Wednesday, April 15, 2015

hot dawgs

so exhausted.  this week has been a killer.  my left heel has a deep and painful crack.  it hoits.  both my feet are swollen and tender and hot.  today after lunch we made 4 different specialty burgers,one with crispy onions, one with candied bacon, one with peanut butter and bacon, and one with pineapple and crushed potato chips, 2 kinds of potato salad, some gazpacho, and a caprese panini. oh and some sesame chicken and rice. then everyone came and feasted.  then everyone left.  and hobbled about on my broken martyr feet and cleaned up.  i have one more day to get everything ready.  i just have to survive the getting ready week, and then the first week of the new menu and then it's my birthday and i get some time off.

save me!

i think this will be a good new menu.  but maybe too much work.  it's just that i want things to be special, you know?

my feet don't feel special.  they feel used and abused.  i heard them plotting my demise, but they don't know that i heard them.

so yesterday i got home from an equally demanding and exhausting day, and remembered it was my wedding day.  just kidding.  it's not the millennium, so why would it be my wedding day.  i actually remembered i had to bake something for young women's book club.  no, no, no, please don't stand on us begged my hot swollen feet.  so i gave them an hour break.  then i got up and whipped together a whacky cake.  i had all the ingredients and it's a quickie-tomicki.  as i was mixing together the batter i smelled something strong and savory.  must be from the oven, i thought.  but then i tasted the batter--there was definite garlic flavour.  garlic and chocolate.  i thought that i must be crazy.  was i sharon gorner?  no.  i do not make garlic cheese cakes! but apparently i make garlic chocolate whacky cake.  i baked it anyways.  while it was baking i discovered that i used garlic olive oil.  let's just say i left it in the oven and brought some tea and hot chocolate and ginger drinks.

today i brought the garlic chocolate cake to work and made different people try it.

today i was a little bit of a rage queen but i hid it well.  i had to take little breaks to keep myself from throwing down over differing opinions on if the gazpacho should be spicy or not.  it shouldn't ok.

maybe a piece of sourdough bread will make me feel better...

ps i fell asleep after work and i dreamed that i was engaged to a guy i never met.  he had been engaged to my sister, which one, i don't know, but for some reason it didn't work out with her, so he agreed to marry me.  it was almost like an arranged marriage.  so we met for the first time, but he would always sit really far from me, or stand on the other side of the field or whatever when we were talking.  and i was always trying to get him to come closer.  i mean if we were going to get married, we needed to at least be comfortable in the same space, right?  then we were walking in a field and he gave me, i guess an engagement gift.  ok....lol.  it was a metal bonnet and he pointed out the inscription "laura wilder" and that's when i realized his last name was wilder and that he knew how much i used to love little house on the prarie.  and it made me cry!  lol, i find this part of my dream so funny.  so then i was trying to find out some details about our furture life together.  he told me already that he had loads of money, that's why he could afford the expensive metal bonnet... and he said we would be living up north in this tiny town called zeke.  i had to make him say it 4 times before i understood, because he was mumbling and he was sitting on some sort of wooden garden swing, far from me again.  and then i realized that i had been to this tiny town before.  so then mr. wilder my arranged fiance, started to talk about my sister and cry and then i was having dinner with mom and dad and they didn't approve of him because of the sister thing.  weird hey?


Monday, April 13, 2015

christmas in april

 when i was writing my wish list last christmas, i thought i may as well throw in what i really needed.  so i added "the services of an organizer--hahaha", and didn't think much more about it.  christmas morning came and went and i got lots of good things.  but katie said there was one more thing she forgot to give me.  she handed me a slip of paper that promised a day of organizing from her, mom and sarah.

saturday was organizing day.  mom and katie got here around 12 and i gave a tour of the problem areas.  mom was siezed with desire to work on the porch and katie tackled the credenza area.  i ping ponged between the two, answering questions, did the dishes and worked on tasks given me.

mom and katie also crazy glued my broken credenza drawer.  mom held it on her lap and we laughed about gluing the drawer to her pants and how she would have a handy pair of drawer pants for different tasks.

there were many different piles.  the craft pile, the good will pile, the i don't know pile, the mom was taking it pile and mom's go to--the tracy will like it pile.

around 2 we went out for sushi.  well mom bought a chicken and some buns from safeway.  she's anti japanese food.  katie and i shared a deep fried california roll with mango sauce, yam roll and dynamite roll, not to mention some gyoza.

the car was so roasty toasty that when i got into the house i was instantly chilled.  so naturally katie and i climbed into the bed and under the covers to eat.  mom got a chair and ate her chicken buns at the foot of the bed.

but no lounging! we went back to work.  by the time mom and katie had to go, great transformation to my porch and living room took place.  it was amazing.  and it was the best christmas present.  after i hugged them good bye i came in and just sat and looked at the clear and clean spaces.  so nice.

it's new menu time at work.  this week we do test kitchen afternoons and next week then new menu starts.  crazy time.  and i might be getting a cold. i really hope not.

oh...and here are the forgotten bum pics.  i can't believe i forgot them. how is it that any sister gathering dissolves into bum comparisons.  as i was setting up the shot, this happened.  oh yes it did.  katie and andrea were amazed and why wouldn't they be.

and this is what we do... :)








march finale

"so, it's your birthday next week?" asked eryn at the ill fated family golf club dine out.  "uhh, no my birthday's a month from now." i told her.  "but isn't my mom coming down?..." she trailed off, confused.  "not unless they are planning a surprise for me." i said, and as i said it--i knew by her face that she had let the surprise slip.  suddenly sarah giving sly nods to a fun weekend with katie, and katie insisting i stay until sunday, and mom saying "why don't we do that on the girl's weekend?" and then recanting "oh there isn't a girl's weekend is there?"--it all came together.  i bet they are going to squeeze in my 40th celebration before i turn 41, i thought.  just like them to not give up on that.

still when the day came, i had some doubts.  and i didn't think bethany or amy would be there--i mean it's a long way to come.  so when i got to katie's house and no one was there but katie and kids, i wasn't surprised about it.  katie said i was going to sleep in michealah's room.  (lie!) so we went in there and michealah was supposed to make the bed but took a looooooooooong time.  i thought she was just being a teenager procrastinator.  maybe yes, maybe no.  katie kept getting texts from 'brent' about dinner, but i didn't actually think anything of it.

malachi and i chillin on the pillah.
after a while katie came in and said dinner was ready.  "what's for dinner?" i asked on the way up. "baked potatoes and sausages" she said appologetically.  at the top of the stairs i looked kind of absently into the living room and there everyone was.  "oh," i said, actually surprised.  "hi" they said in kind of a lame way. all the sisters but martha, and mom and delanie were all sneakily sitting there.
we had a yummy dinner.  a thai coconut curry soup, and a delicious salad.  then we went bowling at the chili bowl.


i asked a local lady to take a pic of us outside the bowling alley.  i wanted the kitschy chilli bowl sign but she was more concerned that almonzo manly wilder was in the photo.  so i had to go back out and take one of the sign myself after she left.


disco bowling!  this is a sock i gleaned from amy's fresh sock pack.
we all got a lot of amusement out of mom's glowy outfit.

five pin bowling seems pretty easy after doing ten pin.  i won the first game.  got strikes and spares, was totally rad and all that.  then the second game we decided to do trick bowling.  like the first one was bowl with your eyes closed, and so on.  by the end we were doing a lot of bum wiggles and the like.  mom doing the sideways shuffle was pretty funny.  during this game, i had a score of 3 most of the way but by the end increased to 16.  some people actually did better on the wacky bowling--amy and andrea for example.  just goes to show...

after bowling we stopped by the video place to get a movie.  there was an orange cat that lived there.  we looked around, but they didn't have any of the ones i was looking for.  so we went home and watched the first episode of cranford and had two unbelievable desserts. beta cream puffs, which are divine and an out of the world chocolate peanut butter paih by bethany.  everyone was tired and no one was really into cranford.  

so after the first episode we went to bed.  i was sharing an air mattress with andrea in the downstairs family room area.  she was already in it and a snoozin.

next morning we had scrambled eggs, and bacon in toasted english muffins.  yum.  it was a rainy morning, and it was supposed to rain all day.  i was given a choice of activities to do.  after some hemming and hawing i decided on going to the blue heron sanctuary.  sanctuary!! (quasimodo).  everyone was taking a long time to get ready and the sun came out, so elizabeth and bethany and almonzo manly wilder went on a walk across the bridge and back.  then i met amy and adrea and we walked a different way. amy was cold and wanted to turn back so andrea forced her green sweater on her like a bib.  meanwhile back at the ranch the beauty mill was spitting out beauties left right and center.  even mom got made up.

i kept it wild and natural.  and andrea cinched her hair back into a french braid keeping it real.  katie got her hair done and none else. 

anyhoo, after a while we actually left the house, which was not an easy task.

i think we stopped at the bus depot so amy could try and get her ticket re-printed because shawn grabby graberson had it and he should not have had it.

then we got to the sanctuary.  SANCTUARY! (quasimodo).  first things, first we had lunch from the back of my station wagon.  it was yummy wraps with different kinds of humus, and veggies.  then we walked and took photos.  we never actually saw any herons except through a fence flying through the trees.  it's their baby time, ok.  you could see a bunch of nests, well most of us could see the nests, but ahem...some couldn't...  but we had a nice time anyway.  once there was this log out in a pond and the two a's went out on it and i took their pic, and then bethany sunk a white canvas shoe in the muck to join amy and i took their photo.  and there was one of those towers.  i took a photo of our shadow. ... and a bird blind or two, and the bridge group shots.... then sarah was thirsty and led a contingent, back to get water, leaving me and katie and mom and andrea.  and we started taking other pics of me and katie and me and mom and that's when i somehow deleted all the previous pictures.  and so the water contingent who had decided to stay, were forced to come back and retake some of the pics.  


why must a pic like this be done on a bridge?  there is no why, there is only must.

me and mudsy
a concept i copied, and i enjoyed doing it.


sometimes i enjoy what i get on a candid set up photo...sarah seems to be driving some hilarity in the back while bethany graces the bridge with her gentle touch, blocking delanie and amy hunkers.
we got ourselves in the smiling mood by poking amy.  this is only right.



sarah need her cute pregnant sass recorded.


we retook the bird blind pics, because they were so weird and wonderful and i could not go on without them.


i take this opportunity to look stunning and highlight my amazing cheekbones.


 katie is the angel cloud behind us all.

 this pic is disturbing in many ways.  and that's why i like it.

after this we rushed back to katie's and got ready for the women's broadcast quickly.  i had to wait for the primpers--sarah and delanie, so we were a bit late, but i had it going on my phone while we drove and i got to have one of the last cream puffs, so.. it all worked out.

the chapel was empty and the screen was small and everyone was sitting in the back.  weirdos.  i sat up near the front.  i'm cool all by myself.

that night we had bbq pulled chicken on buns with humus and pineapple.  yum.  everyone did well in the food department.  they also made my honey turnip recipe. after dinner we went to the bus depot again and then we drove what seemed like a long way to get to the frozen yogurt place.  bethany had given me an accusing eye for picking a dairy dessert.  but she was mollified with sorbet.  

that night we played consequences.  it was fun.  we had some good laughs.  then we stayed up very late talking.  very very late.

next morning came too soon. andrea made us waffles of goodness.  michealah's boy came to church.  there were some good moments in chillichurch.  not the distance of pew to pew, though.  that was bad.  

and that was my special weekend given to me by my special sisters.  

later we all came home and got sick. :)




Monday, April 06, 2015

i'm so bored.  i've never been so bored in all my life.  i can't stand it.  four days of being sick.  four days of being alone and doing nothing.  stiiiiiir CRAZY.

haps of march 2

first let me say, isn't general conference so good?  also isn't it great when the earthquakes and volcanic eruptions of your body subside and the aftershocks die down and the land of your body knits together and becomes solid once more? you know what else is good? prayer.  and doing the dishes.  and singing hymns that remind me of things i have faith in. and doing the laundry.  and showers are soooo so good.

so yesterday i was dwelling in some darkness, and today i feel like i made it out of that valley at least for now. back to the haps of march:

2. car--so after driving my car for a couple of days mom and dad had this swell idea.  they sold me their car for el cheapo and bought a van.  dad's been wanting a van real big and bad.  and jemimah was just about a dead duck.  so now i have a navy blue ford taurus station wagon, and i am taking suggestions for names.  it all happened very fast.  one day mom and dad picked me up at my house after work, and we went to the kia on minoru and spent 3 hours or so with a very chatty finance lady who incidentally added me on facebook just in case mom and dad get into any fincance problems in the future, and a very nice gentlemanly salesman named snow.  he practiced how to say doug.  which dad told me about and embarrassed him.  then we drove our new vehicles to mcdonald's for some dinner.

speaking of mcdonald's did you know dairy queen got a new salted caramel truffle blizzard?  i need to know if it's a true salted caramel, or a let's-cash-in-on-salted-caramel-but-just-caramel.

anyways, i find it kind of amusing that i have a station wagon.  but i also enjoy all the room in the back to put stuff.  and i also enjoy the way it doesn't screech really loudly when i drive it.  plus other things.

3. hair--while sarah was here on spring break funsies, she met me one day at mom and dad's to colour my hair.  i was long overdue for some blondsies.  mom came up with this really super plan that sarah could sit on the rolly chair and i could sit on the floor.  at first i had some doubts as to the superness of said plan, but it worked fine.  dad and adriel and sloan were watching pirates of the caribbean.  well...adriel was watching it with his eyes closed...so, no not sleeping.  watching with eyes closed.  kind of like being reddened by the sun but not burnt.  that will probably be funny to me until i die.  thanks good ol' jord.  anyways sloan was drawing captain jack sparrow.  he satelited around us asking for different details and suggestions for his pirate.  at one point i mentioned boots and he really too the boots challenge to heart.  he wanted to add boots but there was no room left on the page.  so our solution was a new page for the boots.  and he cut the two halves out and taped them together.  it's on gramma's fridge. i saw it there.  another time he pulled a toy batman with a long flowing cape on a motorcycle out of the toy box.  "that's my boy friend." i said "no it isn't." "yes it is." "no it isn't."  "yes it is"  .. this went on for a while.  then to prove it further i made batman talk to me in a low gravely voice.  "hey baby." he said huskily.  this made sloan laugh.  he kept making me do it. eventually we ate some yummy chicken made by mom and dare i say, made by caesar salad dressing.  then i washed my hair.  sarah was supposed to straighten it.  i don't know why i wanted to try it.  6 years ago, i was pretty clear with myself that i hated straight hair on me, but i decided to give it another go.  well first the boys got in big trouble for smooshing pizza all over the car (in the sunglasses holder) and writing all over each other with sarah's favourite special mac lipstick.  they had to go to bed without ice cream.  by this time my hair was almost dry.  i had to wet it again.  sarah blow dried it straight, the whole time we knew it was no use.  it was ten at night and raining outside.  no one was even going to see it in it's proper light.  and not only that.  i did not like it straight. i just don't like it sam i am.  so i asked her to add some curls, which made me feel a little better and like wynonna judd at the same time.  i went home, slept on it and woke up with wonky hair.  i endured a day of people's comments at work.

i had to pin it back for survival.  i look angry because my hair's straight.  don't cross me when my hair's straight dude. 

4. restaurant--i had to have shower to restore my curls before the family restaurant date at the golf clubh that night.  after the shower is when i realized that my blow dryer was languishing in tofinotonquinapartments.  what to do?  you can't go out to eat with dripping hair??  i decided to try the virtue of the car heating system.  i pinned my hair up, i went to the car turned it on vents, high heat and full blast all pointed at my head.  by the time i got to richmond center to pick up kaetlyn from the sky train, i had learned not to put my eyes into the line of the fan, or have them scorched.  the car was super hot and humid, but my hair was ready.  when i told kaetlyn what i had done, she said "is that why it was so hot in here?  i wondered! i thought it's not so cold outside!".  ha ha.  the golf course buffet was a gong show that everyone knows about.  a typical clarke event.  kind of fun for me actually, now that i think back on it.  doug telling us not to pay, the waitress warning of the security guards, mom threatening to come back until all her coupons are used, tracy busting in outraged after all the commotion had ended like she had just clued in, and starting it all up again.  it's so our family.  and it amuses me.  kind of like watching the chaos on the streets of giza amuses me.

5. book--i read a book for the young woman's book club.  the beehives are all a bunch of avid readers so i suggested they start a book club and they did and they chose the school of good and evil.  mei lin leant it to me and i read it in mostly a day.  a part of a day.  a night and a day.  i feel like getting back into more reading.  i just read persepolis.  mei lin lent that one to me too. it's a graphic novel about a girl who grew up in iran.

Friday, April 03, 2015

march events

i woke up this morning somewhere in the 6am to 6:30am range and i blearily asked myself, self what are you doing awake so early on a day off?  self didn't answer me but body gave me some hints that escalated into clarity as i stumbled from bathroom to bed in an all too familiar worn out loop pioneered after my month of sickness following egypt.  i'd like to thank my body in an insincere sarcastic way for waiting for a 4 day weekend to spring this illness on me, but i can't be too bitter about it.  i didn't have big plans anyways.

i can't believe march is already over.  i can't help but think of last march, and what i was in the midst of then. impatiently counting down the days until my trip. the loss and return that played out over and over for most of the year from that point. i can't help but finger my wounds and feel the differences in myself.  i know i'm supposed to point my face forward and commence living.  and i'm trying to.  but i feel the drag of the past year clinging to me still.  i keep discovering fresh ways that i am not ok.  and it distresses me.  because i want to be ok again.  i don't want to describe all the levels of dysfunction that i can see in myself.  because it is so depressing.  this whole paragraph is depressing and i regret writing it but i'll keep it because it's true.

a while ago i obsessively watched all the episodes of 'call the midwife' that could be seen on netflix.  i found many emotional episodes good outlets for grief.  i think it was one episode when a character said something like 'keep living until you feel alive again.'  and i thought it was good advice.  i try to remember it.  

get cozy because i'm about to tell some....
march events:
1. tofino with martha--martha and i went to visit amy in the middle of march.  my little beater puddle duck car was not a good choice for a road trip so i traded cars with mom and dad.  we made the trade in the costco parking lot but first mom did some shopping and dad did some eating/socializing at the consession.  martha and i accompanied mom.  mom at first wandered haphazardly about wielding the oversized cart oblivious to the crowd around her.  she was loathe to release it into my posession, believing i would take off with it leaving her behind loaded down with the things she wanted to put into the cart.  this makes me laugh a little.  where does she get these fears about me?  i think i pretty dutifully stayed at her side, anyways.  martha and i found some yummy looking coconut cookie/chips that we bought in anticipation of road trip snack attacks.  and somehow they got left with mom and dad.  accident? you decide. :)  after doing our due diligence, ie. complete round of the store we met dad in concession and had some food of our own.  i bought mom's to pay her back for the cookies and martha bought part of mine to pay me for the part of the cookies that was hers. for some reason i enjoy how we did that.  and so we made the trade in the parking lot, gave each other last minute instructions on car eccentricities and parted ways.

that night i discovered martha's snores have become formidable.  i tried to record them but it wasn't very successful.  martha hung out at my place while i went to work. we had a breakfast fundraiser and the roeders and evelyn came.  that afternoon after work martha demystified her perfect garment folding technique.  then we went to catch the ferry where we had ferry food.  i had chicken strips and martha had a bc burger. then we tried to continue watching bleak house (we started the night before) but it was too distracting for martha to concentrate i think.  

once in our hometown of nanaimo, we stopped for gas and martha bought hawkins cheesies of which i willingly and eagerly partook.

once in alberni we stopped at the walmart to look for earplugs but the earplug section was closed...? weiwd i know.  

some windy roads and mountain passes later we made it into tofino. i thought i remembered where to go, but i took 3rd street instead of 1st street and i ended up at a school and not at amy's tonquin apartments.  so i called her.  it was at around 10:30 at night.  some sort of succubus was going on at amy's place and what ensued was a frustrating conversation where no matter how we tried we could not come to an understanding on what to do.  in the meantime shawn came and found us in his truck and we followed him home.

that's when we met the ruckus.  their newfie neighbour who was quite drunk and telling his story of being stuck on a mountain with a 21 year old over and over.  the way he was tucked in on the couch i thought he was sleeping over.  :)  but he eventually left us but not before bestowing some hefty hugs.

i was given shawn's mechanic's earplugs to wear.  the were orange and on a earplug headband.  i only needed them the first night because after that i got used to the snores.  and luckily too because my ear canals were too small and it gave me a headache the second night so i took it off.  

next morning we lounged and lazed about watching surfing movies until we finally got ourselves together and went out for breakfast at the wildside grill.  luckily breakfast was still on because it was almost lunch when we got there.  meh.  we were on vacay. it was raining hard.  it rained hard and soft all day.  when one is in tofino, one cannot be stymied by stu, or stew, or rain forest rain storms.

martha got a clam chowder and an orange juice.  amy was a little too excited about the yummy she was sharing with shawn.
we ate under this covered area outside, on picnic benches.  this sign intrigued me.
 as did these cool hoodies...
 martha said this was michelle's husband.  when i texted michelle this pic/info on fb she seemed to dig the idea.  so...here he is.  one day he'll be part of our family.

this was my breakfast sandwich.  delish much?

before we left i took this click of the westside grill through the rain drenched windshield. and that's how it really was.


we went back and lazed a bit more until i determined to leave and go to the beach.  amy and martha came too. we went to tonquin the beach right by amy's pad.  there was a new path there that i hadn't taken before.  i jumped off a log to get to the beach and hurt something behind my knee.  it still isn't right.  it's things like this that make me feel middle aged.  anyway i took off my shoes and we wandered the beach taking pics and exploring.  here are a few phone pics. 





this video makes me laugh every time.





and a few legit pics...

 i was trying to capture the droplets like jewels in her hair.
we decided to make a yummy meal, so we stopped at trilogy, amy's old fish place.  the guy there dug her.  we bought some prawns and the most expensive but most fabulous smoked candied salmon.  then we concocted one of our collaborative wonders.  garlicy prawns, a rose sauce with the salmon, pasta and the most yummy salad ever.  while we bustled in the kitchen martha cleaned the bathroom of her own volition!  i still dream of that salmon...



 did we watch a movie that night? probably.

next morning we had breakfast at tuff beans.  i got a hot chocolate and something else which i don't remember...
surfing movies were ever present.

then amy and shawn took us to a beautiful place--botanical gardens. and we did a little photo shoot.  at times shawn had a bit of the man photo doob affliction, but we got some good ones despite his rebellions. naughty boy.  here's one of the hot little numbers.  those wood sculptures are called 'the couple'.  we thought it was appropriate.

then martha was weak with hunger so we stopped at beaches and picked ourselves some snacks.  i got a muffin that amy's bakery provides.  blueberry white chocolate something or other.  then we took a short walk at chesterman beach and we saw sarah mclachlan's house and heard the story of her naked sun bathing lesbian grounds keeper with a grey mullet from shawn who mowed her lawn once upon a time.

surfing movies...

amy and i went back to the beach for 'sunset' but more like twilight.  amy said i was the only one to get her out to the beach in cold weather.  i take pride in this.
so i pushed it and made her sit on the wet sand.


shawn bought us the most delicious pizza for supper.  and we watched big hero 6.  it was so funny.  i loved it.

next morning when we woke up amy was gone.  she ran away from home.  awkward.

i had a shower, we packed up, i left my blow dryer in the bathroom, shawn helped us to the car with our bags, and we drove to amy's bakery to say good bye.  it was the first day with no rain. :) that's the way it is with the fickle mistress of the west coast.

 here she is looking so cute, just having et a duck.
she gave us two muffins soft and warm still and a giant cookie.  we et them like she et the duck.

we got back to nanaimo too early for the ferry, so we stopped at my favourite place, piper's lagoon.  i gathered smooth pebbles and martha waded in the water.

please note the light house in the distance that i have conquered on many a swim. ok 3 or 4 times.




when we got home mom and dad wanted to go the movies so we went to cinderella which was good, and then we were all hungry so we went to wendy's and then i went home.....

march events to be continued.  i'm pooped.....literally.