Thursday, November 20, 2014

food is a weird word when you look at it a long time. food. foooood.

yesterday was a lovely day.  i woke up late and languished in my bed a while.  there's something very lovely about lazy time in bed with morning light streaking across my bed.  mornings are so nice when i have time to appreciate them--bask in them.  

i decided wednesday would be my creative cooking day.  my visiting teacher, tracy, was coming over and i asked her if she would like to have dinner.  she agreed and said that she likes everything, so i was not limited.  i began to search my magazines and books and food blogs for something i wanted to make.  eventually i came up with a plan.  roasted chicken, thanks to jamie oliver who suggested roasting the chicken on top of veggies, squash toasts, thanks to smitten kitchen, and fall salad (my creation for work) with oka cheese instead of cheddar, thanks to heather for introducing it to me and ricardo for saying it went well with apple....aaaaaaanyways i got ready and went for an all navy look, with my dark blue skinny (hahahaha) jeans and my navy t-shirt, but with a nice green striped tank top peeking out of the bottom.  i opted for no coat and just wrapped the beige, cream and gold woven scarf bethany gave me one christmas (was it the last one on neyland?) around my neck and stepped out the door.  the minute i stepped outside i felt so good.  it was a lovely watery sunshine day, the bite in the air was gone.  it was mild and fresh and the park had just been mowed so it smelled like, well like spring and felt like spring and spring makes one jubilant.

i checked out the new upper-scale grocery store--these places like to be called a 'market'.  sure enough it's loblaw's city market  and it is a beautiful thing.  i walked in the doors and somewhat akin to the grinch, my eyes grew three sizes that day.  i walked around mouth agape, eyes like saucers and just enjoyed everything.  even the produce section, had so many cool things and it was all arranged like art.  i would be happy to photograph their lettuce cubbies and root veggies, delicate curly ends spilling out--i can't describe it, but i liked it.  i liked it a lot.  so basically i went around shopping with a song in my heart and a dance in my step.  i got a little bunch of organic yellow beets, a little bunch of  little multi-coloured carrots, and this lovely bunch of hot pink long skinny radishes, a bag of shitake mushrooms, some belgian endive, goat cheese (so much to choose from!)...a friendly lady introduced me to the wall of cheese where i chose a nice oka cheese, and then i found the amazing bakery and asked for the potato chive foccaccia....sigh.  so basically when i had all my stuff i had to stop myself from looking too clearly at everything else because the temptation would be too great.  who has such raptures in a grocery store??  i was close to going all anne shirley and naming aisles and sections the equivalent of white way of delight and lake of shining waters!  ah well, i'm on vacation ok?  i'm high on vacation endorphins--a real thing.  before leaving i purchased a chicken fig and brie panini for the road.

back at the ranch i cleaned.  i need to invite people over more often because it really is the best incentive to clean.  then i cooked...and cooked...and cooked.  the veggies roasted under the chicken (all the ones i mentioned minus the endives and plus onion and garlic cloves), with little parm added were delish, sweet from the apple cider i poured in the bottom of the pan.

 the squash toasts...the squash toasts, were, let's just say it--divine.  make them.  you won't be disappointed.  here's an ugly phone pic of them. not convinced?  there's goat cheese, there's maple syrup-apple cider vinegar onion compote, there's joy.  am i not joyus?  try them.  i'm going to have some for breakfast!

and the chicken was yummy too, although it took a long time to be done, so i ended up carving the breast for us to eat and cooking it for longer.  oh!  and the fall salad (apple, toasted walnuts and oka), i dressed the leaves with a lot of lemon because endive is alarmingly bitter, and then i made a dressing with blood orange, olive oil and honey.  equals pretty good but next time i'd mix the endive with another green.

so tracy and i had a good time, good eats and good talks, and i've been brewing the bones in a soup all night.

i fell asleep watching gilmore girls on netflix--my foodie day was a good one.

Monday, November 17, 2014


i don't need to be rich.  i just want linen sheets.  i need new sheets and i feel like if i can't have linen sheets i don't want any sheets.  it's like how i wanted a special toaster or no toaster, and well to this day i don't have a toaster.  so for the sake of my mattress i need to find affordable awesome linen sheets, to buy or to make or whatever.  i think grey linen sheets would be gorge...or pale pink...  gosh.

so it's my first day off and i'm waltzing around my place with bed-head, old t-shirt, and knee high socks.  i know how to rock a day off.  i made a yummy omelette for breakfast.   it lingers in the air still.  it had a squirt of cranberry dijon, some scattered chunks of creamy havarti, plops of canned cherry tomatoes from my neighbour's bumper crop, and wisps of real parmesean.  it was delightful and i congratulated myself fully as i snarfed it down.

archie is here beside me gently nosing my hand as i type and purring in hopes that his furry, silky, plump, fat headed ways will earn him an early lunch.  his golden eye searches my face unblinkingly.  his whiskers tickle my wrist.  his persuasions are more powerful than you would expect.  i reach down and we exchange headbutts because that's how you say i love you in the cat world...that and early lunch feedings, adds archie, brushing my arm with his softness.  oh you master manipulator.

i'm discovering new music today.  it's my day 1 priority. one of my discoveries is london grammar.  i like them.

ok, i was actually making my bed when the heaviness of the linen sheets problem became too much for me to shoulder alone.  now that i've unburdened it, i can go back to clothing my nude duvet.

Sunday, November 16, 2014


this is the cook family.  i did their photos in the summer but couldn't bring myself to work on them.  my creativity balloon was limp and deflated and dormant in a corner.  but things are changing.  somehow the balloon is starting to fill up and float upwards.  i worked on photos for hours on end yesterday, like at least 8 but more than 8.  i was back in my groove.  and basically, i think the light in the grass is gorge on this bottom pic.

in other news i let the fruit flies go unchecked in my kitchen until yesterday i had to take matters into my own hands when i saw that they had become a cloud of pestilence casting shadows by their sheer bulk.  alas many of them swim in apple cider vinegar and olive oil graves now.  sleep on tiny ones.

kyle ate chips he found under sarah's bum.  i'm just saying.

so, it looks like my stake primary days are numbered.  shhhhh.

today i sat in the back of the teng's car with joshua and sabrina on the way home from choir.  sabrina offered me a tortilla chip and i challenged her to see who could eat their chip the slowest.  the rule is you have to keep eating the whole time.  no stopping.  we said 'on your marks, get set, slow!'.  my winning strategy was to use only my two front teeth and to nibble microscopically.  i won 2 rounds.  the third round i was bested by sabrina.  don't say i don't know how to have fun with chips.  because i am the origninator of chip fun. okay?

Saturday, November 15, 2014

sooooo hot.  do you think i'm ungrateful?  i just wanted normal heat-- not to be slowly dehydrated into human fruit leather.  not to live in my own personal sauna.  not to breathe in heat clouds and simmer and burn. seriously.  the heat has been blasting non-stop.  instead of gnawing on my frozen corpse, the cats will lap me up when i melt into a pool of butter.

archie is a silky orange mound of liquid slumber.

last night at the circle craft fair, there was a booth where they made stuff out of vintage furs. so remade fur things into other fur things.  there was a rabbit muff.  it was so soft and silky and warm and cute.  i wanted it.  i also loved the fox muff, but it was too big. is it so wrong?  so silky-wilky and so unique, and no new animal had to die.  i am officially putting this out there--i want a rabbit or fox muff for christmas.  martha is also called muff.  please do not confuse the issue.

i'm on vacation for a week.  yay.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

i'm so tired.  it seems like these days at work i'm always busy and every moment is filled up with things to do and people who need me.  which isn't the worst thing.  today we got the new legs on our table, and i painted it with primer and then one coat of glossy white.  i think it will need one more coat and it will be done.  i'm trying to get the office in some semblance of order for my peeps before my week off next week.  oh guess what?! someone donated a matt from ikea, it's turquoise with white polka dots and has a lady drinking from a pineapple.  i think it's perfect for our office.  if i can find a spot for it, we'll keep it.

when i was painting the table i was thinking how lisa would hate the colours i chose for the office. it makes me sad in a way. and today we went out for sushi for a birthday dinner (i also had bbq grilled squid--yum), which was fun and we never could go out for sushi with lisa because she only likes chicken fingers and caesar salad, and so it's fun but it's also sad.  the sushi place was in steveston and after we were done we shivered in the cold over to timothy's and got gelatos in the warm freshly made waffle cones.  i was meeting elena down town after to go to the circle craft christmas fair so and kaz lives downtown so he drove me and we had a chance to talk.  it was nice.


Wednesday, November 12, 2014

heat waves

i wore my new shirt today.  its 3/4 length grey sleeves are soft and cling gently to my arms in a pleasing way that i enjoy.  i paired it with my hot pink 24 hour lip stain that i saw on amy and promptly bought myself.  amy and i are lip twins and bethany isn't.

our dishwasher at work is leaking out the back and richard the friendly dishwasher tech was in chili wack all day and so you know what this means.  it means an environmental disaster of paper plates, plastic cutlery and styrofoam cups.  it means washing the dishes the scout camp way.

so i'm remaking our office.  we painted one wall turquoise and the other walls pale turquoise.  to me it's the colour of the caribbean (or the red sea--i love you red sea, miss you, kisses).  next i had the great round table search of 2014 which resulted in a free table acquired from macdaddy's church.  but the legs were, let's size.  so because in the great round table hunt i made a visit to home depot to find out the ins and outs of making my own table if i had to...i knew about the folding table legs for only 20.00.  so today we took of the shrimpy legs, sanded  the table (we're painting it white) and hopefully tomorrow we will put the new legs on and paint it glossy white.  i also bought new shelves from ikea.  white cube ones.  you know?  kallax.  here's an example:
i chose that example because we also chose some hot pink magazine holders to go inside, but we got orange pully boxes because we can't get enough of bright colours apparently!

kallax was not easy to put together.  it's held together by wooden pegs and uhh...well... some pegs broke inside the holes...and well uh...after several trips to rona we figured it out but let's just say it's still a little wiggly.  but that's ok we'll fasten it to the wall! all our cookbooks will look great on here.  so little by little the clutter is getting organized and our space is becoming new.  it's fun and stressful at the same time.  i think when it's done we will feel happy about our space and use it better. place has become an ice box during this cold snap that we've been having.  yesterday i asked dave downstairs to turn the furnace on.  just the moment i stood at his front door and felt the cozy heat coming from his apartment made me feel grrr and growl as i walked into the icy tomb of my place and piled on the fleece layers.  and today i got my front neighbour's number from ken-i'm-not-sure-if-he-wears-a-toupe-or-not-landlord and texted them if they would please turn on the heat.  well they weren't home but said they would no problem when they got home, in the mean time i opened the oven door and turned on the heat, because this is what you have to do if you don't want to be found stiff and blue and partially eaten by felines.  then i went into my room and closed the door.  um...over 3 hours later i opened my bedroom door to a waft of heat--nervous laugh--oh yeah the oven! that thing sure can heat up a place!  and now, i know my neighbours are home because...drum roll please.....the heat is on!  (it's on the street!)  this is a personal victory.  last year it was december.  MID december before the jerks in the front turned on the heat.  glad they are gone.  glad i don't have to bundle up like the michlen man in my own home.  glad for heat.

so i started a new blog.  it's a family scripture study/sharing blog and so far 10 people have said they will be contributors but only one's contributed and that one is me, if you know what i mean.  i have high apple pie hopes for this blog.  i'm looking forward to being inspired and strengthened.  i hope it works out.  you can read it here.

Saturday, November 08, 2014

i'm on the ferry heading back to the mainland after a night and a day in nanaimo.  i feel that soul satisfaction that comes from spending time outside.  i also feel that weariness that comes from sleeping/not sleeping without 'the machine'.  i didn't want the strapped down with five bags, pachyderm ferry experience.  my raw throat, enlarged uvula and burning eyes this morning did not thank me.

anyways i don't know if you can tell but i'm starting to feel better.  it's not a clear kind of thing.  i mean i still cry so easily.  like so easily, just thinking about how sad i've been makes me tear up.  or one day last week i remembered something.  one of the sweet, innocent, trusting caring moments when i was taken care of and the grief came gurgling up and i cried all night.  i still have moments when i am so so so lonely.  i still spend most of my time at home in my bed.  but my happier moments are more real.  i have more to give other people.  my creativity is seeping back.  my imagination cottons on to new projects that i want to tackle.  i deep cleaned my house.  i pray more and i seek out spiritual edification.

i haven't been what i should have been spiritually.  i've been a bit lost.  not in what i know, or in what i believe.  just i couldn't reach out to God like i always have before.  all i seemed able to do was hide and hibernate, lay still and wait... i'm not sure what i was waiting for. maybe just the will to try, the strength to face, a sliver of sun to fall across my eyes.

i think my new position is good for me.  it forces me into action.  i have plans and ideas and projects.  i have people who look to me and who need me.  i've been a horrible flake at my calling.  but it remains and i have had to act.  this last week i was talking to a friend who was despairing and i found myself saying things that were true and that i needed to hear said to me, and i gulped down my tears and continued talking thanking God in my head as i continued.  and i have been hearing as if from far away the same messages over and over and over.  and i just want to say thank you God for reaching out to me when i couldn't reach out to you.  and thanks for trying again and again and again and again and again.  and thanks for being so gentle and so patient.

 i'm coming back.

Friday, November 07, 2014

i've developed this habit over the 12 years of blogging--as i'm doing something, could be anything, i compose a post about it in my head.  it's a weiwd meta-thinking thing.  like i'm my own narrator in the every day moments of my life.  i was doing it today.  i caught myself narrating as i was getting ready to catch the ferry and buying an almond roca screamer (that's a thing?? yes!! it is in fact a thing!) and enjoying the gorgeous free from work day.

yeah--i took a day off.  i had enough overtime for an extra day off and i made sure my staff would be ok and i just up and took a day off. the minute i made the decision i felt light and free, sunny and airy, birt tweety, jig in my step, cheesey cheerful.  i wanted to laugh like a maniac in the faces of the people around me while chirping "i took a day off!!".  ...ok maybe i did do that once or twice.  the decision may have opened the flood of cabin fever that had been surging and boiling and bucking against the inner dam of my heart for some time.

speaking of work i painted our office turquoise and a lighter shade of turquoise.  i threw out all the desks.  i had this vision of no clutter or junk and a single round table.  this round table became a thorn in my side.  i could. not. find. one!  i went to ikea, i went to staples, i went to kitchen supply stores, called places searched and searched and searched online.  (is this boring you? i know table searches aren't sexy.  but real life isn't all about sultry moments.  sometimes it's round table searches. k?) i found one in ladysmith...then just when i was about to give up i found a free one at dave's church just down the road from me.  whaaa? synchronicity.  ok so it's legs are children size.  it's a perfect size and i can switch the legs and i can paint it white because toiq and white equals the caribbean and that's obviously the statement a kitchen office in a mental health facility needs to make. to prove it to myself and others i will make jerk chicken.

hey because i got the table for freedomfree, i get money to spend on shelves.  i kea, here we come!

so i'm at kimme's right now and i just have to say this bed she put me in is like a cloud.  it's heaven.  i may have to stay here forever.