Wednesday, September 23, 2009

How did that happen??

So I had a big day today. It started out especially well, as I could actually breath. I think that cold is gone. My home grown tomatoes have magical powers!

We had tickets for the Citadel to see The Drowsy Chaperone. We had to leave fairly early, by 10:30 am for the 12:00 matinee. But first I had something I wanted to check out. I had seen a sign for a job fair a few days ago, and I knew today was the last day, so I got up early enough to mozy over there before heading into the city. Who doesn't like a fair, right? I thought I'd wander in, mingle, get some mini- donuts, pick up an application form to peruse, and scoot out so I could think things through in the privacy of my own home. Alone. At my leisure.

You know these people called it a "fair" when really, that's false advertising. What kind of fair has no clowns, no cotton candy (or for that matter no food on a stick of any description), and no balloons. Also, no livestock or ferris wheels in the vicinity; I would bet in the entire county!

I was so disappointed that by the time I realized I was the only person there, (Duh! Hello...deep fryers.... you'd get a lot more people out!) I had a pen in my hand and was handing in a job application and being interviewed by a lady who claimed her name was "Arlene". Oh really?! Hmpff!

So I may have just accidentally got myself a job. A job that sounds kind of fun, (don't they all?) with a new company that is opening in Leduc, but seriously, do I really have time for this? On the other hand, I could start a holiday fund or get a new sewing machine. Hmmmm. My plan that backfired may actually turn into something useful.

In other news, today we also saw the play (awesome!), shopped for fabric from the seesters list ( much responsibility picking thread colours for someone else!), went to the bookstore, picked up Fran and saw a so-so movie.
Oh, plus I got hit by a car in a marked crosswalk. I was crossing 104th (monster intersection) with the light, and a car decided to turn right...into me. He bumped me and I fell into his car catching my balance, then he continued to drive, knocking me again. What? I banged on the hood with my hand as I tried to get my feet under me, and the guy looked through me, kept talking on his phone and barely waited for me to clear the front of his car before he burned off. I was shaken up but not hurt, and my heart was pounding as I tried to get across before the light changed, and I didn't even think to get his plate number. Sheesh.
First no Merry-Go Round, now this.

What a day. I tell ya', they are just packed. I seriously don't know how I'd fit a job into my schedule!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Good Medicine

The last time I was sick was I can't even remember ago. I don't mean feeling sore and tired and blah and in a Fibro fog...I mean so sick I can't leave the house for fear of spreading my plague throughout the land. But the donkey of denial was kicked out from under me this week. (is that a mixed metaphor or are my delusions twisted in my weakened state? Whatever.)
After coming home from holidays the boys had little achy sore throats for a couple of days, and I blithely ignored it, failing to foresee my impending doom. I was blind, floating along in a fog of contentment and post-holiday bliss, but then I too started to feel the scratch in my voice and a tickle in my nasal cavities. It developed into a full blown boar of a cold. H1N1? I would not be surprised. My Brother in Law just recovered from it.

I've been sticking to home and couch for days on end. No grocery shopping, no parties, all activities canceled. I've had boxes of kleenex and my homemade Bacteria Buster spray at hand at all times. I've sneezed so hard and so often my eyes actually fell out of my head several times and rolled around on the floor. almost.

This morning I woke at 4:11 am as the Mr climbed out of bed to begin his day. I could not go back to sleep. My sinuses hurt and my addled flu-brain raced with the thought that I had to de-clutter if I wanted to feel better. This. Does. Not. Happen. Plus, I was suddenly obsessed with the thought that if I didn't recover and my mom had to come and clean out my craft room, she would discover just what a pack rat* I've become!! That on top of loosing me! ( Not that she doesn't know this as well as she knows my middle name, which is the same as her first name, and she named me, but still!)

I'd hate her to have to leave my funeral early and go directly to my house in her state of grief and sort that whole container of thread that I accidentally dumped out on the floor at Christmas time and didn't have the heart to sort so I just stuffed it all in a bin, tangled mess that it was, and said when my time came someone else could worry about it. I also said some other stuff. **
Well. Apparently that someone else is the alien that has taken over my fevered mind and forced me to worry about cleaning and thread and clutter in the middle of the night.

I cleaned from 4:30 am till 10:am...without the benefit of caffeine I might add, Lord knows what I could accomplish if I was on the junk.
I cleaned bins and containers and sorted sewing pins by colour for goodness sake! I organized bobbins and needles and notions and then, THEN, I started in on the homeschool paperwork I have moved from place to place and filed and shelved and never, ever looked at since 1995!!! That was in the LAST CENTURY!! I actually threw most of it out, but only after I had read every, last page. (I know, I'm sicker than you thought I was. But on the other hand, if this is H1N1, you know the one that is causing all the fear of lost work time and lost productivity? Maybe they don't have to worry so much about that last part?)

So please pray for my swift and speedy recovery. Or not. Because when I staggered up the stairs muttering, and collapsed, drooling, face down on the couch at 10am, frightening my children, I had accomplished more in the way of home organization while they slept that I had in the previous decade. Or thereabouts.

I slept the sleep of the truly exhausted, uncaring of my plugged nose and sore throat and dry mouth. I woke at 12pm when the phone rang, and carried on an almost intelligible conversation with my seester, whom, when I filled her in on the details of my binge-like behavior offered to call 911. It hurt her how the illness had taken from her the sister that she knew and loved.

An afternoon of reading and resting, with almost no sneezing, and I felt ready to go outside and see to my tomatoes. I picked a huge box and a pail besides, and I knew they were just just what the Dr ordered.
And I made supper! No minor miracle in my state.
I made a meal that, should you also happen to come down with the bubonic plague or swine flu or any other nasty virus that leaves you in a weakened mental and physical state, will surely set you right.

This is what to do about it.

Gather plenty of these...I have a bunch of heirloom varieties. They are not perfect and uniform looking as the tasteless ones from the store. They are purple and green and yellow striped and luscious and juicy and sweet beyond imagining.

They are full of vitamins and flavonoids and phytochemicals, but all you can taste is the sunshine and the love!

Wash hands. Pour a generous amount of your very best olive oil into a roasting pan, chop the tomatoes roughly and toss them in. Add some chopped onion and sea salt. Put them into an oven at 450. Cook till they start to caramelize, stirring once or twice.

While they are cooking, take three or four HEADS of garlic, whole, and slice the very top off. Trust me, it's not too much. Place them on a sheet of foil and drizzle with that lovely, fruity olive oil. Wrap loosely and place in oven till, soft, squishy, sweet and golden. Set aside.

When the tomatoes are done (oh, you'll know!) place them in a bowl and give them a whiz with the immersion blender. Then open up the package of garlic (the best medicine ever) and break the head apart. Squeeze the cloves, which are now a golden, gooey lovely paste of mild sweet heaven, into the bowl, yes ALL of it, and give it another quick whiz. You know what? You won't even need more salt. The flavour of this sauce will now make a grown man cry with happiness. And the coulour?? Where do I begin? I am already feeling better.

Take some zucchini and red pepper, and chop them up pretty.
Take a big, big pot and fill it with water. Throw in some sea salt, a little more than you think you need. Bring it to a boil.

When the water boils, throw in some good hearty pasta. I like this organic stuff, with all natural beets, tomatoe and spinach colour. It's big, tasty, and really soaks up the sauce.

While the pasta is cooking, saute the veggies in a little olive oil and while you're at it throw in some garlic and seasoning salt. Don't overdo it on the want them to still have a crunch.
Chop a couple handfuls of fresh basil from the pot at your back door.

Drain the pasta, layer it all in a huge pasta tray, top with feta or goat cheese and the basil. Pass the freshly grated Parmesan at the table.
This is better than you can even imagine. It will cure whatever ails you. It represents all that is wonderful in the world of health and nourishment. You will thank me for it, your men will not complain, or even notice, that there is no meat, and hopefully it will help you sleep at night. I'll keep you posted on that one.

*AKA "slob"
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Sunday, September 13, 2009

Frustration and how to beat it.

I had a wonderful day with my dear friend Linda today, just the two of us, celebrating her birthday. We had lunch at New Asian Village and the food was worth every calorie. I love Indian food!
It was such an inspiring and energizing meal that we decided we could overcome our dread and go on a field trip to THE MALL. (Duh Duh Duuuuh!)
Yes, eating all that delicious food must have diverted the blood flow away from my brain. After all, it is Saturday, and back-to-school shopping frenzy is still at high alert, which means a million and two teenagers looking for the perfect pair of $200 on sale jeans, not to mention the shoes to go with them.

I detest that place at the best of times, but the sun was shining, my defences were down due to my carb buzz, and Linda was SO looking forward to being Anthropologied for the very first time. It was inevitable, and we pulled into the parking lot just in time to snag the very last spot on the whole lot. Honest.

Anthropologie is an amazing place to visit,

and though it's very, very spendy, (I saw a box of 8 wax children's crayons for 8 dollars!)

it's a great place to get ideas.

The displays are fun and fresh, with lots of little things you could copy at home.

I think it's worth the trip to Place That Shall Not Again Be Named.

It's right next door to Winners (my kind of shopping) so after Linda scored a really great pair of pants (on serious mark-down to clear out at Antropologie...what a miracle...Well, it was her birthday!) we went there to look around for something to match at Winners. The lineups were even long for the change rooms. Sheesh. But Linda can wear anything and look fabulous, and she found what she was looking for.

Me...not so much.

I shopped at a bunch of stores, looking for some tops. I had only two criteria.
1) Not butt ugly
2) Not black

I am so sick of black clothes! Everything in my closet is either
1) butt ugly
2) black
3) butt ugly and black.

("Why, Why?" she cried, gnashing her teeth, which embarrassed Linda somewhat, but good friend that she is, she didn't drive away and leave me there. Also, I had the key to The Club).

Alas, everything I found was red, black, gross muddy teal or gross muddy purple.
Where have all the clear colours gone?
I do not heart muddy colours!

The bottom line is, I came home determined to make some clothes of my own. I have a couple of patterns I picked up on holidays. I LOVE Marcy Tilton! Her collection of patterns are unique and her designer notes are clear and concise. I am determined to work on a few basic patterns till I get the right fit (she has tons of tips). Then I can have anything my little heart desires...clear colours, blues to my hearts content, whatever strikes my fancy!

I don't have to suffer through the horrid mistakes of the fashion industry! (I can make my own horrid mistakes, thank you very much!) It pushes my buttons to know there is an evil plan to brainwash us all into believing we need to buy new "in-style" clothes for every season. I am never going to look or feel good in the colours that are the in colours this season. Why should I buy into that? Why can't I go DIY in this area of my life?

I'd rather learn by my own hand-made mistakes than accept the status quo.

Because you know what?

"The Status is NOT quo!!"

*photos here are of the Anthropologie on or near 5th ave in Seattle, WA, taken on our recent holiday. (I asked if I could take photos and was given permission to shoot). No photos taken in West Edmonton Mall Anthropologie.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Remember to stop and smell the Lavender.

Lavender from Purple Haze Lavender Farm, drying on my table.

I am so blessed by all the bounty in my life.

Some of the ripe Heirloom tomatoes from my garden.

Today, this minute, my cup overflows...

Sea glass and treasures picked up at Fort Worden at Port Townsend, Washington.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Here we are in September...Happy New Year!

This is a picture of a book about ironing. I did not buy it.

I have always felt that September is the beginning of the year. January always just feels like something to be endured, (even though we have Josh's birthday in there, and usually manage something fun on the 5th). But September! There is canning to be done, preserving all those luscious fruits and vegetables that are so beautiful and delicious. There are new books to be ordered, new schedules to make, plans and beginnings and clubs! I love September, except for the fact that it means summer is over, it's my favorite time of year.

This is me, in Heaven, or at least on a lavender farm in Sequim (pronounced "Skwim") in Washington. I was told that I could pick all the lavender I wanted...for free.
I don't know why I was so blessed.
Sometimes you just have to accept that God really does love you.

Heaven smells really good.

I have decided to try to refocus my blog, (or not) and try to decide what I want from it. Is it a place to share what I am learning? Is it a family journal? Is it a place to share my creative side? Is it a place to brag and show off my wonderful grandchildren? (Absolutely! LOL)
Once I figure it out I'll let you know. In the meantime, I will do what seems right at the time.

This is me and my cousin Kathryn on a yellow thing being dragged behind a boat in the Pacific Ocean near a place called Smugglers Cove. It was not as cold as it might have been, though I screamed a lot.

No apologies seem necessary, and you're invited along for the ride, but I can't promise you I know where I'm going!

These are some rocks I left on the beach. Because Liam told me I was only allowed to bring ONE (!!) rock home. I cheated, but I did leave some for next time.

I can't visit a beach without missing my seester, who loves rock picking as much as me. I wished really hard that she could join me and I wrote her name in the sand so that next time I go, we'll be there together.

This....well this is gum. On a wall. Lots, and lots of gum on a very big wall in Post Alley at Pike Place in Seattle.
No, I don't know why.
Yes, you can go have a shower now.
I know I wanted to when I saw it.