hell with winterizing the crap camper.  Lessons learned are endless. The temperature over the last three days has dropped below -10 Degrees Celsius. Last night was -16 *C and all our food and water  froze – solid. We ourselves were fine in our 10 layers of winter blankets and two people inside for heat, however our food and water were not safe.

This brings up the question. Can you eat food  from a can that has been frozen? The answer I can safely tell you is, no. The reason I say no is because you must monitor the temperature that you thaw it. Never thaw between the temperatures of 4 °C (40 °F) to 60 °C (140 °F), and if the can cracked or was damaged in the freezing  or thawing process, either inside or outside of the can, then the food is now contaminated, and you risk food poisoning. My main concern is botulism. This little bugger is the one that puts the fear deep in my bones. This is the reason I always go by the slogan, “when in doubt, throw it out”.

There is too many documented cases of people over the years who carelessly make things like herbed oils, improper canning and have died or got very sick because of it. So when in doubt, please throw it out.

Why do I care so much about botulism? It is rare these days but deadly. It is heat resistant, so even if you cook at high temperatures you will not cook it out. Symptoms will develop in 12 to 48 hours. The poison attacks the nervous system, causing double vision, droopy eyelids, trouble swallowing, and difficulty breathing. If you are not treated in time you will die of suffocation. Even if you get the antitoxin from the hospital you may still suffer nerve damage. Either way, you will suffer permanent side affects.  Not a bacteria you want to mess with.

Since all our food froze, I had to toss out all our food. We do still have rice, lentils, pasta and quinoa. However no water to cook it in since that too was frozen. Just stop and think about this for a second. We woke up and crawled out of bed to find all our water and food frozen inside our home. Most people complain when the temperature in the home reads below +20 degrees Celsius. Water freezes at 0(zero) degrees Celsius. Large full 20 gal jugs freeze solid at around -10 degrees Celsius in just a few hours. Just a thought to share with you all how cold our camper is right now.

I am grateful for this happening. This is a great lesson for my daughter. I have already lived a time that we ate only what we could from dry foods and the water was by melting snow. Teaching my daughter this extreme survival skills I feel will help her in her future if she should ever fall on hard times again. She will not fear since she will now know of options to stay alive, healthy and safe.

When we were in a homeless shelter in Ontario the counsellor there commented that we were too happy to be homeless. This is a great compliment. Why  not be happy? We are alive, we are still somewhat healthy and we are optimistic that this too shall pass. So learn from the journey and enjoy the trip, hopefully it only happens once. For sure don’t eat frozen canned food, or frozen canned food that was thawed and refroze even. Just stay safe, toss it out. We don’t have much ourselves, but even I am not willing to risk it.

Hope you are all staying safe and warm.




Organic or Non-Organic?

All the people I spoke to this week thought of fruits and vegetables when asked what is organic? Majority of the individuals I questioned, did not understand the real meaning behind “organic”. Fair enough, there is a lot of hype and contradicting information around this.  So, did you know that organic can be used to label fruits, vegetables, meats, grains, and type of fabrics as well? Think hemp and cotton.

Literally defined by the Oxford Dictionary, Organic (relating to farming) is: (1) “Produced or involving production without the use of chemical fertilizers, pesticides, or other artificial chemicals”. So far in (2) Canada our government states that a product cannot be labelled “organic”, “certified organic” if it is a G.M.O. product. So thankfully, for now, organic also means non-G.M.O.

So, what’s the big deal anyway? The big deal is that we as a human species, are losing the fight against obesity, disease, and it is costing us a lot of money and lives. Pollution is real. Global warming is happening. We can make a difference; it is not too late. How does this relate to our food?

Follow with me on the journey of our food. Let’s start with the plants. They are grown with chemical fertilizers, herbicides and insecticides / pesticides, sprayed regularly throughout the growing season. These fields are grown strictly to feed animals; none is put into human food sources. The amount of acreages to grow food for these animals is far greater than it would take to grow for direct human consumption. Destroying our natural resources such as the rain forests, forests, and over use of the land. This plant food source is fed to such animals as cows, pigs, and fowl. (We will come back to the plant farming later.) The animal does not get to roam around eating a variety of fresh grasses, or even see the sun. Instead they are packed into small pens and cages so tightly they cannot move and stand in their own feces. They are fed these plants and grains in excess, so to assist with production of milk and increase weight. (Remember we pay by the pound.) The animals are also injected with growth hormones, fertility hormones and a lot of vaccines.

So far we have an animal that now has chemical fertilizers, herbicides, insecticides / pesticides, growth hormones, fertility drugs, and a lot of vaccines running through the body which stores in the marrow, meat and fats. (If a human were to endure the stress and life of the slaughter animal, the human body would be extremely sick and in the hospital.) When an animal is stressed, such as being penned up, not allowed to sleep, beaten, prodded, the long tight transport to the slaughter house, and even walking down the line to slaughter; there are hormones the body creates that are also now added to this already packed list we just spoke of. This stress reduces the level of nutrient in the animal flesh depleting the vitamin and quality of protein.  (3)  (4)  Some believe that that fear is negative vibrational energy we too consume, as it has no time leave the body before being cut up.  As an understatement, the animal meat is tainted.

Now you go to the store and purchase some bacon, or a steak, or maybe a chicken to cook up for dinner tonight.  You ingest this animal flesh that is filled with chemical fertilizers, herbicides, pesticides / insecticides, growth hormones, fertility hormones, multiple animal vaccines and the stress induced hormones; no matter how hot or how long you cooked your animal flesh, you cannot cook this stuff out.  These toxic substances are not heat sensitive, they do not evaporate, they do not magically vanish. They must go someplace, and where do they go? In your body.  You had a cup of milk as well perhaps? Now you consumed another lactating hormone as well on top of those same toxins. We have not even discussed G.M.O. and I will not in this post as it would make this article too long.

Maybe you didn’t have milk, maybe you had water. Great, that is healthy and great for our bodies. Did you get that water from the tap, that got its water from the streams, that got its water from the run-off those grain / plant fields grown with chemical fertilizers, insecticides and pesticides?  Or the water that seeps through the ground entering the waterways through underground water sources. Either way, that water has entered our main water system. So now you are drinking this toxic sludge as well and eating it.

So, what can you do about this? Through consumers shopping habits and letters to their supermarkets requesting organic grown and organic fed foods, it forces the farming industry to change its habits. But if consumers do not make the demand for the change, then farming continues as it has evolved into, and will continue to evolve into practices that pollute our water ways, and our foods. Stop buying animals that was grown with these toxins and cramped, stressful, and inhumane pens and cages. You want to look for (5) “free range”, “grown / raised without hormones / antibiotics”, “organic fed”, “organic or certified organic”. Do not be fooled either, “Humane” does not mean the animal was cared for, raised better, or slaughtered without stress. It is just as violent a life as any other animal endured in conventional farming. (7) (8) “Halal” or “Kosher” slaughter is another great thing to look for in your supermarkets. This is done by hand and with the care of the animal in mind. (9) Though, there have been some varying reports of some meat plants not performing proper Kosher slaughter, I leave that to you to investigate.

So, does it matter if we buy organic? I say yes, we can make farming change by our purchase demands. As a consumer, we drive the market to make changes, if you refuse to purchase “conventional” farmed foods they must change to make money, they must go organic.  I don’t want to feel fatigued all the time, nor do I want an unclear mind. I don’t want muscle aches, arthritis, impotence, disease or any other ailment from toxic foods and water. For me, I don’t have a lot of money, but I buy organic any place I can. I grow tomatoes and some veggies in a pot in my window and some fresh herbs.

Tina Curtis




Well, it has been a fun ride to this point. I love this class and have learned so much. I hope I am progressing in my drawing.

We are to draw according to a description. In this description is a barn, a tractor in water or mud, a rainy, lightning, stormy night. So that is what I attempted today. I started with the thumb print and then my pic.


Today I am posting the results of my layout and design. This lesson has two drawings that will show the use of negative space and the golden points. I used the illusion for the use of the negative and positive space and then the central focal point for the golden points. I used the Koi fish for this drawing. Here is my attempt at this assignment, hope you enjoy.





Art class -Lesson 6

Good day to you, it is finally sunny after tons of wind warnings, sleet, and more wind. Gotta love southern Alberta for the wind!

Took a bit to figure this one out, I have to put everything into one pic, so there is hatching, cross-hatching, smudge, shading, stippling, single light source, and if you look in the top right corner, there is silhouette of the flashlight.

Hope you like it.

lesson 6,all of it



Writing assignment

Well folks! For the last month I have attended way too many writing classes, one for beginners, one for essentials in writing and one for how to write to make some cash, plus I am taking 8 other courses. WAY too many at one time, talk about nuts around here, and my computer crashes two days ago and took me two days to get it up and going again! That is not what you are here for so let’s get on with the writing assignment, I am to write a creative piece with all the lessons I am learning in beginners writing class, I absolutely love me teacher Ann Linquist. Here I will let you in on the very first intro to the story that I am writing for this assignment. I have about two short stories done on this one so far, and I think I am going to take into the series direction, so I may post them on kindle or something like that.


 ? No title ?

             You know those stories with a happy ending and everything works out in the end? Ya, this isn’t one of those! This is like a bad black and white movie, you know the ones where the beautiful vivacious woman uses the clever and charming private investigator, he knows what she is doing but he loves the excitement. My story begins with a beautiful receptionist, or so she thinks she’s a receptionist, typing at her desk late at night. I don’t know what she could be typing, maybe her resume, we haven’t had work in months.

“Will that be all Dicky? I need to pick up bobby from the sitters soon.” My receptionist Wanda asks.

“Sure you can go, I’m gonna hang out here for a while and finish my last Cuban. Lock up on your way out will ya?”

“Sure thing Dicky, hey you have a good night sweetie? Tomorrow will be better, I just know you will get something tomorrow. OK then, good night.”

I hear her keys jingle as she locks the door and her heels tapping on the hardwood as she fades into the distance, again you are alone, and all you hear is the echoes from the street. My office is small but it’s comfortable, and cheap. To be honest I have slept on my office couch for the last two months. I like to sit in my office and smoke my cigar, and I like the low light of my desk lamp as it casts shadows around the room to entertain my imagination on these lonely nights. Just then a sound catches my full attention, a slow creek, possibly 210 Lbs, flat leather shoes, a hole in the left bottom soul. But how did he get in? I heard Wanda lock the front door, I reach under my desk and grasp my two faithful and ever reliable friends Smith and Wesson.

Closer… and closer he approaches, now at the door he stops. He seems to linger there a few seconds, contemplating. An envelope slid under the door and then he scurries away. I get up to examine the envelope, I don’t bother opening the door he’s already gone. 10 years as a P.I. has taught me to not kill the messenger. I glance at the contents and pull out the folded paper, just then something falls onto the floor. I reach down and pick up a gold necklace with a water droplet shape pendant and a blue gem in the centre. After examining the necklace I return to my desk to read the contents. The letter read: Hard Water Pier, tonight at 10:30


Well I hope my writing is getting better and hope you enjoyed the teaser of this new story. Have a great day.




Oh my word, this was a hard one for me, we had to do like a 3D type thing. Say a bird’s eye view of a building or ground view of a building. I did a bird’s eye view, I did not understand how to even start it off, do you just randomly stick in the shape, I mean how was I supposed to get it going? Really? But with a lot of attempts and a lot of erasing, I think I kinda figured it out. I know I have a long way to go on this one, but, with practice I will be able to move from a building to drawing the bird!

I have only one view for you today, the final drawing. Thank you for viewing. 🙂

bird's eye view of a made up sky scraper
bird’s eye view of a made up skyscraper




The YIKES! in the title is for a reason, I am not just overly dramatical today. This class was so challenging for me, shading, shapes, depth, 3D, curves were a killer – I mean really, how do you make a curvy rounded circle on a flat sheet? I tell you how! Great difficultly!

I absolutely am loving this class, it is the best, the teacher is so patient and informative and always willing to answer any question on your art. It is a great course.

OK, so let’s get started in this sharing circle. We had to design/plan/create a set to draw and photograph it. I became a prop director, lighting director, photographer, and artist for this class. (So much fun, did I tell you how much I am loving this class?) To start I created the set that I wanted to try to draw, then we had to draw the basic shapes, and then fill in the details. You will see my challenges along the way and finally the finished project. So let’s go!

Oh please ignore the clip board, I had to use something to hold the drawing up while taking a pic. 🙂


Whew! That took a long time, I worked on this for 4 days, crazy ay? Day 1 was photo set up, day 2 was 1st attempt – and you saw how that bombed. Day 3 was 2nd attempt with the grid lines, measurements worked out nicely at 1 cm on the clear grid was 1 inch on my paper. Nice and simple! Day 4 was details and colouring.

Hope you enjoyed this journey with me.







The Laundry Mat Love

 By all means, marry. If you get a good wife, you’ll become happy; if you get a bad one, you’ll become a philosopher.



The sun shines through the window onto her smooth soft brown hair, her skin glistens and her eye sparkle, she’s beautiful and natural she’s perfect. She doesn’t wear a lot of makeup and she doesn’t smell like a perfume factory, she is simple, subtle, and amazing!  She smiles at him softly and his heart skips a beat, she doesn’t know how beautiful she is and that makes him want to know her more.  Running a laundry mat is not easy, people can be abrasive scratchy types, dirty, and annoying like a stain on your favourite shirt. Yet she works her hardest every day with a  gentle softness and smile. He has been coming here for months but he is shy, nervous, and too awkward to ask her to coffee, she might say no so he just smiles.

“Good-bye Freshness” he says  as he is leaving.

Freshness you are so silly she thinks to herself, he doesn’t even know you exist other than that nice laundry lady! Oh but since he has been coming to your laundry mat he’s all she can think about. His gentle kind eyes, strong body and warm voice, she absolutely adores him. She doesn’t know he does his laundry there just to see her, he has an HE at home and he washes his clothes more than he needs to just to be near her. As he rides the bus home he can’t help think of her, he has to do something and soon, this is tearing his heart apart and lightening his wallet. How can I get her to know me and come to coffee or lunch with me? Two days later he walks into the laundry mat and there she is as always, like as though she is waiting for him. He tries to talk to her a few times but then stops and he leaves again.

She cries out to him, “Wait, Sir Wait!”

He turns around to see her running towards her, he smiles and as he is about to speak but she bends over and picks up his sock.

“Here, you dropped this.”

She hands him the sock and as he reaches out to grab the sock their fingers touch, neither of them move they just stand there staring into each other’s eyes for what feels like an eternity. A customer bumps him and he steps back, she asks his name.

“Soft Touch”

They smile at each other and he leaves. Both not sure what just happened, did anything happen? Did she feel what I felt or did I just look like an idiot in there? Did he feel that, she wonders daydreaming about him, his name is Soft, how perfect is that?

One special magical day  Soft comes to the laundry mat without his laundry he’s there for Freshness, he looks around but can’t find her then he looks back as she walks around the dryer #4. She smiles at him, he takes her by the hands.

“Freshness, will you come to coffee with me today?”


Then that awkward silence.

“Good, um how about noon at the café on the corner?”


Soft leaves and they both have huge smiles on their faces, brimming from ear to ear. They have many coffees together over the months and they get married in the local church. They are great together, you know like cookies and milk, kids and laughter, or socks and sandals, wait, no not like socks and sandals that’s gross.

And they live happily ever after.

By Tina

Dialogue With Self

In my writing essentials class through Gale online (I am taking a couple of writing courses) we are to write a dialogue between the two side of ourselves that directly impact our writing. The critical side and the creative side. Here is my submission. Remember this is a beginner course. Hope you like it.Oh did I mention that I love this class and teach is awesome!

Dialogue With Self

Creative side: I feel like I am writing like Plato does in his dialogues. He must have liked this style so much since that is the only way he wrote anything.

Critical side: Wow aren’t you presumptuous! Comparing yourself to a great philosopher and teacher like Plato.

Creative side: Oh shut up, it is just a feeling, you can’t stop me from feeling only from acting so shut it!

Critical side: Just pointing out what you are looking and acting like, others are thinking the same thing. I just want to save you from hurt.

Creative side: Whatever, I am on a new journey, if you wanna join then you have to follow some rules! They are simple I feel and would be helpful and not detrimental to the success of us both. You in?

Critical side: Well I will try, you know I am who I am, but I will hear you out and do my best to be supportive to you, after all that is all I ever wanted is to support you, care for you, and keep you safe.

Creative side: Here it is, I will lay them out like Gibb’s rules.

Rule #1 – you must only comment on the writing and not my abilities.

Rule #2 – You are never to insult me again, no name calling, no calling me stupid, no insults.

Rule #3 – your comments must pertain to the improvement of the writing such as, you missed a comma, or that sentence does not seem to fit, or some type of productive criticism that will help the writing flow.Rule #4 – You must be willing to give in. If I feel that the work is good for print sort of speak, then you must concede without being a perfectionist. No one is perfect, just be the best we can in the time we have.

Rule #4 – You must be willing to give in. If I feel that the work is good for print sort of speak, then you must concede without being a perfectionist. No one is perfect, just be the best we can in the time we have.

Critical side: Those may sound like reasonable rules to you because you are all up in the clouds, but down here on the planet we live by the law of the fittest, the best succeed, and you want to be the best don’t you? You want to succeed right? So I must be the bad guy sometimes, I must push you to be better. You know how you procrastinate! If I weren’t there to give you that push you would be like a fat Lisa Simpson.Laying in a hammock in your living room, using a boat oar to beat people to bring you more food, or change the T.V. channel, because you lost the remote in one of your many enormous fat rolls. You need me to be critical.

Creative side: Hmm, are you sure you are not the creative side? That sounds quite dramatic. Those are the rules and you must abide by them. Anything else and I will simply not respond to you. You do want friends right? You do want to be heard? Then you must be cooperative.

Critical side: OK, so this is the rule that I must concede right? Well then I have some rules of my own then.

Creative side: Oh boy really? I can just imagine what that could be. Cue the marching band! Roll in the cannons! Attention!

Critical side: Who’s being dramatic now?

Creative side: Um, creative side!

Critical side: With a sigh of frustration critical side said. Just hear me out, I will lay it out in like fashion.  Rule #1 – You will listen, keep an open mind and hear me out.

Rule #1 – You will listen, keep an open mind and hear me out.

Rule #2 – You will entertain every suggestion, you don’t have to follow everyone just consider it.

Creative side: THAT’S IT? Two rules? Is there like a secret rule that is about to pounce on me, right now!

Critical side: Nope, that is all. Just the two rules that I want from you.

Creative side: YES! I accept those rules, with only two I am taking it before you change your mind. I accept! Deal?

Critical side: Deal.

Creative side: Hey this was fun, we should write another dialogue on our own. What should we write on? Oh ya she said to do a freewriting for 5 minutes of nonstop to get ideas, let’s do it!

Critical side: it was actually fun, and I learned a little about you too creative, you aren’t so bad, you are growing on me. Yes let’s give it a try and post it on our blog site.

Creative side: Awe you like me? You really like me! Do you want a hug?

Critical side: No! Seriously! You ruined it with that mushy stuff, stop it!

by Tina