Saturday, July 28, 2012

The Furies

On Thursday I was so excited about linking my post about reuniting my west coasty Saskatoon friends to this week's song of the week,  but I didn't want to do it early so I waited...

And then on Friday I got so busy getting lost going to a hair appointment, visiting Mary Jane and Peter and baby Lucy, making pie dough, and Sun Tea (that I haven't even tried yet, its still sunning itself on the deck, and I am so excited), picking Rob up from the inner harbour, and watching the Olympic Opening Ceremonies in replay...

That I forgot about my song of the week entirely.

And now its a day late.

But it is there now. This Diamond is for Children, by the now defunct Fury and the Mouse. My beautiful prairie deserters.

This song was about how much they missed home and for a long time became about how much I missed them ... and now its just a pretty song about the best parts of Saskatoon.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Thursday, July 26, 2012

This Diamond is for Children

Do you remember in 2005 when almost all of my friends moved away at once and I was devastated? Well, probably not because most of you didn't even know me yet. But for those of you that did, you will probably remember a heart broken little girl wandering around campus seconds away from tears listening to too much Greg MacPherson. I could be found in various states of sobbing in corners all over campus that fall. One time I spontaneously started crying so hard driving down Idylwyld that my mom made me pull over so that she could drive.

I vowed to move to the West Coast to be with them just as soon as University was done and I meant it... but life moved on without them and I found a new family in the drama department and the pain started to numb and by the time it came time to make the big move, my life was pointed in a different direction.
Over time those friends came and went from the coast and we all grew up a little, the group expanding into new west coast girlfriends and boyfriends and time erased the urgency of needing to be where they were doing what they were doing... but I guess it never really went away, and Saskatoon never really felt like home anymore after they had all left, even though their absence led me to some amazing friendships that will be with me forever.
And then by fluke I met my own West Coast man and here I am, and most of them have congregated back to this place, and here we are.

But because we have all grown up and expanded we are constantly busy and I haven't seen much of these hidden prairie gems on the coast (although the knowledge that they are here is sometimes enough on a bad day).

 Finally last night we were able to rally them all together (just in time for Brooke and Sam to move away, but they are staying in BC so we will see them again) and we all had a little corner of Saskatoon on our deck and in our kitchen.

So naturally I made Saskatoon Berry Pie.

And then the propane ran out on the barbecue. Whoops. 

So Blair and Rob moved inside to finish cooking dinner. Home made veggie burgers, "grilled" (now pan fried) portabella mushrooms, bacon wrapped turkey for the few meat eaters and bad vegetarians (and some extra bacon for Shauna's veggie burger...), a million sides, more cooler corn on the cob and lots of beer and cider to go around.

(Side note: I've added a new feature to my blog, the "What's Cooking" link at the top will bring you to a photo blog of all of the goings on in my kitchen.)

And after almost 7 years we were finally (almost) all together in my new West Coast dining room. 
(missed you Jodie)

When we were watching out the window for people to show up we saw Brooke and Sam drive up and Rob said "yep. here comes the plaid."

So much plaid.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Tastes of Home.

Every time I think I couldn't be more charmed by my new home and island and whole province I am proved wrong.

We had a wonderful full busy wonderful weekend this weekend. This is mostly a picture post :)

Cruise ship lights.
 Niko and Adam came over on the Ferry on Friday around noon. I picked them up, let them drop their stuff at our house and whisked them off to see the cutest neighborhoods in Victoria so they could get an idea of some great neighborhoods to live in if they move over to the island. I was able to drive them all over my favorite parts of Vic without having to look at a map at all. That was very exciting. Later that night we made supper here after Rob got home from work and we took them on a night time drive to see some of the pretty lights.

The next day we left some transit info and a list of things for Niko and  Adam to see while we headed over to Vancouver (really really really early, 7 am Ferry) for the day so I could go to my very first BC rehearsal ever. I was so excited to not only see Brian, but for us to be back at the rehearsal table together. The Home Free bunch are absolutely lovely and I am very excited to be joining this team for the next few months. Sitting down to work with them I was struck by the feeling that I had already known them for years which was a very startling feeling. I am constantly overwhelmed here by how right everything feels. As though I have silently slipped into life here after merely being away for some time.

After rehearsal Rob and I had a chance to have our first ever day time Vancouver date. Usually he is at work if we are there during the day so we have only ever wandered around the city at night or on a dash back to the Ferry. We walked down Robson while I oohed and awed at all of the stores and dragged Rob into a few home decor stores and then after discovering the Blenz iced belgian chocolate drink... actual chocolate on ice, like drinking a fudgesicle, so amazing... we sat on a park bench in Stanley Park for a while just enjoying the Sea Wall and the heat.

Then after a loooooong wait for the public washroom in Stanley Park we realized we were going to be late to meet ....

My Best Friend! In Vancouver! We didn't have a ton of time, but we got to eat a quick supper with her downtown before running to get on public transit back to the last Ferry of the night. But the amazing thing about best friends like this is the cliff notes version is all you really need to be totally caught up... I do so wish it was longer though.. Next time. We met her and her sister, brother-in-law and their little one at White Spot and it amazed me how it doesn't matter where you are or who's around you when you find your friends and family, you are immediately home.

We just made it to the last Ferry which got us home around 11:30 PM where our lovely guests were waiting to tell us about their adventures (or at least Niko did on his way by to brush his teeth) and then we collapsed into bed, what a whirlwind day.

The next morning we all slept in. When we were finally ready to go we took Nico and Adam for brunch at this great motor inn diner (Paul's Motor Inn) that is a bit of a Victoria staple (Rob's mom worked their when she was a teenager... possibly alongside some of the waitresses that are still there). And then we set out on a road trip adventure to Chemainus where I had interviewed to Stage Manage this summer. It is a pretty little tourist town on the sea with a pretty little Festival Theatre.

We stopped for Saskatoon Berries along the way at a Saskatoon Berry farm on the island.

Made sure Nico and Adam got to try the most amazing Island delicacy... Ice Cream Sandwhiches from Cold Comfort. Seriously, go to this amazing lady's website and check out her flavour journal. Unbelievable. And because she makes them all in small batches and distributes them to the stores that are carrying them, you never know what flavour might be there when you go.
 So far Rob and I have tried:
  • The Blondie
  • Pepita Hot Chocolate
  • Cidre Pomona
  • Raspberry Rose
  • Rosemary and Sour Cherry
  • Carrot Cake
and some that I don't think are even listed in her journal yet. If you come visit, don't worry, we will make sure you have an ice cream sandwhich...

And then we took them to the top of our world to see the whole city. Before we went home to the treat of Nico cooking us supper in our kitchen.

By then it was late but I still couldn't resist making a few Saskatoon Berry tarts for all of us before bed.

And today Ember is sad her new friends went home.

and I'm feeling a bit like a bum around the house. But at least I wrote this blog entry and since there was only a very little bit of cream left I felt obligated to make sure I finished it on some Saskatoon Berries with brown sugar... just like Grandma would have.

Now to get my hands on a Saskatoon Berry bush for our front yard....
Whew. I had more words than I thought.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Song of the Week!

Song of the week is up!

Bells & Whistles by Steph Macpherson.

This darling is a Victoria native and getting some good airplay on CBC Radio. I hope Rob and I can go see her perform sometime soon.

This song and this message feel like a good fit this week. Good things happening out here.

Rainy day activity

It's a rainy Friday morning around here. Normally I look forward to rain on Friday's because I have deemed it my "day off" day to do whatever I feel like, including rainy day projects like sewing and knitting, but today we are getting company! Nick and Adam are coming to stay with us from Vancouver in the hopes that they may like Victoria better and move here instead. They really really hate Vancouver. So I was hoping for some nice weather so they could see that it rains here much less than there and I could show off my new beautiful city... but of course. Rain. Full on soaking wet dripping everywhere rain.

We spent last night getting the guest room ready and it was really the first time we have spent any time sorting out the downstairs room since I moved in.

 Rob set my desk up and I felt really excited about what the space will be eventually for the first time and loved seeing my beautiful desk (my Mom made it for me and made it so it can be taken apart and moved, given my recent nomadic nature) in its new space.
The obnoxious mirrors in this room are coming down.

Which is also making me sort of wish for a day free to sit down here and sew, or craft, or photo document. But! There are exciting things to go do today, even if they are in the rain. Plus, after we got it all set up I realized I still don't have a desk chair... So until next week...

Someday soon this spot will have a real guest bed.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Sweet Potato Curry Fail

Sometimes even when you were the one to make dinner you still don't want it. Growing up I was the pickiest eater alive and with great frustration wouldn't eat half of what my mom would cook for me.
Now that I do 90% of my meal cooking I have become pretty adventerous. But sometimes even when you made it yourslef with all the best intentions, you still just don't like it.

So tonight like the spoiled picky only child I was I didn't finish my supper and had Alpha-Ghetti instead.
With some oregano mixed in, for old times sake.

I also found this article really interesting this week:

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Rhubarb Dream

Well I didn't make Rhubarb squares, but I did make this.

Rhubarb Dream  



1 c Flour
5 T Sugar
1/4 c Butter


2 Eggs
1 1/2 c Sugar
1/4 c Flour
1/4 ts Salt
2 c Rhubarb; fresh, diced


Preheat oven to 350°F. Blend crust ingredients. Press into ungreased 9" x 9" pan. Mix topping ingredients and spoon over crust. Bake at 350F for about 30 minutes or till crust is golden brown.

To be honest, its too sweet for me. Rob seems to like it better, but of all the sweet things I have made around here, half of this is still left in the fridge uneaten.

Yesterday I finally cracked open this cookbook that I found on tour last spring. I had to buy it for Rob because it was just too wonderful of a find (St. Whalburg -- land of Paramedic cookbooks and hotels made out of old hospitals...). But the even more wonderful thing about it is that it is just another one of those community type cook books so it has some really great Saskatchewan food in it and I think because there are so many young Paramedics all over the province, some other great new things I've never tried. So really, it was only a present for Rob on the outside.

And inside this great cookbook I found a recipe for lemon poppy seed muffins, something I keep meaning to try, annnnd it was a recipe that could use up the leftover plain yogurt I had. I always buy plain yogurt for cooking but it never uses up enough and then I am left with all of this plain yogurt I don't know how to eat.

I love Christie's Mayfair Bakery's Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins like no other muffin, so I added white chocolate chips to the dough in the hopes that they would turn out the same.
Still not quite. Maybe I need to use a less refined flour? Oh well. I have enough for at least another two batches in the fridge that I will bake today. Yesterday the oven made the house too hot and so I turned it off and Rob and I went on a date to our public library. So much fun, its only a few blocks away in behind one of the two shopping centres we go to for everything. Rob even took a book out and made me promise I would make sure he read it. We are going to have regular dates to the library whenever we have to return books. Our library also has an archive of Saanich history (which is technically where I live), so we can learn all about the history of this neighborhood! Although it is only open Monday to Friday until 4:30, so I guess I'm on my own, but some of it is online too.

Today is supposed to be a gardening day, but I'm going to have to get out there to beat the rain. We have peas!! And Eggplant flowers, which surely means we are really truly going to have eggplant right?? Next post I promise some garden pictures. Which means I'd better get on with things and out there to take some.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Fun with Lynne and Sally

I have this habit of getting almost euphoric about how well things are going right before I have some kind of melt down crash. I can't seem to get the balance between that great feeling of "I can totally do this" and "I can't do this at all".

Yesterday I was sitting on the patio with lemonade and then cleaning the kitchen with Patti Griffin music pouring out of the living room (and probably down the street out my open windows), thinking about summers past. I'm happy to be here for a million and one reasons. I love my deck, I love love love my kitchen, I love this city and my kitty and Rob. In fact I wouldn't want to be anywhere else in the world. For years when I was asked the silly question "if you could transport yourself anywhere in the world right now, where would it be?" The answer was always Victoria, even though then I had no idea the answer should have been into this kitchen right here. I've always known this is where I should be, I just fought it off for a while first.

And I loved Jan Lake with my whole heart and Staff 5. But I stood at my kitchen sink thinking of my teeny Staff 5 sink at the lake and how the counter was on a slant and all of the soapy water from the drying rack would puddle under the microwave for me to find in a slimy mess every time I had the chance to really clean my kitchen, realizing I didn't have another lake summer left in me. I knew that at the end of last summer but haven't been able to admit it until just recently.

The Universe knows where we need to be, even if we fight it off. My first summer at the lake Scotty made me two CD's full of Patti Griffin. I didn't even touch them. I didn't know it but I wasn't ready to know where I needed to be yet. I popped one of those CD's in my car on the way to the lake my second summer and Patti Griffin became my summer anthem. And I knew that I needed to get here to this kitchen that didn't even exist to me or Rob yet (he found the house later on in the summer and while I think we both knew then that this would be our house we were no where near admitting it). So, Making Pies by Patti Griffin is this week's (and the first) song of the week (click the music notes up top to listen).

By last night all of that turned into my being (maybe a little irrationally) angry at Rob for not appreciating his new baby niece and brother more. This is often a touchy subject for me having grown up an only child and not having real siblings. I love my cousin Alison and her boys as much as anyone loves their brothers and sisters and nieces and nephews and I know she does too, but you wouldn't believe how often I still get told "well they aren't your real nephews" or "Your not really their aunt." Anyway, that's probably a whole different post for a whole different day. Point is. I miss my family and my friends and their babies so much. And every single minute I am going to miss of those babies lives. Even though every other part of me is so much happier here then I was ever going to be in Saskatoon. And I know I will be a big part of Lucy's life, and the kindness Pete and Mary Jane have shown me over the whole span of me moving out here has been amazing (another reason to get up in arms a little when Rob doesn't appreciate his brother enough) but right now I still don't feel like any of the things out here belong to me yet.

So I spent the night angry and crying and too hot to be upstairs. So I moved down to the couch and watched the lightning storm and felt like it was just for me, since I know they are rare on the island and I was so so homesick (I didn't actually believe the first thunder crash when I heard it and had to check the weather report) And I slept all morning and I'm still in my pajamas and feeling sort of lousy so I'm taking today off for myself.

And not making pies, but making Rhubarb Squares and listening to these wonderful girls I just found on the internet. The Rabbitfoot Duo's Fun with Lynne and Sally. While they play bluegrass and giggle.

And remember the first time I ever visited Victoria in another kitchen in Saanich, Chris saying to me "I think growing up means there will never be a place I can be again without missing somebody."

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Home Free

We've had some pretty exciting things happening around here since we were off to Lillooet. In no particular order...

Exciting thing #1 - I signed on to do a Fringe show with Brian Cochrane! I am very very excited about this for several reasons. I love working with Brian. I love doing the Fringe. I get to be part of the Fringe in my new hometown! And also a chance to spend some time in Vancouver.

The show is Home Free by Lanford Wilson and Brian is directing. A Company called Staircase Xi out of Vancouver is producing it and we will be in both the Victoria and Vancouver Fringe Festivals! I will have the opportunity to meet and work with some lovely Vancouverites and spend some more time immersed in the BC theatre scene for almost all of August and September. Our run closes on September 16th -- my 30th birthday -- and I can't think of a better way to usher in a new decade.

On that same note... we are fundraising. The Fringe Festival as fun as it is can be a huge financial risk for small companies like Staircase Xi and as of right now there are no assurances that we will get paid at the end of the day. Obviously the very best kind of support is to come see our show, but if you can't and want to help out there is a link with our fundraising campaign on this blog just under all of my favorite bloggers links. You can track our progress there and see what Staircase Xi is all about or even spread the word by linking from your own blog or Facebook or Twitter or good old fashioned email. Every little bit helps to ensure Arts in Canada can stay alive and well despite all of the cuts to our funding.

And now to get completely away from politics. Yikes.

Exciting thing #2 - Rob's sister in law had her baby! Despite being told that because of certain complications there was no way she could possibely go into labour and we were all expecting the little one by C-Section July 18th. And despite having gone to the Doctor Thursday morning and being sent home with all being normal... She went into labour early Friday morning and little Lucy Louise was born at around 6 PM on July 6th. 
Uncle Rob is very very serious.

Exciting thing #3 - I managed to host a family barbeque for Rob's Mom's side of the family. The Bradshaw's. This may not seem exciting enough to warrant an entire Exciting Thing paragaraph about it, but Rob has a very close knit family orientated extended family and the idea that we would eventually have them all over to our house was terrifying to me. They are also very spontaneous, so at the end of our time visiting them at Cowichan Lake on Tuesday when it was casually mentioned that Heather would be going back home to California on Saturday and that Colleen still hadn't seen our house suddenly we were having everyone over for a barbecue. In fact I think I may even have been the one to suggest it. I don't know. It all happened so fast.

So Wednesday night in Lillooet we were sending out an official invite and Thursday night after one Ferry was canceled and we had to wait for the next one we hurriedly bought enough groceries to feed 20 or so people side salads and desserts. I made an enourmous pie.

 Everyone brought their own meat/veggie burger to barbecue and I finally won all of the kids in Rob's family over (they have mostly just been staring at me warily at every family function) with ice cream floats. 
The best part of the night was that when the announcement came to Rob's phone with a picture of baby Lucy at 6 PM, the entire family was on our deck to hear the news and see the first picture of her. A story we will get to tell her for the rest of her life.

And I almost didn't get a single picture of our successful hosting experience... Only this one, of my other favorite part of the night, when two of the girls ran upstairs and burst out on to the deck calling my name to show me what they had built. 

 I was finally at home.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

B.C's Little Nugget

I am up in these mountains right now and it is hot already at 9 am.

Apparently Lytton/Lillooet are often the hot spots in the province and it will be 30 degrees here today (was 32 yesterday) Ive been missing that summer time heat. Victoria rarely gets over 20... Although I guess you all are missing it in Saskatoon too.

We are delivering a brand new 4x4 ambulance to the Lillooet station and Rob is loving being with the crew. Yesterday he spent over 2 hours with then transferring all of the stuff over from the old ambulance and finding places for it in the new ambulance. This morning he wanted to "stop by" to make sure the day crew was all brought up to speed and we've been here for an hour already :)

This is the part I can tell he really misses about actually being a paramedic.

It's alright, I've caught up on everyone's blogs and the souvenir shops don't open until after 9 anyway.

I wonder if I will ever get over being afraid to touch anything while I hang out in ambulances.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Welcome. Again.

Oh good lord. While waiting today for Rob to do his ambulance stuff in Vancouver and for us to hit the road to Lillooet, I started writing a lovely post about our day at Lake Cowichan yesterday... I decided to save it as a draft and delete what appeared to be a pile up of blank drafts. But instead I deleted all of my previous posts.

I'm glad that the me that would have cried over that was able to laugh about it. And Rob said, well welcome to r2. (revision 2, just in case you aren't all drafts people ☺)

So for anyone just joining me... Welcome to the new blog. For anyone that caught the previous two posts. You were the lucky ones. ☺ they were too long winded anyway.