Monday, February 08, 2016

time for an adventure

on thursday we were all in the kitchen doing our work...making food and chatting, and lindsay mentioned that she really wanted to go to the keyhole hotsprings by pemberton, and i was all wuuuuuut.  tell me of this hotspring land of wonder.  so she was all, oh my gosh you should look it up and i did and i was like oh my gosh i want to go!  and so did pascale.  so we decided to do it on saturday.  i was so excited and a little nervous.  because the hike up to the springs is supposed to be really steep.  brother cook-mountaineering-man told me i should wear 4 layers...a shirt, a fleece, a rain coat and a parka.  well out of those things i had a shirt.  haha.  so i stopped by old navy on friday after work to see if they had any items i could use for my adventure.  they were having a good sale as they often are.  i ended up getting some exercise leggins, a fleece top and fleece bottoms and a sporty wick away moisture type shirt.  i may or may not have gotten a few other gems as well.  i'll never tell.

we decided to leave richmond at 6am, so i should have gone to bed early.  but instead i stayed up.  i'm dumb like that.  i cleaned and did my laundry, vaccuumed, waxed (ahem) and searched high and low for my memory card--found at the very end in, of all places, my camera bag.  what a dirty trick.  finally at 1:30 am i put myself to bed.

5:30 came cruelly fast.  i dressed myself like so: 1.turquoise bathing suit leggings 3. wool kitten leg warmers (wool keeps you warm even when wet, so way to go laura) (and i just read that and it sounds like either the legwarmers are for kittens or made from kittens.  make your own conclusions) 4. sporty wick away shirt with long sleeves and thumb holes 5. navy fleece.  i took my fleece pants with me for later.  the shoes were a conudrum because i didn't have winter boots except the ones edith left that barely fit me and so i wore my runners, but brought the boots.  i also wore socks, don't think i didn't.

i was fifteen minutes late to meet lindsay in our work parking lot.  her dad let us use his suv.  thanks donaldo!  we picked up pascale in front of her upscale olympic village apartment building.  she brought snow shoes and snow poles for us all.  thanks to her parents for those.  our next mission was breakfast.  so we went through mcdonald's drive thru.  i couldn't resist the sausage mcgriddles.  evil and delicious.  pascale got the kale breakfast wrap.  she wasn't too impressed and i know why.  so i spilled her caramel latte almost the instant she received it.  i didn't know it was on the console ok.  luckily the drive thru girl gave her another one for free.

by the time we were heading through downtown and over the lion's gate bridge it was about 7 and the light was just beginning to seep into the sky.  our drive was pretty uneventful.  we talked and laughed and listened to music.  in whistler we stopped so lindsay could pee and i could critique all the snow outfits while i waited.

our next stop was pemberton.  we stopped at a little deli so we could get sandwiches to take with us.  as i was getting out of the car i noticed a few tiny flakes of snow falling.  a cute old first nations man was walking by.  "did you bring all this snow?" he asked me in an old man teasing way.  "i think it was probably you." i replied.  "oh ok." he chuckled.  anyways, i got a tuna on sourdough and a giant peanut butter cookie.  i was hoping the cookie was chewy but it wasn't.  sometimes life is disappointing like that. one must move on and build again.  mustn't one.  lindsay and paskee used the facilities again.  i had nary an urge to pee.  but i did have an urge for fruits so we went to the grocery store and i got an apple, an orange and a grapefruit.... and some sour candies.  when i was going through the check out a guy behind me in line asked me "hey where'd you get that sandwich?" (because i was holding my deli sandwich wrapped in plastic on a plate) "oh, from over there, i pointed."  he looked around the store.  "i mean the deli just over there," i pointed.  then i added for sarcastic good measure "oh i just made it myself in the store".  "yeah right you just found the ingredients and whipped it up!" he laughed.  then i dropped my sandwich and went to pick it up and dropped it again.  hello pemberton, have a taste of my grace.  later i saw that guy bee-lining it to the deli.  you're welcome for the deli tip dude.

so when we were leaving pemberton we started to follow the directions to the hotsprings.  took a road that lead to a country road that lead to a forestry road.  that abruptly ended in a non-plowed heap of snow.  two lonely tracks lead off into the deep snow.  "you can't drive down there." i told lindsay but i think she knew.  we parked on an ice patch which proved precarious to walk on but not deadly.  two other girls pulled up beside us.  they had a dog and they were looking for the hotsprings too.  one of the girls was also from richmond.  so we figured we would have to snow shoe down the road until we reached the trail head up to the springs.  we fumbled about getting ready.  i slid my fleece pants on over top of my leggings and leg warmers and put on my  jacket.  i struggled to put on the boots i brought but with my bum elbow i couldn't yank and pull them as i needed to squish my skyrise arches into the boot.   pascale came over and tried to help me.  she yanked so hard. for some reason it was hilarious to me.  i couldn't stop laughing.  she was so shocked about how high my arches are.  paskee couldn't handle it. she gave up on the boot defeated and panting with the effort.  i kind of keeled over laughing about it.  so i decided to keep my runners on instead.  the snow shoes would keep me mostly above snow level anyway, i thought.  poor naive girl....  pascale also helped me with my snow shoes.  she cinched them tight and pinched my toe.  i surprised her with my yelp of ow!  and she loosened it.  then i looked down and my jacket zipper had come undone from the bottom and pascale had to help me undo that too.  i swear, i felt like their little kid on this trip.

so we started out, spirits high.  snow shoing was a lot more difficult than i remembered.  but it turned out my shoes were way to loose because of the way i was sitting with my feet in the air when paskee tightened them.  so this time lindsay tightened them up for me.  and we went on again.  it still wasn't easy.  the tracks in the snow were too narrow for snow shoes so we had to walk in the high part between the tracks, and the snow was hard and icy on top and uneven at times so that one side was very high and one side low and also you broke through the crust all the time.  it was a good work out, let's just say that.  (purple faced pics of me below).  i took off my jacket layer almost right away and never needed my scarf or gloves.  i was always behind but i didn't mind.  i cared more about keeping a pace that i could maintain for a long time.  after a couple of kilometers  and many puff puffs and huff huffs, i caught up to paskee and lindsay who were waiting for me.  paskee had taken off her snow shoes long before and she suggested that i take off mine and walk in the packed snow track.  so i did, and so did lindsay.  wow, it was so much easier!  and my feet felt so tiny!  so it was great for a couple of meters...then the tracks were completely gone.  and the long trek of walking like a drunken yeti in other people's foot prints in the snow began.  here i should say that i'm the only one who decided to use the snow poles nnd i was grateful about a billion times that i had them.  they kept me from falling and twisting my ankle innumerable times and gave me a point to propel myself forward with.  my triceps and inner thighs got the best work out.

during this time i spent a lot of time on my own.  i told the girls not to worry about me.  they waited for me every once of a while.  i sang songs and had some talks with heavenly father about things while i huffed and puffed.  i thought a lot about struggles and how they are so important to make us stronger.  and how if god just took our struggles away we would not progress or grow.  but instead he often just gives us just the little oomph or strength we need to get through the hard things.  and he's with us coaching us through or encouraging us if we need it.  struggles can be hiking in the snow when you are out of shape or a spiritual or emotional thing.  it doesn't matter if you are still struggling with something.  the struggle is not failure.  failure is when you give up and quit struggling.  and i don't think god minds so much if we aren't perfect and if we are having a hard time overcoming some things, as long as we keep trying and struggling and growing.  because then he can help us. deep thoughts.

so anyways at around 3 km we met up with the other girls and had a pow wow about the directions.  i kind of felt that we had to go about 8km on that road until we got to the trail head.  that's what i could tell from the directions.  but they all hoped that we were closer.  so we struggled on for another kilometer.  at one point i was so tired and needed a break.  i saw a tree over on the side and tried to make it over, but the snow got thigh deep so i just sat in the snow on my jacket and ate my grapefruit.  way up ahead i saw the girls turn back around the corner.  then all the girls came back.  the other girls said they were going back to the little bridge and taking the trail up from there.  i knew that was wrong and tried to tell them but they didn't really want to listen.  we all agreed that we couldn't go longer on the way we were going because we wouldn't have time to get back before it got dark, if we did.  it was around 2pm by this time.  so we let those other girls and their cute dog go ahead and headed back ourselves.  this time we stayed together more. and we took breaks to eat our sandwiches and take pictures.  we sang some fish and chips and vinegar and did some disney song name that tune.  it was fun and more relaxed.  when we got to the bridge there was some temptation to go up where the other girls said they were going to go, but we didn't.  i mean i wasn't tempted.  i knew it wasn't the way.  but it was hard not to have made it to the hotsprings.  because they just looked so amazing.  but we will have to try another time, and maybe go with someone who has been there before.

when we got back to the car there were a bunch of young people there. one of them had gotten their car stuck in the snow.  they had attempted to drive down the unplowed road.  they made it out just as we walked up.  so this guy told us it was 4 more hours hike from where we had left after our 4km.  everyone had a different thing to say about what was the right way.   they all headed off to another hotsprings and i pulled off my sopping went fleece pants and runners, and put on new socks and wore my crocs that i had brought to wear in the hot springs.  i felt so exhausted but satisfied and good too.  a nice feature of lindsay's dad's car is the butt warmers in the seats.  it was a really beautiful evening and the sun was setting in a spectacular way as we made our way home.  we tried to find some other hot springs in the area but my phone died and paskee came up with a bright idea.  we would go in the hot tub at her apartment!  haha, so that's what we did.

we stopped to go to the bathroom in whistler.  i was so dehydrated that i still didn't really need to go, but i went anyways.  we listened to a lot of david grey on the way back.  paskee loves him.  i like him too.

when we finally made it to pascale's we were so bone-weary.  her boyfriend steve met us in the parking garage with the parking pass and helped us carry the gear up.  we got to see their place which was very nice.  steve seemed like a really nice and friendly guy.  he kept up a steady cheeful chatter, offering us drinks and showing us this and that.  to get to the hot tub we had to go out of the building and to the next building and past a friendly security guy.  there were a few kids in the pool and a lone guy in the hot tub.  we took over the hot tub.  it felt so good.  when we got too hot we dipped in the pool and swam around a bit.  then we went into the sauna and then back to the hot tub.  suddenly we realized how hungry we were.  i had the weak hunger trembles, even.  even that!  so we got dressed and went upstairs and paskee and steve made us a really yummy caesar salad and pasta dish.  steve told us all about fresh olive oil in his earnest and enthusiastic way.  we watched many episodes of the office while we waited.  then after dinner we had  scoop of ice cream and by that time it was ten thirty and lindsay and i left.  i got back to my house by 11.  a long day full of adventure.  a good day.

Monday, January 25, 2016

what happened:

1. hot chocolate festival 2016--so basically there's this wonderful little thing called the hot chocolate festival that runs for about a month in vancouver.  pretty neat-o in a neat-O way. basically hordes of vancouverites dressed in white puffy snow suits, dunk themselves in olympic pools of steaming hot chocolate.  like.  we're the marshmallows, you know.  ...haha, now i wish that's what it really was.  in actuality the festival is about some different restaurants, bakeries and coffee shops trying to get peeps in the door in the slow months.  also, and most importantly it's about gourmet chocolate that you drink.  let's keep that in mind.  so these different crafty and sneaky shops around the raincity offer delectable and creative hot chocolates, usually paired with a little sweet yumyum on the side.  so lindsay and i decided that this year we are going to indulge in the festival.  so, and i know that like to say so, and so it is for you to like saying so as well...last thursday said lindsay (cute little half-japanese foodie kid with penchant for huge scarves) and i looked at all the information.  considered each offering, weighed our choice very carefully, consulted our steaming beverage lawyers, just to be sure all t's were crossed and all i's dotted...and MADE OUR CHOICE.  we chose to go to bella gelateria in yale town.  we had our greedy little piggy eyes on 3 hot chocolates there.  sure, we shrugged, yeah, mhmmm, we nodded, we can each have a hot chocolate and share a third.  no probs.  thumbs up.  fist bumps errupting into chest bumps descending into knee knocks crashing into floor thumps, ending in whimpering writhing giggles and gut splitting.  if you actually think about it, gut splitting is gross....steaming intestines,...don't split my gut please.  also please note that the adjective 'steaming' is inviting when applied to hot chocolate and dizgusting when applied to intestines splitting from your gut.  I DIGRESS.   upon entering bella gelateria, our respective eyes widened in wonder and delight.  what kind of fantastic place was this??  everywhere one looked one was assaulted with yummies.  oh that rose shaped cake, and oh that mouth watering pastry, and oh that tempting gelato flavour and oh that pizza that i would like to inhale this very minute.  we sheepishly and shyly told the hostess with the mostest that we would like some hot chocolate, please, peeping demurely up through (in my case) freakish single bent extra long lower lash. sarah knows what i am saying.  she gave us a table.  and we were a little bit confused.  BUT we don't want a table!! we stuttered.  WE WANT HOT CHOCOLATE, we wailed, the desperation for hot chocolate welling up out of us and flooding the whole restaurant with our desire.  sigh.  what is wrong with me today?  so anywho, she left us with the menu and we slobbered over it.  we decided to share a napoli pizza too, because well we were there, and it was there and we were hungry and it looked too good, my friend, too good.  so we told the waitress that we wanted 3 hot chocolates and some pizza.  she was all skeptical cautious look, hem haw, polite hesitation, maybe you should just get 2 to start and then get the 3rd for dessert.  ok, we nodded happily.  we chose this pizza that was folded over.  at the loopy fold there was a loop.  and in the loop was spicy salami and ricotta.  on top of the folded over pizza was a margarita style toppins with some arugula to put on top and some spicy olive oil if one wanted and one did indeed want.  too good my friend, too good. lindsay got a hot chocolate which sounded very good except for the addition of  some grand marnier, which besides being difficult and tricky for me to say, it seems, is a liquor and therefore persona non grata if you know what i mean.  if you don't know, i don't blame you.  and i got one called smokin sweet.  it was dark chocolate, and caramel and preserved lemon zest with lemon lime marshmallows melting into it.  it was divine.  and after a couple of sips of our respective hot chocolates we both knew what our waitress knew already.  there would be no 3rd hot chocolate.  silly silly girls.  silly hot chocolate festival newbies.  adorable innocents.  to think you could!  hahahaha.  nose pat and cheek squish.

2. reunion with syster walker!--of course she isn't syster walker anymore.  she's a sadiesadiemarriedlady.  i just call her chelsa.  so to catch you up, chelsa was one of my bestest companions on the mish.  we were in √∂stersund together in the winter of 1996.  she came to visit me in nanaimo sometime after the mish.  but i don't really remember that because i'm an old middle aged lady now with back spasms and tendonitis in my elbo.  speaking of which...i went to physio on friday and angela my physio therapist stuck some pins in the muscle and it spasamed and released.  it was weiwd but i felt a diff right away.  i go back this week.  back to chelsa reunion 2016.  what i'm trying to say is that it was approximately 19 years since we met, and 20 years since the time i actually remember.  chelsa's parents are taking care of a church campsite in arlington and her mom had an operation and chelsa came up to help her and she asked me to come down and chill with her, before she went home, and i was like, yeah!  so i drove down friday after work and i was 50 minutes late due to my own friday slothfulness and border sluggishness (despite being short lines, they were sluggish lines yo.) but chelsa and her mom just shopped at kohl's so that was ok.  we met in the food court.  i was on my phone sitting outside of forever 21 and someone tapped my shoulder and there she was.  her mom left us to go recoop at the hotel they had for the night and chelsa and i wandered bellis fair looking for presents for her to bring home to her hubby and kids.  this one store we went into had all these boots for 30.00.  wide calf ones.  black above the knee ones.   i resisted the urge to spend.  add 30% back on i told myself.  why is our dollar so sucky right now?  but then we went into this store called earthbound and we were drawn like flies to fly paper to this rack containing skirts made from beautiful recycled sarees.  wrap skirts.  employees were quick to tell us that the skirts could be configured into many different shapes for tops, dresses etc.  what's wrong with a skirt being a skirt i ask you??  i had a hard time choosing which skirt, but i knew one thing.  i was in fact getting a skirt--low canadian dollar be beaver dammed!  i finally regretfully put back a mustard goldy hippyish looking skirt and stuck with the pretty, flirty purple and turquoise and dove grey.  poip and toiq i called it.  the cash lady who takes cash but doesn't give it, which is pretty rude and selfish, nevertheless told us very kindly of this downtown bellingham area which i was not aware of.  it's called fairhaven.  so we decided to go there.  first we ate at red robins.  here it is important to note that each table had these nifty self paying things right one them!  wowee!  fairhaven turned out to be very cutesy old town-ish.  reminded me of that old town section of nanaimo shops, but maybe even cuter.  lots of  delicious aromas were wafting from the open restaurants but all the shops were closed.... we were near to abandoning fairhaven for the fairhaven grocery store when we spied a building that was actually open.  it was a HUGE book store not like any other.  3 stories and each floor had interesting little things and on the second floor a very cute and packed full shop.  chelsa found her things here and those things were seattle chocolate bars that said juan de fuca on them (her hubby is juan!) and of course a big foot lunch box because no trip to the northwest is complete without a big foot lunch box, we agreed on that.  as we shopped we talked and reminisced and shared about our near pasts and our present times.  we saw a swedish cook book and i sat down on a near by comfy victorian looking chair to look at it and then chelsa (she's a librarian by the way) sat on a low stool and we chatted like that for a long time.  until it was almost 9 and we knew they would be closing, so chelsa made her purchases and i drove her to the holiday inn express (what exactly does express mean in this case??) and i drove myself home.  it was a very lovely visit.

3. in which i witness a rumble--so saturday i had all intentions of cleaning my home.  all intentions.  but i didn't really.  no i didn't.  what i did do, was be lazy lolly gagger in my bed for a couple of hours.  and i did talk to people.  and i did look at things.... and i did have a shower and do my hairs.  and suddenly it was time to meet yelena at jamjar on commercial for our dinner and a movie date, and i was woefully lacking in day's accomplishments.  oh well.  shrug it off sister and get in the game.  yelena was running a bit late so when i parked on 6th by jj bean where two guys were having a earnest discussion on the patio about something, i had time to wander down to jamjar, or so i thought.  i saw a lady selling some jewlery on a table and i stopped to chat with her.  she made some cool leather earrings in feather shape.  i liked em.  but then yelena was worried that there would be no room at jamjar so i went there to get us a table.  it turned out that i had my choice between two tiny tables. jamjar is a folk lebanese restaurant that i learned about from eryn.  in fact eryn and i were going to go but then i was in the midst of the diet and we decided to wait.  it was cute and cozy and a little quirky inside.  when yelena came we ordered a hummus trio and the lemon cauliflower with pomegranate molasses to share.  i got lamb sausages and she got falafel.  so one o the hummuses had pomegranate in it  and that was my fave.  it is weird that they only give you 2 thin breads (scented with cinnamon tho which is yep and yah) for all that hummus.  like what to do with only 2 breads?  the cauliflower was so delish.  flavour packed.  and just yum.  lemony yum.  next time i might order a few more things because it wasn't a lot.  but it was all yummy.  then we drove to tinsel town to watch brooklyn, a movie i've been lusting after for some time.   after we parked yelena wanted to get some gum from the seven 11 because we had potent garlic breath....WELL, listen up folks, because usually you can get into the sev from the mall but the metal gate was closed.  but we thought we saw people shopping inside, so we decided to go around and check if it was open from outside of the mall.  so there we were innocently walking arouind talking our talk telling our tells, when a guy right in front of us is suddenly pulling a knife out of a collapsed sign board on the side walk and two other guys are like hey drop it buddy, and a security guard is like knife fight on the street, into his shoulder walkie talkie, and the guy charges and swipes at the other guys who may have been swiping themselves, and it is slowly dawning on yelena and i  that we have walked upon a knife fight.  we were kind of frozen in a shocked stupor until the rumble started charging in our very near direction.  then we snapped out of it right quick and were like, let's get out of here!  before going up to the top floor for our movie we stopped and peeped at the cat cafe.  couldn't see much but a ginger tabby sitting on a counter.  heather we should go there.  but we might want to adopt all the cats.  brooklyn was good.  romantic and touching and i just really loved the sweet boy who loved her.  the way her looked at her and cherished her...melts my heart.  there was a surprise non-showing but nontheless icky sex scene though.  boo.  

4. mia maids crazy singing fools--what more needs to be said really.  i drove olivia and rachel to the tri-stake fireside in langley, and it was very cool to see all my teenage nieces and nephews from the lowermainland there, which i didn't really think about before going.  caleb asked a super good question to the walkers during question period.  that's my nephew i whispered to olivia.  sister umbach and the tswassen contingent sat in front of us.  melissa is so funny.  she don't stand for no guff during meetins.  i saw her pass a note that said "turn off your phones and be reverent and respectful" to some girls 2 rows ahead of here. and then she later had to give them a little snappity snap snap shhhh later on, after which they shhhhhhed fo sho.  during the closing song which was carry on, i was suddenly tired.  like my voice was strained and tired.  so i without thinking just switched to an octive lower, which in parts was quite low but which i could carry off  quite well.  this sent olivia into fits of laughter and "did you hear sister clarke??"  haha.  i'm such a good example.  on the way home we played name that tune but only church songs.  when someone would guess it we would all sing it loudly and freely.  by the time we got to westminster and no 3 in richmond things had deteriorated to waving frantically to taxi drivers and singing spice girls, despite my attempts to quelch the latter.  :)  fun times.

5. carrot salad with harissa and feta--i made it today.  it's on our new menu.  i made my own harissa.  WHAT?  hello.  delicious.  the best thing you ever had.  in your life.   make it.  eat it.

Monday, January 18, 2016

a season of important things.

  i've been thinking a lot lately about stress.  a year and a quarter ago when i officially took on the manager position, i think it was a really good thing for me.  i was so lost in my personal life and it gave me something to grip a hold of and focus all my thoughts and energies into.  i think having the responsibilities on my shoulders gave me a purpose and the constant busy-ness kept me fresh when i otherwise would have sunk deeper into depression.

for a long time i felt so weak emotionally, mentally and spiritually.  but now i have this new feeling.  strength.  God has been so kind and gentle with me.  and so merciful.  he really does heal broken hearts. it's hard to explain.  things are still not perfect with me.  i have days that i struggle, just like anyone, but it's not about that.  it's about the inner of the inner.  the holy of holies of my inner core. my inner core that once felt so broken, now feels whole, and sturdy and strong.  looking back on my broken bird fragile self, still makes me tear up.  how i begged and pleaded for his help--for healing and i didn't know that patiently, piece by piece he was doing just that.  i cannot express how thankful i am.  and i know many people prayed for me and put my name on temple prayer lists and were with me in my suffering and so kind to me when i was so lost and i know i am so blessed to be loved so well by my family and friends and co-workers and church family.  i really am rich in things that matter most.

and now that i'm stronger and back fully into the struggles and efforts of life, i suddenly noticed how stressed out i feel at work.  especially after time off, the physical feeling of stress is so noticeable.   and so i've been thinking that something needs to change. i don't want to be annoyed, irritated, frustrated and stressed on a daily basis.  i'm not sure what the change should be.  but i'm on the look-out.  i'm a manager and a young women's president.  clearly this is a time in my life when i'm supposed to learn some important things.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

el bo.

friday was such a gladsome day.  i went about full of joy and rejoicing.  after all, it was friday, and day of yummy foods, a day when i only work 6 hours and a day that is full of anticipation of weekend.

a girl named julinane was having her last day on friday.  a lovely girl hired to cover one of the many absences who had found a full time position.... so on such a day like that we have cake.  and since bruce and i were going to costco we bought the cake.  it was a very satisfying costco venture--swift and decisive.  bruce is a good shopping partner and it was a relief to get things that we have been needing for some time.  even more exciting was stopping at a kitchen supply store and buying five long wooden spoons, amongst other neccessities. how i adore the long and light wooden spoon.  you cannot know.  if stirring a huge industrial size pot of something thick and heavy, like say, chili for example, you come to appreciate the appropriate stirring utensil. we only had these huge wooden spoons that were thick and heavy.  some people think that a big huge pot of something needs a big huge utensil to stir it.  not so, not so.  in my experience you need the length to maneuver yes, but the added heaviness of a a very heavy and thick spoon.  you will come to regret it.   11.5 years and i can go on and on about wooden spoons and the like, and not quit!

but i will.

anyways after work i didn't go home.  well i did.  i drove up and parked beside the hedge.  the sun was shining and it was mild and glorious out.  so i sat in my car and played on my phone for ten minutes and then as i was about to go in, i remembered cat food.  so i stayed in the car and drove to the strip mall and bought some cat food and a couple new toys for my fatfurries.  then i thought, why not ramble down to shoppers drug mart and get myself some treats?  friday is a day of treats.  so i got a new lippie and a new glam lid and a fresh mascara and some conditioner and toilet paper, the latter being no so much a treat as a necessity.  just as i was going to go home i got a text saying that the group was heading to the flying beaver early for julianne's going away get together.  so i just drove there and i may even have had my window down part of the way.

the gang was all there, i sat down, the lowering sun shone directly into my face in a very intense manner...  the flying beaver is a pub on sea island just south of the airport and it is right on the river and all the sea planes take off and land there.  it was a very beautiful afternoon/evening.  i should go there for a shoot some time, i thought to myself.

i had the asian calamari.  ginger and lemon and yum.  lindsay had pulled pork potato skins and i may have had one or two.  so we had a nice time, chit chatted, laughed talked, relaxed etc.  lindsay and i decided to go to a movie so we left at 5:30.  we had to drop her dad's car off but first we had to stop at menchie's for a frozen yogurt. i  got the two sugar free flavours which were blue berry cheesecake and butter pecan.  they were alright.  i had blueberry poppers on top.  i chatted with the owner who is middle eastern.  it all started when i was trying to find my ten dollar bill and i said that it was hidding in my egyptian pound section.  and he said "you went to egypt?" and i said yes in 2014 and then we talked about different things and i found out that he was from jordan but hadn't lived there since he was quite young and about his sister from australia who went to egypt, jordan and jerusalem.  once starting us on this conversation, i wasn't quite sure how to get us out, but lindsay came to the rescue with a "well!" just at the right time, and we left.

the movie we went to see was called joy.  i really had no idea what it was about.  it was interesting. it was a bio pic but the style of telling it was very odd and surreal.  like a fairy tail along the lines of matilda or nanny mcfee.

yesterday i spent litterally the whole day in my jammies working on egypt pics.  which may have been a bit much.  i watched more gilmore girls.  why is there such wretchedness???  i went to bed too late and had to get up early for ward council.

i had a shower and we getting ready right on point with my timing when i got a text from melissa who is now the rs president saying she saved me a seat.  it was 7:19.  why is she there so early, saving seats i wondered.  only because it started at 7:15 not 7:30.  so i was right on time for 7:30.... meh.

i taught young women's today.  it was on how can i know my heavenly father.  it was great for me to think about and i had some nice spiritual times preparing it.  teaching is like that--so beneficial for the teacher.

there as choir and then i came home and had a loong and delicious nap and there was stake choir and now i'm home cat fluffing out on either side of me.  long live the cat.


when i was at the flying beaver pascale asked me what i was going to do this weekend and i said with some relish that i didn't have any plans and that i may make  my cat leg warmers.  meaning legwarmers out of the cat sweater vest i found at value villiage.  but she thought i was going to make my cats some leg warmers, which really really hit our funny bones and we laughed and laughed and laughed.  maybe archie and izzy would appreciate some leg warmers...

i still have tennis elbo.

Tuesday, January 05, 2016


amy's back and so am i.  for reals.  legit.  too legit.  REAL.

i'm just back from young wheemins and feeling a flush with thegiddinessofgirls.  it's a thing and it's catchy.  i wanted to do a new yearsy activity.  like fresh and rejuvie.  what's more rejuvie than yoga and green smoothies??  i ask you.

so let's start at the very beginning, a very good place to start....  :D blogs really need emoji access.  anyfeller, this morning was like many a morning, five and a half hours of sleep is just not enough.  at 1:30am  a gilmore girls marathon seems like the most natural and right thing to be doing.  but at 7am you curse the night owl you and wish a thousand deaths upon it.  and then your neighbour is suddenly in the shower when you wanted to be and then you play a candy game that shall not be named on your phone to wake yourself up, but waste too much time so there's not enough time to shower and so then you waste more time and check some facebook and insta happs and snuggle into your softer than soft owl fuzzy molestable blanket.  when you finally drag yourself out of the cocoon of your bed into the frigid air and icy floor of your apartment, you have about ten minutes to eat and get ready.  luckily it's phase one and you can eat a piece of bread and some fruit.

i put my hair into a messy top bun, hiding the shame of it's unwashedness.  i wore my awesome red sea shell earrings that eryn whipped up for me in her super talented and awesomely magical way.  everyone loves them, "including and especially" (one of elder holland's favourite phrases.) me.  i got to work ten minutes late.  i'm a good example like that.

today wayne and i made the cheesiest ever seafood alfredo.  like that baby had the most real parm that i have ever put into an alfredo.  i'm not jorking.

it seemed to be the longest day ever.

for my fruit portion of lunch i ate my giant mango from australia that i bought from kins for 5.99.  it was seriously huge.  like the most massive mango of your life.  it was very sweet and tasted a little coconutty to some of us.  others were oblivious to the coconut (aka mireya denied)

i stayed late after work and looked up different things about yoga.  i found some different yoga games, that gave me ideas for other games... and then i looked up images of yoga poses by benefit.  for example for energizing, or for anxiety or stress release and printed those out and made little booklet handout thingies for the girls.

so then my friend called and was telling me a poem and wanting me to listen to the rhyming...and meanwhile i was trying to carry 7 yoga matts, my purse, the handouts and my phone, i tucked my phone under my chin of course.  i somehow made it like this out of the building, to my car, got the hatch back open...threw all the matts in...and while i was doing that the dumb hatch back was lowering (a new favourite trick it randomly likes doing) so that the exact moment i lifted my head it was there to cruely knock me in the forehead leaving a small gash and bruised lump and making me temporarily angry.  OW! i yelled.  my friend continued to babel on to me oblivious.  I JUST HURT MYSELF!  i angrily interrupt the blabbityblab.  nary a pause and a continuation o blabbity.  SHUT UP! I HURT MYSELF!  i don't want to listen to your foreign language poem while my head is throbbing buddy.  i don't know why i was mad, but at least acknowledge my experience, you know?

then i went to kins and bought, ginger, kale, apples, carrots, kiwi, avacado to add to the pineapple and mango that jane was bringing for our green smoothies.

then i rushed home, changed into yoga clothes, grabbed my blender and fed the cats and straight out the door to the church.

everyone was like "what happened to your head"  so i was obliged to act out the incident.

so we had a fun night.  first we all shared yoga poses.  so everone took turns teaching the group a pose and then they would tag off and the next would go up.  we did several rounds of that before we then did a couple of yoga games.  one was like the memory game where you stand in a circle and the first person leads a pose that everyone does, and then the next person does that first pose and adds one of their own and you continue on in that was around the circle.  another one was like the animal game.  that one was funny.  so you do your pose and then someone elses and then that person does their pose and someone elses until someone makes a mistake and then they go to the last spot and everyone shifts up.  know what i mean?  get it?  that one was funny because some were stand up and other poses were on floor and people were getting too good at it so i made a 3 second time limit to complete your turn so we were just letting our poses fly.  it was lots of fun.

then we went into the kitchen, shredded, chopped and scooped all our green smoothie ingredients, except a pear, lemon and lime did not get used.  we had two blenders so the miamaids made a smoothie and the behives did a smoothie and then we all tasted each other's.  they were pretty good.  we gave the bishop and the chinese sister missionaries some tastes too.  and then it was over.  and the flurry of cleanup etc happened.  and now i'm home in my owl blankie and chilled to the bone (and nose)

going to bed because that is what intelligent people do.  and i read the girls D&C 88:124 about going to bed early and getting up early that your bodies and minds will be invigorated... so i gotta live it.


Monday, November 23, 2015

...started in november and never finished:

the wind is stormy and glorious today.  i preshiate.

i had an eventful weekend.  first of all friday is always a celebration because, well, it's phase 3 and phase 3 is what i LIVE for! (ursula).  this friday i had a chocolate, coconut cinnamon chia seed pudding waiting for me all thick and creamy and delicious.  that can elate anyone!

friday afternoon i rode the skytrain downtown (dt) and met yelena at a sushi place.  BROWN RICE SUSHI.  not too shabby.  then we cruised the circle craft fair.  this year was not as exciting.  we knew a lot of the booths.  and the only gourmet sample i could try was the pickle booth.  pickled garlic scapes are sooo good!

we had a fun time and some good chats.  i was telling yelena about our healthy snacks initiative at the snack bar and she was telling me some innerestin facts about mental health and nutrition.  she's into that kind of thing.  she's a...nutritionist, i think?  so that's where her passion lies.  there are so many jewelry booths and lots of nice things to long for, but nothing i totally wanted to spend on.  of course there was the cat tie booth which was hilar.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

my alarm went off at 5:45am.  cruelty.  i did what i had to do.  i played candy mania on my phone.  archie perched at my shoulder a purring furry hulk in the darkness.  as i lost my last life i knew i couldn't put it off any longer.  so i turned on general conference talks and flung off my heavy, soft, comfy, warm duvet. i swung my legs over the edge and into the cold, leaving behind marmalade, my trusty stuffed bed buddy deep in the womb of the duvet.  

i padded to the kitchen while the furries wove in and out of my legs, yowling in eagerness for their morning feast.  after feeding them, i fed me.  a bowl of blueberries and a slice and a half of sprouted wheat bread.  when i was done i had blue teeth, which was startling when i looked in the mirror.

i showered. uneventful.  bytheway i have a spider issue.  there was this daddylonglegs type spider in my bathroom.  first he was living under the toilet scrubby, then took up residence on the ceiling in a corner above the toilet.  i decided to let him stay.  i don't find daddylonglegs revolting or scary.  but. BUT. he is a she and now she seems to have a family.  i don't know what to do! i don't want to be like kyle, having a shower and a thousand baby spiders descend upon me!  but now i have a relationship with her! i can't kill her or her babies!  ack.

before i left for work, i got my lunch ready. it was left-over bison, smoked mushroom sauce and quinoa, in case you are keeping tabs.  i also put a load of laundry on.  and then i stopped at the grocery store and picked up some tropical fruits to make smoothies for pascale's birthday.  i got her a card, and a card for yasemin for finally passing her driver's test and a belated birthday card for lindsay.

i got to work 20 minutes early.  lindsay was there eating some timmies.  had she started the coffee?  no she hadn't.  i started to feel the stress rising.  how was i going to get everything done in time if i had to get the snack bar ready too??  calm down laura.  so i did.

we made what i assume was a yummy smoothie. work, blah blah blah blah.  work work work...sugarless, flourless pumpkin muffins (i am trying to use up about 10 pumpkins), prepping raspberryapplepear fruit leather...signing cards...blah blah blah

pascale wanted to go to east is east for dinner. was there anything on the menu for me? yes a salad without dressing.  they all got the silk route feast and were served dish after dish of deliciousness. i decided right then and there--no more going out to eat when i can't get anything good.  what a waste!  also i'm going back to east is east some day.  

when we got up to go i knew i had to pee.  but i didn't know that after i dropped lindsay off at work, and drove home with basically no time to get ready for the young women's sleep over that i would be sprinting from the car to the bathroom.  when i opened the door i was met with two ravenous cats and an overwhelming smell of gas.  somehow the knob on the stove was turned.  how??  i'm so lucky my cats and my apartment didn't blow sky high, but i had no time to dwell on it.  i turned it off, opened all the windows wide, went pee, packed my bags and my foods and ran out the door.  picked up sabrina, picked up linda, picked up rachel and olivia, drove to melissa's where we made our own pizzas... mine was on a special gluten free crust, with no cheese, but it was alright.  then we spent the night painting our dolls and telling embarrassing stories.  

late that night it was only me and rachel and olivia awake.  we were laughing at old music videos the girls had made of themselves.  but i was nodding i went to my couch and fell asleep.

in the morning the girls had smoothies and i had ostrich sliders with no bun, and some cucumber and peppers.  we sat around and melissa taught the girls some ukelele moves  and then we all made clay boots/shoes for our dolls, and then we watched the giver, which was pretty good, and then i drove the girls home and came home myself;

the end.

Sunday, October 04, 2015

love is not selfish...

i used to think i knew a lot about love.  i thought about myself as a loving person.  that's the way i described myself to syster hedberg when i first arrived in the mission field.  but the older i get, or the more life i live, i realize that what i know of love is the proverbial ice burg tip.  who can comprehend the love of God?  i learned a little bit about it through suffering.  just a glimpse of his love is like... like something i can't describe.  but it is peace and wholeness and comfort and being known and healing and indescribable tenderness. it's safety and wonder and light and truth.  and his love is ours to discover every day in many ways.  he's here.  he's everywhere and he runs to us and embraces us when we turn to him.  his messages are everywhere.  it is only for me to have eyes to see, ears to hear.  who can understand the love of Jesus Christ the Savior of the world?  his sacrifice for me can hardly be grasped.  i know i don't deserve it.  but then i have experienced love from someone who loves me so much that they are willing to sacrifice their happiness for mine.  who is giving me a life to live.  it helps me to understand a little bit of what love really is.  i don't want them to suffer.  i want to reach out and stop it.  i know i don't deserve it.  if someone who loves me is giving me such a sacred gift that costs them so much, do i take it and honour it, and live the best i can? there is no other option that doesn't insult the offering.  it is almost unbearable to be loved like that because you don't deserve it.  it's just the greatness and majesty of the one who loves.  and it secures your love  forever. and it makes you want to be a better person more than anything else ever could.