Friday, January 29, 2010

The Catcher in the Rye

Fascinated I was when I first read The Catcher in the Rye. Caught up somewhere in Jr High I spent most of my time skipping school or with my nose in a book. This being one of them...
10 years later I was astonished when a man I was seeing had never read it. He who had taught me so much about life had not read this book which had made it on many "top book" lists.

I found a ratty, much loved copy of it one day in a book store near my place in a small town I was living in. I brought it home, wrote a note in it and left it on his pillow for him to find. I was brought up with the understanding that one does not give a book as a gift without writing in it first. As I think back to it now, I don't remember what I wrote. I do remember it being off center and a bit long though. That's my usual style though... I can't help it, just me being me.

Time passed, things came and went and life changed.. years later I was sitting at my desk at a new job and in a new place in my life. A package arrived for me at work and after recognizing the writing on the wrapping I waited days before opening it. When I finally did inside I found a time capsule of memories, things that I had forgotten and grown past. Most of it I didn't bother with, some old photos I'd forgotten about, a CD I still haven't played, a note I didn't really read and the copy of The Catcher in the Rye. I'll admit... my stomach did a little flip and my heart sank a bit.

I flipped through the pages and came across my note I had written a few years earlier which was now was accompanied by a note of his own. I read it and re-read it and then took it and put it away with the rest of the past. This book had become a bitter vessel of communication between us. I didn't need it in my life.

A few more years later I battled silently one afternoon as I sorted through my heaps of books. One pile to go to the used book store, the other to keep. I put The Catcher in the Rye in the "used book store" pile and moments later took it out and put it in the "Keep" pile. Taking it out again I put it back in the "Used Book Store" pile and back again to the "Keep" pile. I flipped so many times that to this day I don't know if I kept the book or not. What I do know though, is I tried to be a Catcher in the Rye and it didn't work and somewhere there is book with a piece of my story in it.

Just as someday, if you have something to offer, someone will learn something from you. It's a beautiful reciprocal arrangement. And it isn't education. It's history. It's poetry.
-J.D. Salinger, 1919- 2010

Thursday, January 28, 2010

The Surprise Was On Me

It was the day after Christmas when my mother said to me "So, did you get those opera glasses from Ronaye?" Ronaye being my eldest sister, she lives in Vancouver so she always sends my birthday gift over with the Christmas Gifts.

I hadn't opened any opera glasses and since my birthday is a few weeks after Christmas it was easy for me to assume that these opera glasses may very well be... my birthday gift. My mum came to the same conclusion and quickly gasped in an attempt to take the surprise back.

Too late. and I don't forget... so when my birthday celebration with my family came, I knew that I would be the owner of a pair of opera glasses before the night was over.

There I sat, joking as I took the paper off of each package. I love to guess what's inside and I have an uncanny ability of being right almost all the time. Even for things like Marshmallow Machine guns and Meat Thermometers... I have a knack- I think I could give Sylvia Brown and run for her money. When I reached for my sisters present I dramatically pretended to wonder what may be in the package "Hmmm... Could this be opera glasses? Noooooo..." and sure enough it was. What I didn't expect though, was a little note that read:

"Dear Blanche,

Grandma Milne gave these to me many years ago- I love them, but have
never used them, so I thought they'd be better with you! ENJOY!

Love Ronaye and

A well of emotions flooded over me and I gingerly picked up the tiny leather case. It was stiff as I lifted the flap and pulled out a dainty pair of old fashion opera glasses. They were sensible black with brass accents. They were perfect.

I started out thinking I knew what to expect but in the end, the surprise was on me and I wouldn't have had it any other way.


Q:How do you hide an elephant in a cherry tree?

A:You paint his toe nails red.

No seriously, have you ever seen an elephant in a cherry tree?
My point exactly.

It's been busy at work the last few weeks... end of year, end of month and a million birthday celebrations to go in between. It's been great and kind of great (I don't enjoy the pressure of impending deadlines because I can NEVER be late.)

With the approaching tax season we have auditors here looking over bits and pieces of paperwork making sure that the tax man doesn't send us to the naughty corner (not that we really belong there but it's best to be organized just in case). I'm pretty sure one of them is an elephant, a very allergic one too. I keep hearing elephant like noises that typically come from elephant like noses and many, many sneezes. That might also explain that new elephant smell that seems to be coming from the board room where they are set up. People tell me that generally happens when 5 people spend a lot of time in one room with a closed door, but really... who believes that?

Alright, that probably didn't make any sense to any of you- I seem to be a bit rusty with this writing blog thing. It's been a week since I've let my fingers do the talking so excuse them as they babble. I have lots to tell you so I hope that I get time in the next few days to sit down and really tell you what's been going on the last month- if you are interested.

Have a lovely elephunky day!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Flashback to 1988

Surfing in Tofino with the Olympic Torch

I was 8 years old when the 1988 Winter Olympics hit Calgary with a boom. And a Chinook- trust Calgary to have +20°c weather during the Winter Olympics. I remember the things that a child would remember from that time... the mascots Hidy and Howdy, the laser shows every night, the opening and closing ceremonies, making nose at the speed skating competition and that crazy pin collecting fad. Fast forward 12 years and I started to meet people who were old enough to party during those times. People with storied of parting with the Jamaican Bobsled team (I'm not allowed to repeat any of those!).... I heard a whole other side of the Olympics and just what joy they had brought to this city. We were the first city to actually make money from the Olympics and for years to come we were applauded for being the best.

The Torch in Drumheller, Alberta (Canada has interesting topography)

Last night, the torch, which has been making it's way across all of Canada (seriously), made it's way into the core of downtown Calgary. Me, Laura and 60,000 other people gathered at "Olympic Plaza" to watch as the torch made it's way here. There were cheers, fireworks and lots of noise. I giggled when the moment finally came, I could tell that it was coming by the growing cheers and the flash bulbs from digital cameras. With my camera ready my heart jumped at the first light I saw- which turned out to be a camera man. Ooops. He was leading the way for the torch and filming the whole things... so I got pictures of the camera man but NOT of the torch. I did see the torch though and it was pretty awesome. I can't help but feel sentimental and lovey to others during the Olympics (except during the hockey games when I get a little too serious for everyone involved). Sure, there are the "realists" that get grouchy over "misused tax dollars" and "a major road being blocked off for 3 hours" but I don't care... it's something special so why not indulge a little and maybe take a different way home- it's only one day.

The Torch at the most furthest north it's ever been Alert, Nunavut

So now, as Vancouver is counting down the days I wish the same experience for them. I wish for them prosperity, celebration and unity. All the things that the Olympics should stand for but seem to have lacked the last few years.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Old Fort

I come from the belief system that one is never too old to build and thoroughly enjoy a fort. When I was little I use to pull apart my family's fuzzy brown circa 1980's couch and build the best little sofa house ever! When looking to renovate I used extra cushions from the "good couch" in the living room and learnt that was a mistake though the spilt level was fun while it lasted.

Giant boxes are always a weak spot for me- I've made houses, boats (thought they do sink rather quickly despite what the guys at Mythbusters may have accomplished) and even a car that I use to take down the 2 flights of stairs, again, at my parents place. Good times were had by all- except my mum who would usually get raving mad over me either almost breaking my neck or destroying the carpet. Tisk tisk... naughty girl.

The last time I played "house" was about 6 months ago when I bought my kitchen table. It came in a giant box that was loads of fun to horse around in. Though it only lasted about 20 minutes- it was my moment of being a child again. Today, a good friend of mine sent me a link to something amazing and oh-so-grown-up.... The "Daily Shelter" by artist Ingrid Brandth

A kitchen table that converts into your fancy new "adult like" fort: "At first glance it looks like an ordinary table. But for the one who knows its secret, it can be transformed into a shelter where one can hide from scary sounds, ghosts or family members. Just like a snail feels safe in its house."

Sexy isn't it!

(thank you Calvin for the link!)

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Coffee Buzz

I remember it like it was yesterday, actually it was yesterday... or Sunday but who's counting. Walking through the front doors into a steamy, hot room with high ceilings and panoramic windows. To the left of me are modern contemp couches and tables, to the right a spread of delicate pastries and the hot smell of coffee. I had found myself in a little place called Deville; Luxury Coffee and Pasties. I'm not a coffee drinker- I never drink it because it tends to give me panic attacks. The last coffee I had was about 2 years ago...

I went up to the counter and saw a small, un-intimidating menu and picked the one called "Mocha" (rich, dark roast coffee with Bernard Callebout Chocolate melted into it) and order a vegetarian quiche. I took a seat in the swanky "living room" and waited, watching the interesting characters walk down busy 1st SW. When my steamy mug arrived (with a heart drawn in the foam) I was excited (not a good feeling to have before drinking coffee). I took a sip and my mouth was filled with a flood of bitter and sweet- delcious. It was defiantly coffee and it was defiantly good. Not too sweet and not to bitter- just right for a girl like me. I took a bit of my quiche and I melted with delight- delicious! I was beyond surprised at how much I enjoyed my experience- everything was amazing.

I went back the next day, after work. This time I took Laura with me, in stead of coffee I had a buttery white wine (yes, they serve wine, coffee, beer and tea... only the best!) with an equally buttery coconut shortbread cookie- I was in heaven.

I don't think I'll take up drinking coffee anytime soon but if I do I will drink it from Deville. I may however start taking up wine and cookies to go along with my people watching!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The Night Before 30

Tis the night before 30 and all through the house- don't worry, I won't get into that again. Tonight is the night before my birthday and like usual it feels just like any other day except I am REALLY tired. That could be just because I am getting old-er though. Okay, I don't believe that either but it's just a regular night of being tired.
I hung out with Laura tonight who also was very tired. She had brought her Jeep in for work and had a PT Cruiser as a courtesy car- we HAD to drive around and laugh so we went to Shoppers Drug mart. Didn't buy anything but we smelled a bunch of stuff and tried on a bunch of testers. Like usual, we were Blanche and Laura. Got home, made Grilled Cheese sandwiches and tomato soup because it's easy, we are both tired and it was getting "late".

OH YES, I totally forgot! Tonight I colored! With felt tip markers and all that good stuff. It was fun and very relaxing- I set Laura up to color while I cooked up some dinner (I really need to go grocery shopping. All I have are eggs, bread, milk, butter, soup and other odds and ends- i can make a lot with that but I need some fruit and veggies.). Little did I know until I checked myself in the mirror- i was missing an earring! My mind shot back to 20 minutes earlier when I had stuck my head out the passenger side door to check the car behind us as we parked. I heard a strange noise but I just brushed it off as slushy snow being crushed under the tire. As I stood in the kitchen thinking about my missing earring I started to think "That must have been when it fell off". Taking a Flashlight we retraced my steps back to the car parked in the street. I checked back and forth over the spot where I thought it had fallen, all I could find was snow, slush and a bit of trash. Shiny trash that looked like the foil from inside a pack of cigarettes. I look at it once and then looked at it twice- nothing. Then Laura looked at it once and twice- "that's IT!" she yelled and we laughed with delight. The piece of trash was actually my earring! it had fallen in a wrapper of some sort (I live downtown- even though everyone says Calgary is a clean city there still is a little trash here and there) and if it had not been for Laura I would have totally over looked it.

Giddy, we ran back upstairs to my place and Laura made me open my pre-birthday present. Damn her if it was a brand new guitar! Delighted, I unwrapped it and ran my hand down the body, it was smooth and had a nice, rich sound. Spoilt- that's what I felt was spoilt. And grateful.

So, with that sleepy story I am off to have a bath and read before going to sleep. Goodnight!

I Want To Tell You What To Eat

A few months ago before the Christmas shit show hit me hard (it's a good hard, I love Christmas) I had an epiphany- I want to be a registered dietitian.
"Some professionals use the terms dietitian and nutritionist interchangeably; however, all dietitians are nutritionists, but not all nutritionists are dietitians."

Food has always been such a huge part of my life- my relationship with it has been textured with huge lows and the highest highs. It's been my friend, my enemy and now, with the integration of yoga I've learned about it's nourishing abilities. To share that with others would be amazing.
Excited I started looking into school and came up with the understanding that where I live (Calgary, a place of over a million people) does not offer an accredited undergrad programme in the field that I want. I'd have to quit my job and move to the rival city (Edmonton)- lame. That isn't what I had in mind.... I wanted to stay here and start taking classes after work while I still worked and did my thing. They offer the same type of course in Vancouver ( a place I've always wanted to move to) and Montreal (I know I have one friend who lives there). *sigh*

So right now, as I look again (gnawing on a Rice Krispie treat I made last night), thinking that I MUST have missed something- there has to be something offered in Calgary! There HAS to be! I think to myself "What am I suppose to do now?" and the only answer I can come up with is give up (kidding). What I think I should do next is source out some courses that I can take that can be transferred over to the under grad program. Maybe get a Nutrition Certificate to test the waters and see if this is something I would really like to do. I am more clear (finally) about what I want to do...So that's the plan for now. I might abandon it, I may not but for now I'm going to keep trying and see where it leads me.

The End!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Raise Up Your Double-Double

It was this day (January 12th) in the year 1930 that a great Canadian legend was born in the town of Cochrane, Ontario.

First he was known as a Defenceman and played right wing for the Toronto Maple Leafs and won 4 Stanley Cups. He had a reputation for enveloping players who were fighting him in a crushing bear hug. Boston Bruins winger Derek Sanderson once bit him during a fight; years later, Sanderson was asked why he had done it. "Well, I felt one rib go, and I felt another rib go, so I just had—to, well, get out of there!". So he took a bite (like many of us would in the years to come).

Later, half way through his time with the Leafs in 1964, he started up a small little Doughnut Shop which he named after him self- Tim Horton's. By 1967 Horton had become a multi-million dollar franchise system.

It was early in the morning of February 21, 1974 when Tim Horton died. It was an alcohol related accident on the highway leading from Toronto to Buffalo.

There are over 2,900 locations across Canada and 500 more scattered through the USA, Tim Horton's has become Canada's biggest franchise. Somewhat of a cultural fixture for many Canadian coffee drinkers and doughnut eaters, noted Canadian author Pierre Berton once wrote: "In so many ways the story of Tim Hortons is the essential Canadian story. It is a story of success and tragedy, of big dreams and small towns, of old-fashioned values and tough-fisted business, of hard work and of hockey."

So, raise up your Double-Double to the man, the myth, the legend and wish the late Tim "Superman" Horton a Happy Birthday. He would have been 80 today.

Photo Credits:
Tim Horton, Leafs borrowed from Google Images
Tim Horton's Chicken Noodle with Chicken Salad borrowed from I'm Only Here for the Food

Trigger Happy

Lucky for me, this year I got a brand spanking new camera for Christmas! That's right boys and girls- a grown up SLR with TWO fancy dancy lenses... I'm just starting to get the hang of it and has really helped bring my closer to my goal of taking lots of pictures before I turn 30. Here is a small little sample below of a few pictures I have taken with my new camera. Truth: they haven't really been edited other then to be resized... so they are as raw as they come.

This is my BFF Laura

Laura smiling for the camera (she hates that) we are out at Elbow Falls taking pictures in areas that were blocked off. We are rebels that way.

Potpourri- exciting I know but compared to my little point and shoot this impressed me because it just looked better. You may not care but I can see a major difference right here.

Typical Blanche picture- New Years Eve. Behind me is another one of my Christmas Presents. A painting of a picture I took over the summer done by Denise Staples in Cochrane. I love it.

This is at my families country house. These are 3 of my parents Golden Retrievers... they are looking down the hill at the cabin where my Mum was. She didn't go on a hike with my Father and I.

This is Dani- he's a beautiful dog.

Woody Wood Pecker- I was impressed with this picture because Mr. Wood Pecker was far away. I was able to zoom right in and actually get some decent detail. I believe that this is called a Downie Wood Pecker.

The Foothills- a view from the hike at my parents country house.

Frozen Elbow Falls- BRRRRRRRRR!!!! I was pretty far away from the falls as well... I don't know how far- maybe 40'? Just a guess... more then likely that is totally wrong.

The Man in the Moon. Good detail for something that is 384,400 km

Aspen tree in the winter

Monday, January 11, 2010

Giant Baby Head

I went to the Glenbow Museum the other day, they have an exhibit going on till the end of this month that I was curious about. It had a giant baby head that-
A) is giant
B) was the subject of advertising for the exhibit and got pulled from all transit stops (WTF! It's just a giant sculpture of a baby head)

The artist is named Ron Mueck and he had 3 very impressive sculptures featured till the end of January.

Truth: The giant baby head (officially known as "Head of a Baby") and the giant new born baby (Officially known as "Baby Girl") are a bit of an intrusion to my mind. They were monstrous in size and extremely detailed. I can appreciate the work and skill shown by the artist however I did not like them. I think that's what Ron was going for though- the quick little write up regarding the giant baby head stated that the reason behind the size was to somewhat offend the viewer. To prove a point about size and our relation to it. It was also to symbolise how a new baby can interrupt and become an incurable distraction in a families day to day life. I think this is true, having a new baby in the house changes the dynamic of any family as would having the giant baby head sculptor in your living room.

There was a third sculptor that hit me at a different level and caused me to appreciate Ron Mueck's work that much more. This one was titled "Old Woman in a Bed"- it was moving... I didn't notice it at first, I was making my way though the exhibit to the door to carry on to the next artist- off to the side was this tiny little figure- about the size of a true new born child. As I got closer to it I noticed that it was a statue of an elderly woman snuggled up in bed, asleep. There was a rush of emotion that occurred inside me that still amazes me. I wanted nothing more then to pick up the old woman and take her into my arms. Ron's art inhabits true life like qualities that I would almost think that this old woman was a living, breathing, miniature person. I wanted to cuddle her and take care of her... I felt so intensely empathic to the piece, as if it were a relative of mine. Moving past the piece I read the artists write up about the "Old Woman in a Bed"- again, he intentionally used scale to manipulate the spectators emotion. Making this woman the size of an infant instantly creates a feeling of protection. It truly was a mind blowing experience.

If you live in Calgary it's worthwhile to go to the Glenbow to take in this experience. Though I thought I wouldn't want to go back and see I look back now and realise that there is more that I could have gotten from it. If you do go, I recommend taking your time with the pieces. Read about what Ron was aiming to achieve because something like this is a once in a life time experience.

With that being said this achieves #9 Visit the Glenbow Museum

All images borrowed from Ron Mueck

Friday, January 8, 2010


Main Entry: ec·u·men·i·cal
Pronunciation: \ˌe-kyə-ˈme-ni-kəl, -kyü-\
Function: adjective
Etymology: Late Latin oecumenicus, from Late Greek oikoumenikos, from Greek oikoumenē the inhabited world, from feminine of oikoumenos, present passive participle of oikein to inhabit, from oikos house — more at vicinity
Date: circa 1587
1 : worldwide or general in extent, influence, or application
2 a : of, relating to, or representing the whole of a body of churches b : promoting or tending toward worldwide Christian unity or cooperation

I have a love hate relationship with the word "ecumenical"- I use it a lot to describe my Christmas Traditions however when I try to use it in a sentence I can never figure out how to spell it. EVER... I always have to "call a friend", thankfully it's always the same friend so when I write "How do I spell that word again? that one that means 'celebrate all religions' Ecremenical... ??? " he knows what I mean and writes "I think you spell it 'Ecremenical', but I think everyone else spells it 'ecumenical'. ;)"

The word Ecumenical means to me is (and I quote Wikipedia)

Ёcumenism or Œcumenism (also Ecumenism, oecumenism or even eucumenism) now mainly refers to initiatives aimed at greater religious unity or cooperation.

In its broadest sense, this unity or cooperation may refer to a worldwide religious unity; by the advocation of a greater sense of shared spirituality across the three Abrahamic faiths of Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Most commonly, however, ecumenism is used in a more narrow meaning; referring to a greater cooperation among different religious denominations of a single one of these faiths.

I learnt this word from a Stuart Mclean story about a children's politically correct Christmas pageant Winter Festival called Morley's Christmas Pageant ("Morley's Christmas Concert") Priceless story even though I feel as though I am going to get into trouble for writing this- I beleive that is part of going to Catholic School my whole life.

Hawksley Workman

I can't exactly say that I am obsessed with Hawksley Workman because most of his songs are songs that I could write myself while cooking in the kitchen or putting on my pajamas.

Rain, rain
Falling is the only thing you ever do
You’re getting pretty good
You’re getting pretty good at it now
Down, down
Down to where the trouble and hurt does live
Where so many fall
Where so many take and not give
-Rain by Hawksley Workman

alright, maybe not... he takes the simplest things and works them through to a very metaphorical creation. He's coming out with a new album on January 19th 2010 and I just heard the song "Baby Mosquito" which was stunningly melodic. Even for the struggles of the life for a baby Mosquito, I was moved.

The point of the post was basically to quote Hawksley in true Hawksley speak-

"If you are not working then I don't know what you are do and whatever you are doing just isn't working"

So true.
Happy Friday everyone! Hope you have a lovely one!
I think Ill have a little Nutella this weekend- Mmmmm

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Little Christmas

It was a few weeks before Christmas and all through the house
not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.
I sat by the computer Googling things with care,
in hopes that free Airmiles soon would be near.

True story!

I ended up doing a search for "Christmas" just for fun and found myself in Wikipedia reading all about it. Down near the bottom I saw a sub link titled "Little Christmas" - being little myself I though "Hmmm.. This sounds like a Christmas made JUST for me!" Well, my goodness... if that wasn't the best little find- I was delighted! Enter NEW Tradition!

The origins of Little Christmas (also know as Woman's Christmas) came from Ireland. Back in the day when woman did all the house work and men were expected to never lift a finger, the ladies were given a break on January 6Th when for one day the roles would change. Men all across Ireland would let their wives rest and send them out to the pub while they stayed home to tend to the chores. As time passed and the roles became more flexible the tradition has shifted somewhat. Still mildly popular in areas such as Cork the tradition has become more of a "girls night out" then anything else.

Being a sentimental girl who loves to eat who am I to scoff at a chance to take advantage of Ye Olde Tradition (even if I am of Canadian-Italian heritage). Had a lovely little dinner with my lovely little friend Rheann over a lovely little glass of Gamay with a lovely little dish of bubbly, gourmet Mac and Cheese and a little side salad. Mmmmm...

Much like my Menorah (yes I light a Menorah every year even though I am not Jewish) I hope this becomes another part of my collective cherry picked Christmas Traditions.

Happy Little Christmas everyone!

What A Rest Can Do For You

yes, this is me being "loved to death" by 3 Golden Retrievers and 1 Sheba Inu

Working in sales for 13 years did something to me where Christmas is concerned. Like a double edged sword I started in retail working at a high end jewelery store, selling shiny things to people who well... often had too much money. Our busiest time was Christmas which meant that I was busy selling and making money, far too busy to actually spend it and enjoy Christmas. When I finally got sick of that life and entered into the world of paper pushing and 9-5 hours I was delighted to have the flexibility to take the last few weeks off in December.

It's become almost part of the gluttony to enjoy the relaxation of the holiday season. I get my Christmas shopping done early and take full advantage of all the festivities going on. I stay away from the malls, eat, sleep and enjoy too much- it's delightful. This year was my first full on indulgence- I enjoyed my time off so much that I honestly forgot what day it was. I was only off work for 12 days but it was enough for me become a woman of leisure. I will admit that I dragged my feet all the way to work on Monday but when I got there I was recharged and ready to get my stuff done. I fell in love with my job again and I feel very optimistic about 2010. It was the perfect time off- the office was only open for 3 days of my 12 days off so I didn't have much work to catch up on. I just to deal with one broken ankle and a bunch of enrolment cards- not to shabby at all!

I spent time out of the city where I could enjoy the mountains and fresh air. I played in the snow like a child and ran with the dogs like I was part of the pack. I enjoyed a bit of the Calgary culture I'd been ignoring the last few months, found new places to eat and shop. Enhanced my senses and took a lot of pictures. I woke up in the morning not even looking at the time and read till I felt it was time to make a lavish breakfast. I have to brag- I felt so good! I can honestly say that this was the first time in a long time that I actually felt relaxed- I understood what the word meant. Finally...

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

What's a Girl To Do? HELP!

So I am stuck beyond belief as to what to do for my 30Th birthday. This is my thought pattern...

I should have a party!!! Too much work, I'd have to do all the work. Don't want couch to get red wine on it.
should have a party and put plastic cover on couch TAAA-CKY!
Dinner at a really nice restaurant! Friends are too eclectic and I want everyone to feel comfortable
Dinner at a decent restaurant and then drinks after boring...


I wanted to start planning this a few months ago but someone told me not to- then wasn't the time to worry about it... but sadly, now I'm stuck worrying about it and only have a week left.

What is a 29 almost 30 year old to do? H-E-L-P!!!

Suggestions?? Ideas?? Inspiration?? I'll take anything right about now.... maybe a costume party?

Zoo Lights

The first time I went to Zoo Lights it actually wasn't called zoo lights- it was a light safari that I could drive though. I think it was by donation and you could drive though all these light displays in the nice warm car which had the radio station tuned to the private channel so you got a play by play explanation of the whole tour. It was fun and I didn't know what it was, it wasn't at the zoo either so it must have had another name.

A few years later, I heard about this thing called Zoo lights that was at *gasp* the zoo... you could walk around and see all these little light displays. It only shows up during December- just in time for Christmas! Laura and I went a half hour before closing. I'm not sure why we went and I'm not sure why it only took us 15 minutes to walk through the whole things but it did and we vowed never to go back again.

It was cold and there were too many wild, screaming children.

How quickly I forget- low and behold, I put "Go to Zoo Lights" as #16 on my list of things to do before I turn 30. Maybe it was the draw of over 3 million lights or the fact that it is the biggest of it's kind in Western Canada. Perhaps in my old age I am getting soft and the idea of Hot Coco and Outdoor fire pits have a real attraction to me.

Or maybe I'm like a dog and forget things within 15 minutes.

Regardless, I went... it was -20°c out and I was determined- I had coupons!! It was pretty fun- I don't think I'll go again any time soon but there is something sweet about strolling in the snowy dark with millions of colored lights glowing all around. Nice way to say farewell to the holidays and hello to the new year.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Testing The Dinner Party

I finally had the dinner party- well really it was more of a dinner "gathering" I had a few people over and made them dinner. It was a test to see how a full scale thing might go (ie: my birthday)- conclusion? I'm not ready...

I made this french vegetable soup that I love and that anyone can eat. I know too many people with crazy allergies to things like BUTTER (yes, you heard me right). Do you know how hard it is to cook french food with out butter or cream of any kind? It's pretty darn hard. But I do it the best that I can... I made the real stuff for me (Mmmm buttery, creamy yum for me). Served it with a nice hearty crusty bread and rich, young cheese. It was pretty good a side from my hyper critical opinion of anything I create for people. Oh and I didn't have enough bowls. I had to call my guests at the last minute and ask them to bring their own bowls (such a good hostess). If it had been any day other then New Years Day- a day when everything is shut- I would have gone out and purchased something down the street at Urban Barn.

Dessert was a last thought that actually turned out really well, I wanted to stick with the casual, rustic feel I had already created with my main. So I just chopped up a bunch of apples, threw in some Cinnamon and then sprinkled a crumble of sugar, flour and butter (no dairy spread for the allergic person) then baked it. I quickly threw together some whipping cream (I don't do Coolwhip or that junk in the can- ugh) and served it up warm from the oven.

Nothing too fussy, just some good old fashion food. it worked out well.
What I learnt though was:

  • I need a bigger table
  • I need bowls
  • I want to replace the broken wine glass that John broke all those years ago (stupid Birks for discontinuing the pattern.)
  • i need more chairs
  • I also would like a little help.

I threw dinner together in an hour (including dessert) and the only reason why I think I achieved this was I am a mad woman with a knife. I guess it's scary for other people but I'm okay with it.

So yes, I would like to classify this as achieving #1 of my list (I must be kind to myself- I tried!)

Monday, January 4, 2010

A Letter to a Yogurt Eater

Dear Yogurt Cup Eater,

Please stop making that noise when you eat yogurt- it drives me up the wall. Regardless of how hard, quick or persistent you are with the digging of your spoon you will not magically find any more yogurt at the bottom of the container. When it is done, it is done. Please accept that.

Happy New Year and have a lovely day!

PS: if you happen to have discovered the magical bottomless yogurt cup- please let me know. Thank you!