Friday, 26 November 2010

All My Little Ladies Eating Up The Gravy

I had big plans to celebrate American Thanksgiving but I got sidetracked by the thought of homemade poutine.

We went gourmet style, making a rich, shredded beef gravy and using real fries from the fish&chips place on the corner instead of making oven fries.

We invited friends over, one of whom was a poutine virgin, to share in our gluttony.

It was glorious.

Monday, 22 November 2010

Hurricane Rescued Me Salvaged Calamity

It snowed this weekend. Not a lot, mind you, but enough that I decided to hibernate. The monsterpups were fully supportive of my plan to hide under the covers until April.

I only lasted until Saturday evening, when the call of bloggers and my favourite pub became too strong to resist.
The monsterpups were not amused.

I morphed back into hibernation mode on Sunday after a rotten night's sleep on Saturday that included puppy vomit and a 2am wake up call from my inebriated husband that resulted in me driving into the dodgy part of Vancouver to pick up three rowdy drunks. (Which I can't complain about because they were very appreciative rowdy drunks.)

Life is uncertain right now. I'm grinning maniacally, then falling deep into despair and worry, only to launch myself back to glee, all in the space of a minute it seems. I am exhausted. Hibernation mode is the only thing keeping me sane. Curling up under the blankets, Stella on my toes and Wolfgang on my belly, whispering plans and ideas with Shawn, is the only thing that centres me after a day of dizzily tripping through life. I want time to slow down. I want clear answers and a game plan. I want hibernation mode to be the norm instead of a rare luxury that happens only when I ignore the pile of dirty laundry and the bathroom sink that is currently growing something fuzzy around the drain.

Thursday, 18 November 2010

It Puts A Vault In My Step And A Grin On My Face

The super fantastic Style Lush Holiday Gift Guide has arrived! All 125 gift ideas are $25 or less. Seriously!

Also putting a grin on my face today, Aly of Breathe Gently is in town! Are any local bloggers interested in watching the Canucks beat the Blackhawks on Saturday? I'm thinking a non-pressurey bloggy meetup is in order. Steamworks (Gastown location) - 7pm - big fun. Shawn has even agreed to come (and bloggers make him a bit nervous.)

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Hey Me Hey Mama Where You Been Where You Been For So Long?

Happy birthday, mama. Thanks for calling my puppies your "granddogs" and loving them the way you do. Thanks for making me my favourite cauliflower soup whenever I get sick. Thanks for helping me wrangle the pups into their Hallowe'en costumes instead of laughing at me for dressing them up. Thanks for understanding the importance of good-quality chocolate. Thanks for staying married to Dad for over 30 years and for showing me what a long, stable relationship can look like. Thanks for caring so much about every single detail of my life, even when I get snarky and evasive because I feel smothered. Thanks for smothering me with your love even when I don't deserve it. Love you.

Monday, 15 November 2010

Well Thanks For The Time I Needed To Think A Spell

I realize that Canadian Thanksgiving was a month ago and it's a bit ridiculous for me to post about it now but I loved my Thanksgiving dinner and it's almost American Thanksgiving so that's my excuse. I'm kind of debating celebrating American Thanksgiving just so I can have a full turkey dinner again.

My dinner consisted of (clockwise from the left) spicy green beans, sweet potato / turnip mash, roast carrots, turkey!, homemade cranberry sauce, and cowboy potatoes (which are actually called Jamie Oliver's Painted Hills Potatoes but I think cowboy potatoes sounds better.)

I don't have a large enough roasting pan to roast a turkey so I bought an aluminum one and threw celery, onions, lemons, apples, and fresh herbs in the base to keep the bird raised off the bottom. I seasoned the turkey with salt and pepper and filled the cavity with heads of garlic that I'd sliced horizontally through the cloves. I cooked my turkey upside down (because that's how Nigella does it) so it looked ugly but was moist and flavourful.

I was really happy with my side dishes. I was able to do a lot of prep ahead of time (I made the potatoes and the mash the day before and cooked them with the turkey) so when my kitchen sink clogged from the peelings of 20 carrots that I tried to send down the garbarator all at once and Shawn had to dismantle the pipe under the sink, it didn't throw my dinner off by too much.

Dessert was my grandma's pumpkin chiffon pie and chocolate mousse pie. Shawn had requested chocolate mousse and I was fully committed to making it until I realized that I didn't have any chocolate mousse vessels. The only thing I could think of using was wine glasses but then we wouldn't have anywhere to put the wine which I think we can all agree is a completely unacceptable situation. So I piled the mousse in a pie crust and called it mousse pie and everyone was happy.

My sisters both had other commitments but my mom, dad, and Westy came, along with Shawn's mom and brother. I made too much food, as usual, and I got quite shouty at Shawn when the sink was broken, but the evening was a success. Plus we had enough pie left over that I had pumpkin pie for breakfast for days afterwards so I was a very happy lady.

Monday, 8 November 2010

Downtown Vancouver Digging Through Your Bag Ripping Out The Pages Of The Local Music Mag

Chelsea (she who talks smack) was in town for a few days and she and Derek put out the call on Twitter that they wanted to meet local bloggers. And I was all "sign me up!" because it's Chelsea Talks Smack and Dshan - two bloggers who I have read for years, who write honestly and candidly about both the shiny and not-so shiny parts of their lives. Basically, two bloggers who intimidate me with their kickassness (totally a word.)

And then Friday rolled around and I got all clenchy at the thought of actually meeting them.

I'm not very good at meeting new people. I'm awkward and anxious and talking to people who I don't know makes me want to vomit or die. So I talk too loud and too fast and I tell stupid stories and I spend the entire evening cringing internally.

It's part of my charm.

At least that's what I tell myself.

My angst was completely unnecessary (as it so often is) as Chelsea and Derek are as interesting and cool in person as they are through the magic computer box. Plus I got to meet Shannon, a local blogger who shares my love for Las Margaritas (the best Mexican food in Vancouver. I will fight anyone who says otherwise.)

I haven't found much of a blogging community in Vancouver. I read a few local bloggers but there doesn't seem to be the same social connection outside of blogging that other cities have. Or maybe there is and I'm just completely unaware of it. The only time I've met bloggers in person is when out-of-town bloggers come to Vancouver. It's odd and I'd like to change it.

So tell me, are you a Vancouver blogger? Would you be interested in meeting other bloggers? If you're not a local blogger, do you have an offline relationship with the blogging community in your city? How do I go about meeting local bloggers without looking like the crazy stalky lady?

Friday, 5 November 2010

In A Sweater Poorly Knit And An Unsuspecting Smile

Friday Faff: Champers Edition

Last night I thought I opened a bottle of fancy sparkly pear juice leftover from Thanksgiving but I actually opened a bottle of champagne. I was home alone and champagne goes flat quickly once it's opened so of course I had to drink it by myself. I will admit that I could not finish the entire bottle but I made a commendable effort. My head is very hurty this morning is what I'm saying. In my defense, the sparkly pear juice is in a similar bottle and is trying to be something it's not with the foil and the full wire & cork mechanism found on champagne bottles.

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Robin has been in London for a week now and I miss her like crazy. I've constructed a complex kidnapping plot for when we visit her next year. Don't tell on me.

* * * * *
I need to learn how to knit. Soonish.

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Instagram is my new favourite iPhone app. It's kind of like twitter for photos. You follow feeds but instead of 140 characters, you post a photo. It's fun and it's free and if you're already using it you should let me know so I can follow you. I'm hillarywith2Ls if anyone wants to follow me. Though I'm warning you, I mostly post photos of the monsterpups.

* * * * *
I warned you.
Have a good weekend, peeps!

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Remind Me Of Home When You're Around Me The Next Time You Leave Don't Go Without Me

It's been two months since Shawn and I went to Vegas. Two months since we rode a motorcycle into the desert and splurged on 4am room service and drank frozen beverages out of plastic boots. I wore too-short skirts and too-high heels and we giggled over my complete lack of coordination while navigating the casino floors. We napped and ate two pounds of onion rings in one sitting and used the jacuzzi in our room every day. We spent a week together. Seven consecutive days of waking up together and spending the day having adventures and going to bed at the same time.

Now, I realize part of our holiday's charm was its brevity. Shawn and I are not togetherforever24/7 kind of people. (I'm not knocking people who are, we just aren't.) And I'm okay with that. I value the time I spend with Shawn but I also value the time I spend with my friends and family and the time I spend alone. Shawn and I could not survive extended periods of time together without seriously annoying each other. It's just ... the time we spent together in Vegas highlighted how little time we spend together in our day to day lives.

Life is busy and we both have full-time jobs and he's in a band and ... there's always an and. We blow through the week hardly seeing each other and then all of a sudden it's Sunday - the one day we both have off work - and we're stuck doing chores and arguing over whose turn it is to do the grocery shopping (it is so his turn.)

I miss him. Which is stupid and silly and I feel like an idiot for even thinking it, but it's true. We're a bit lost right now. There's no drama. This isn't an end of days situation. We're just struggling to find the right balance for us. When it comes to spending time together, quantity isn't an option for us; we have to focus on quality.

How do you do it? How do you find the time to connect with your partner? How do you block the daily nuisances and boring chores from affecting your time together?

Monday, 1 November 2010

It Was A Graveyard Smash

Stella is not a huge fan of Hallowe'en. Wolfgang, on the other hand, loves playing dress up.

The jaunty flip of his cap is causing me to dissolve into fits of giggles today.