Thursday, October 15, 2015

Comparing trees before leaving on an adventure

Sept. 30

Oct. 5
Oct. 14
I know some of you are ridiculously observant, so I will disclose that the first picture is taken on a different street corner than the others (one block over). I will take a break from my fall-loathing to admit that the colours are beautiful this time of year - the leaves, the sky, it's all pretty impressive.

We will soon be embarking on our Vietnam & Cambodia trip. Preparing for trips is my worst skill. I will be so happy when we're in the air and I can leave my stress behind and move forward (literally) and enjoy this adventure.

And once this adventure is over, we have another one to look forward to. Dale and I are hosting another Chamber trip to China in April. It's a ridiculously good price so if you or someone you know is interested, come join us! The Chamber has done similar trips to China in the past and everyone says it's an amazing trip. And it's going to be a really fun group. There's an information session on Nov. 3 where you can find out more; there are  more details here as well

I don't know if I'll blog while we're gone, but I'm sure I'll be instagramming. You know where to find me. Have a great two weeks: happy fall, happy Halloween, and don't forget to vote! Love you all!

Friday, October 09, 2015

Sunglasses of Summer

Neve and I had a theme going on this summer in which we tried to capture the reflections of summer in her sunglasses. We had grand plans to capture all kinds of awesome moments, but it fizzled out as the summer went on and as Neve started to wear different sunglasses. But it was fun while it lasted.

All that to say, it was a fun summer. I'm still not quite ready to let it go. But it's been a great fall; I've been able to keep up my biking to work every week and Friday happy hours are still outdoors. That's pretty sweet for October. I can't believe I still have to water my flowers.  It's supposed to be 25 degrees this weekend so now it seems #OctoberIsStillSummer.

Wednesday, October 07, 2015

Birds Hill

The sun is rising and setting way too quickly these days. If a genie popped out of a bottle right now, I'd probably wish for more hours in the day. Or for a clone or two to help me with my long to-do list. Clones can be tricky though; they so often turn on you. At least in my experience. I guess I'd just wish for the list to be magically completed. I leave for Vietnam & Cambodia in just over a week and I'd be lying if I said I wasn't having any anxiety. I just keep telling myself everything will get done and I'll be on the plane before I know it. And then I'll be back home, like it never even happened.

Sorry for the "I'm so busy" whining. You're all thinking "Why is she blogging if she has a million things to do?" I'll tell you why. My head gets all disorganized and crazy when I don't blog. After nine years of blogging, I think it's an addiction. After I write something, I feel calmer and ready to move on to the next task. It's like taking a step back from the craziness and gaining perspective. That's my scientific explanation.

It's actually a great time to jet away from here. The days are getting cooler and the threat of frost is imminent. We've had a good fall so far. I have only worn socks one day since spring (except for running) and that day was on Sunday when we went to visit my parents who were camping at Birds Hill. I am prouder of that feat (a pun!) than I probably should be. I feel so hardy and tough. My goal is to be sock-free until we get back from our trip. Thanks for letting me share that and for pretending that you care.

Here are some pictures from our impromptu Birds Hill visit. It was a bit cool, but it was calm and the trees were beautiful. We played grounders and went biking. We even took a spin on my aunt & uncle's tandem bike, which was great fun. I already posted a picture of that on Facebook and Instagram so I won't further saturate my social media. We had barbequed burgers and roasted wieners; trust my mother to easily whip up a meal for 15 while camping.

Big hug with Spencer in the middle. I hope no one has lice. Why would I even say that?

Spencer resisted coming with us. He prefers to be home with his records and his books and his documentaries. After much begging, he agreed to come only if we signed a contract stating that we would head home at 7 p.m. We were still having fun at 7, but we raced to the van so we wouldn't have to pay him $50. He admitted he had had fun though, so I guess it was Worth It. I'm sorry for the 90 degree angle; you'll have to tilt your head.

Now you can straighten your head.
My sister invited us over on Saturday for a Vietnamese meal together with her sister- & brother-in-law, who were in Vietnam earlier this year. Everyone brought something and it was so delicious. This is part of a pho dish:

There's a flavourful broth and you put in herbs and greenery and it's so good. There was also rice and curry and salad rolls but this is the only picture I took.
Here's another delicious meal I had this week. This is becoming a food blog. Except good luck finding this dish on any foodie blog.
If I was on death row and they asked what I wanted for my last meal, this would be it. This is a childhood favourite called reische zwieback and I don't have it very often due to a homemade bun shortage (it's not nearly as good with store-bought buns). My mother-in-law gave me a bag last week and it was like Christmas in October. These are dried out, roasted buns dipped in coffee until they're mushy. Then you pour cream over and add lots of salt. It sounds horrifying and looks disgusting but it's sooo good. I use about five buns for one bowl so it's a LOT of carbs, and I don't even like coffee but somehow this is magical. Teresa loved to mock me for eating this. But I don't care! My mouth is watering just looking at this.
My genie has not yet appeared, so back to work I go.

Sunday, October 04, 2015

Before & After - The Underwhelming Edition

We finally finished painting the bedroom. That was a week long+ project that should have taken one day. The bad news is that the average person won't even be able to tell the difference, but the good news is that I am not the average person.

The walls were a light greenish colour before:

Now they are a white-ish-gray.

What the picture doesn't show is how much cleaner and fresher the room feels. I cleaned the dusty floor under the bed and behind the furniture, washed the curtains and bedding including the bedskirt, and tidied up the bedside tables. In the near future (which will probably turn into the distant future) I'd like to paint the dresser and side tables and get less over-powering curtains. I also need pictures on the walls. And yes, I know our side tables are out of proportion to the small room. I don't care. Well, maybe a little. But they are solid, good-quality pieces of furniture even though I got them on Kijiji for next to nothing.

We covered the big plaster wall with wall-liner paper before painting it. That was a zero on the fun meter. There were wrinkles and bubbles and crooked seams and in the end, the gouges and bumps are still visible through the paper. It doesn't really matter; I'm no perfectionist and a casual passerby (thank goodness there are not many of those in my bedroom) probably wouldn't notice the imperfections.

We have no plans whatsoever to sell our house or move, yet whenever I paint I find myself thinking about what potential buyers would think of the paint job. I try not to get a spot of paint on the baseboards and I remove the light fixtures and vent covers and meticulously paint under the switch plates and plug-in covers. Which is silly because I'll probably paint this room five more times before we think of moving and by that time I'll be rich enough to hire someone to paint the whole house before we sell anyway (because in my mind, I'm always much richer in the future).

Here we have side-by-side before & after shots.

I feel guilty for wasting your time on this lacklustre transformation, so I've found you some more dramatic before & after pictures. Kind of gives me an upset stomach thinking of all those surgeries, especially the ones that involve reshaping eyes. How do they do that? Never mind, I don't want to know.