Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Merry Christmas!

We had a good Christmas. We were able to webcam with both sets of parents while we opened presents yesterday afternoon, watched Micky's Christmas Carol, and had some yummy food.

We had:

Salad with the yummy caramalized bacon, blue cheese, pear, and a raspberry dressing.
Goat cheese and roasted garlic
Castello blue (like a blue brie) cheese, and brie
A beet/blue cheese/apple dip that wasn't all that spectacular.
Olives, pears, olive bread, crackers, and pita chips to go with it all.
Wine, of course.

So, that was our Christmas dinner. I didn't have much energy after a rough day of work, but I did find enough to have a bath with my new excellent bath stuff that I recieved for Christmas, and crawl into my new comfy flannel PJ's.

Today is a 13 hour work day for me, and all the kids will be returning from home visits, and coming down from the Christmas high, so wish me luck! We're supposed to be picking Danika up at the airport after work too!! Very late night.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Home Comforts

I just received this book in the mail from a dear friend for Christmas. When I was visiting her this summer, I was flipping through her copy of it and became entranced, and vowed I would have to buy it as soon as I got settled again! Of course, I had forgotten about it and not bought it yet, so I was thrilled to receive it in the mail!

It is an excellent book! The first chapter is titled "My secret life" and starts as follows:

"I am a working woman with a secret life: I keep house. An off-and-on lawyer and professor in public, in private I launder and clean, cook from the hip and devote serious time and energy to a domestic routine not so different from the one that defined my grandmothers as "housewives." When I want a good read, I reach for my collection of old housekeeping manuals. the part of me that enjoys housekeeping and the comforts it provides is central to my character."

It has been called the "joy of cooking" for housekeeping. It has information and "how to" instructions for just about every household task. It's kind of like having all your mothers, mothers in law, grandmothers, and grandmothers in law's collective knowledge about everything from deciphering washing instructions to making a good fire, to cleaning china and making a bed with hospital corners (there are pictures!).

I love it!

Monday, December 18, 2006

I have the ticket

Well...in a matter of speaking. I have the email that confirms my reservation on a flight from Montreal to Vancouver. My mom and dad are coming to visit right before I leave, and they'll be flying into Montreal, renting a car and driving here. We (along with Bastet) will drive back to Montreal to fly out to Vancouver. All of this due to a seat sale at Westjet, and their extra-friendly pet policies.

We just bought Bastet her airline carrier. It's a soft carrier that looks much like a duffle bag. She'll be able to fly in the cabin with me, under the seat in front of me, which is excellent.

Now, two months to get through! Can we have a do-over on Christmas and New Year's when I get home?? Lol.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Funny comic posted!

Check out the latest post on Vic's blog:

little shavings from my ration of light: why do I find this so funny? (Scroll up after you click on this).

Anyone who went to highschool with me (ehem, Bean, Rach, Sarah, Embo?) will appreciate this especially. I think the author may have lifted it off of a comic we drew in highschool. Hilarious.

New York New York!

A little belated, but now that our pictures are posted, I'll fill you in on our New York Trip. Some important points and highlights:

1) We drove into Manhattan. DROVE into Manhattan. INTO it. As in, we passed the empire state building on our way to our hotel. Seriously. As we drove over the bridge into Manhattan, and the city appeared over the horizon I felt fear like no other. We just kept yelling at each other "what are we doing?!?" "we are crazy people driving in Manhattan!" I have to say that, aside from looking for parking it was actually not that bad. There were ALOT of pedestrians who leapt out infront of vehicles at random moments. There were some who were just chilling in the middle of an intersection, only becoming visible when the car next to you veered into you to avoid running them over. There were lots of cabs, and yes, they drove like maniacs...but what we found was we kind of got into it. I would step on the gas and pull infront of a cab and slam the brakes on once in, and much to my surprise the cab would not hit me, and in fact seemed completely non-plussed by it. Then I would look at Daryl and say "Did you SEE what I just did!!?" It was intense, but almost in a good way. But very exhausting. Anyhoo....

2) This is the place we stayed in. It was central to everything right in the centre of Manhattan. It was beautiful, and really reasonable - if you're ever in New York stay there! It is a row of beautiful brownstones, gorgeous, vaulted ceilings and beautifully decorated. Ours even had a garden area out back!

3) Our favorite annecdote. As we proceeded through Connecticut on our way to New York, I realized I had to pee SO badly. So, I got off the highway, and we ended up on some parkway where there was no where to pee. We were looking around and I said to Daryl "Wow, I wonder what city this is...It's really big!" Then we passed the following sign: "Welcome to the Bronx." Guess what the big city was. Stellar. No, my sense of direction has never, and never will get better.

4) We had the true NY experience at the Comedy Cellar in Greenwich Village. We went to a neat cafe across the street for amazing hot cocoa, then to the 11pm show in the Cellar. The scheduled comics ran till about 1:30am, but then Dave Chappelle showed up after the show and did about an hour long set. That was excellent. The other comics were okay, but there was a lot of vulgar, less intelligent humor, with a lot of audience ridicule (we escaped it thankfully). You could definitely see a difference between the experienced comics like Dave Attell, and Dave Chappelle and the others. After the show, we wandered through the village, and even at 2:30am you could still hear jazz music wafting up the stairwells of many clubs, and there were many people out and about. It was SO freezing cold though that after a few blocks of walking we decided to opt out and have our first NY Cab experience.

5) NY Subways are not scary. At all. Okay, well, Manhattan Subways between the financial district, Chelsea, and times square are not scary. I felt safer on them than I do on the sky train normally! Same thing with Manhattan. I saw no sign of drugs, violence, come to think of it I don't even think I saw one panhandler even anyone who looked homeless. I'm sure they were there, but I have seen a lot more of that stuff in Van or Victoria than I did while there. Again though, we were only there for a really short time, and in all the touristy area, so...

So it was great! Check out the pictures here. Click on New York Trip.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Another one...

You are Frankenstein!
You are a sensitive and misunderstood creature. You are incredibly kind and more human than people who were created through natural means. But unfortunatly, you have a nasty revenge streak and therefore everyone is afraid of you.
Take this quiz at QuizHeaven.com

I stole this from Victoria - too funny!

'What will your obituary say?' at QuizGalaxy.com

Tuesday, December 05, 2006


We're coming home.

It's been in the works for a while, but we didn't want to announce it until everything was settled.

How do we feel about this?
Very happy and excited, but also sad that we didnt' get to finish the year out here.


Main reason: Daryl has been unable to to find work that he can do for a Canadian company, over the internet, from here. So, he cannot work (he's not allowed to work in the US).

I can complete my Master of Science in Applied Behavior Analysis by distance Ed. I just registered for January classes, and they are going to let me catch up to the September cohort - so I will graduate as if I started classes in September.

So, I will still be completing my MSc, and recieving great training, but in BC.


We've decided to return to Victoria. Daryl has an offer (which he has accepted) for a full time permanent position at a company that he worked for when we were there beofre. He loves working there, so we're really excited about this! Also, I will have the opportunity to train under a fabulous consultant that I was working with before I left Victoria. I'll be able to get the training and supervision I need while there.


Well, Daryl will be returning at the beginning of January, to start work. I will be returning at the very end of February. My contract required that I give 3 months notice, which I have done. My last day of work will be February 24th.

This is the VERY condensed version of our decision-making process ;-)

And yes, this was Magnificent M's mysterious good news a week or two ago. So, no, I am not pregnant ;-).

Sunday, December 03, 2006

What I love

I love Church and, and naps, baking, and cooking, and Christmas, and music. Today I had all of those, so it was a good day.

We went to Church this morning - the third time I've been to Church on a Sunday since we moved here! That was good. The choir was wonderful today, and we had a great talk with someone we hadn't talked to before.

Then we came home and crashed for a Sunday afternoon nap. We used to often have these after Church, and oh do I miss them!! Coming home after Church, having coffee and bagels and then getting all sleepy, and having the luxury of being able to just go take a nap.

After that refreshment, I tidy'd up, put on the Christmas lights, the aromatherapy burner (Cranberry scent today), and my "Holly cole Station" on Pandora (Lots of good jazz). I broke in a new silicone loaf pan today. I bought it because I had about 12 bananas in imy freezer, and no loaf pan! I didn't want to buy something I'd have to get rid of again, or that would take up a lot of space, so I got the squishy, foldable silicone pan. It worked out really well. So, I baked the bananna bread, then a batch of bananna muffins.

There were these muffins at the UVic cafe on campus that I LOVED. I could never make my muffins taste as good, no matter what I did. Today I discovered the secret. It may sound weird, but wheat germ is the key. I Substituted a portion of the whole wheat flour in the recipe with the wheat germ on a whim, and the texture and taste of the muffins improved 10-fold. Excellent!

Then I decided to make corn chowder and baking powder biscuits for dinner. Mmmmm...very good.

That is my favorite way to spend an afternoon. Baking and cooking and listening to music. Especially in a Christmasy atmosphere.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Christmas preparations and Sandwich, MA

So, we mailed off presents to our families, and bought our "Christmas tree" yesterday. You'll be pleased to know it is an "Alberta Spruce." We bought it, where else, at Trader Joe's. It is very tiny, and live, and came with lights, which all works well for us.

Today, after sleeping in a bit, we decided to head to Providence RI...but then changed our minds and decided to continue on to Cape Cod. We got side-tracked in a little town right at the start of the Cape called...wait for it. Sandwich. We have found endless amusement in the various township departments we passed, such as the Sandwich Police, and Sandwich town hall (see picture). It was a really neat little town.

Among the gems we found there was the absolute best cup of coffee I have had since moving here. The place was Paul's Bean and Bagel, the coffee was a Organic Sumatra from The Beanstock Coffee Roasters in Wellfleet, Cape Cod. I think the man behind the counter was actually a little frightened by my enthusiasm. Needless to say, our one purchase for today was a pound of this stellar coffee.

I think my personal favorite discovery in Sandwich, MA, was the this contraption - and most importantly this hilarious picture. It was outside of this Inn and restaurant (that I would love to stay at). We couldn't resist the picture. We also found a neat Inn and Restaurant called the Belfry, that was and old Church converted into a Restaurant and Inn. Apparently, very romantic, very beautiful, and there is a mural of Alice in Wonderland ...or something. It would be a wonderful place for a husband to surprise a wife with an evening out. You know...if he happened to want to do that ;-).

All in all, it was a good visit. We didn't make it to the more famous areas of the Cape. We'll have to leave that for another day.

Monday, November 27, 2006

The great Gip

I've been reading everybody's blogs this morning...and blog after blog after west-coast blog recounts exciting snow adventures. All of them involve playing, and cocoa, or latte's or some other such hot drink, and all of them involve days spent at home.

Have you noticed the distinct lack of snow conversation on my blog? On Daryl's blog? Hmm. Yes, that is because we have NO snow. No HINT of snow, aside from the smell of it in the air.

You know what we have had a lot of in the past week though? Record amounts of? Yes. Rain. Mhmm, Rain. So, apparently, we brought the west coast winter with us, and someone there stole the east coast winter.

I shouldn't complain though, since we don't have snow tires on our car, and the rain does kind of make us feel at home.

I'm hoping that we'll get a white Christmas and it will rain on the west coast, so that I can go take beautiful snowy Boston city scape pictures and post them and laugh at you all. Wahahahah.
That is for those of you who have actually emailed us saying "Ha ha ha, we have snow and you don't!!" You know who you are.

I am happy for you that you have snow though :-) I'm just jealous ;-)

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Ookiness continues

Thank goodness for CVS Pharmacy. I thought nothing would be open..and I have no cold medicine, and my nose is a faucet (TMI, I know). I thought I wouldn't sleep again tonight. But I just remembered there is a 24hr CVS up the road, and called and they are open. Sweet relief and drug-induced sleep is within grasp.

Off we go.

Happy Thanksgiving?

Today is the US thanksgiving. Ironically, we have plans to have our one Canadian friend over to celebrate. The justification for this is that we missed the Canadian thanksgiving, so we have a second chance.

Thanksgiving is very different here. Apparently it is law in MA that no retailer or store with more than 3 employees can be open on thanksgiving. This law began in the late 1600's and is still in effect today! MA is the only state with this law though I think.

Apparently, the night before thanksgiving is kind of like new years eve here - it's a big night to go out an party. We didn't partake ;-)

Also, "Black Friday" (tomorrow, the day after thanksgiving) seems to be the equivalent to our Boxing Day. Boxing day is non-existant in the US. So, tomorrow, or "black friday" makes up for this though, since it is the biggest shopping day of the year here. Sales and discounts and insane shopping mayhem ensue. I have to say, it seems more beneficial financially to have this big sale day before Christmas.

I, for my part was up all night sick, and have caught some sort of ooky flu/cold thing. DH is cleaning and cooking though. He's great :-).

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Vesper Martini

The Vesper Martini

3 oz Gin
1 oz Vodka
0.5 oz Lillet Blanc

Shake with ice and strain into a wine glass. Garnish with a lemon twist.

This was the Martini Bond ordered in the new movie. What looked so good about it was the long twirly lemon twist (Curl of lemon rind).

What is Lillet Blanc (I didn't know). The description of it below, from this website makes it sound wonderful. I think I'd almost prefer it straight with a citris twist, than in the Vesper martini. Interesting.


Lillet (pronounced lee-lay), is a French Aperitif made from a blend of wine, liqueurs, fruits and herbs. It originated in the French village of Podensac and has been made since the late 1800s. Lillet Blanc is made from white wine and is drier than Lillet Rouge, its red-wine counterpart. Both are classically served over ice with an orange twist.Lillet is a blend of rigorously selected wines and fruit liqueurs, aged in oak vats for around 12 months, during which it is given the same care as the Grands Crus (great wines) of Bordeaux.Lillet Blanc has a golden color with candied orange, honey, pine resin, lime and fresh mint aromas.Full and rich on the palate with a lovely, long aftertaste. Always serve well chilled in a Bordeaux wine glass... zest with a slice of orange or lime. Perfect with snacks and desserts!Lillet blanc is the key ingredient in James Bond's Martini derivative, the Vesper, a drink created in deference to the beautiful double agent in Ian Fleming's Casino Royale.

It smells like snow.

We went to see the new James Bond movie with a friend tonight, and when we came out of the theatre, I thought I had been transported onto a mountaintop. The air was saturated with the smell of snow. This is a completely different "smells like snow" than we experienced in the lower mainland. This is like "Is the lack of visible snow a visual hallucination" type smells like snow. It was so crisp and fresh - really very much like mountain air. It was wonderful.

I had a fairly productive, though frustrating at times day today. We made pancakes and had pancakes in bed for breakfast this morning. I then made Magnificent M's whole grain pretzels for the first time, while I did our *cringe* 2005 taxes. The rising and baking times were perfect parcels of time to work on the taxes, since I simply couldn't take them all in one fell swoop. I was able to take out my frustration during the kneading, and then by eating 3 pretzels fresh from the oven afterwards.

The pretzels turned out great. The taxes not so much. The problem with the taxes is not so much the actual taxes, but since D. and I were both technically self-employed last year for most of the year - the problem is the CPP! Even if you owe no taxes, you can owe a significant amount in CPP. Grr...

The pretzels are really really good dipped in hummus!

After pretzels and taxes, I showered, attempted styling and trimming one side of my crooked hair (blowdrying it doesn't help by the way), and we headed out for a movie with Danika. A pretty good day.

Cept we're both still wide a wake and somewhat restless and agitated and I have to be up at 5:30 for work!! Ah...that is always my Saturday night though. lol.

Friday, November 17, 2006

My hair is crooked.

OK...So I just had the most UNhappy haircut experience today. Finally, after 8 months, I decided to go for a haircut. Being new to the area, I had no idea where to go - where was good, what places I could afford etc...I called one I had seen and thought looked good, and they were booked for the day. Now - the smart thing to do would have been to make an appointment for another day. Unfortunately though, I had gotten it in my head that I was getting a haircut today, and once it was in my head, I simply couldn't let go of it.

There happens to be, across the street from us (conveniently placed next to Trader Joe's) a SuperCuts. Yes. It is the same Supercuts as in Canada. Similar to "First Choice" "salons." I decided - how bad could it be? I'll just go there, get a trim to be safe and see how it is. It will definitely be cheap, and well...maybe I'd find that gem of a stylist at the bargain salon (it has happened to me before!).

Today was not my lucky day.

First off, the person cutting my hair smelled strongly of a combination of a) Strong (not pleasant) perfume, b) Body odor and c) Cigarette smoke. Keep in mind that your hair stylist is typically in VERY close proximity to your smelling organs. I had to breathe through my mouth for most of the haircut. Thankfully, for this one reason, that was not a long time.

This brings me to my second point. A male customer, with very short hair, requiring little more than a buzz sat down with another stylist several minutes before me. I, might I remind you required a layered cut, taking off about 2 inches. So here's the surprising thing. I was done - I kid you not - about 1 minute after he was. Mhmm.

She snipped here and there, cut a couple inches off to be sure...but it all seemed sloppy and fast. But then, maybe I was just not paying attention - it had been a while since I'd had a cut. At one point, she had finished the "initial rough cuts" as I saw them, and I thought - ok, now will touch it up, even out the sides (one was about a half inch shorter than the other) and then style it dry. Then she turns the drier on my hair for 15 seconds, and says "Alright, have a great day, bye!"

I stared into the mirror at my lop-sided, damp, and middle-parted hair. I looked up at her, hoping for her to break into a smile and say "Just kidding!! We're no where near done!" She stared blankly back at me, clearly irritated that I was not getting out of the chair.

I stood up, walked to the till, paid, and tipped her mind you.

My immediate thought as I exited the "salon" was "I really shouldn't have planned to go grocery shopping after this." My second thought was, "Maybe it's not that bad...Once I blow dry it out properly and style it, it will be fine. I didn't really get a good look at it." So, I went to Trader Joe's, and my wonderful husband who met me there said, "You're hair looks great!"

After shopping, when we got home, I turned to him and said "Is it just me, or is one side of my hair shorter than the other??" He got a concerned look on his face, examined both sides and said "maybe, I'm not sure."

When I got home, I examined it in the mirror with clear lighting. And yes. My hair is definitely crooked.

WHY didn't I say something when I was there? Why did I leave, and pay, and TIP for bad hair?? I don't understand it, but hairdressers have this bizarre power. I shrink beneath their eyes, and their "so, how do you like it?"s. I simply cannot tell them I hate it. At least two times in my life before today have I paid double what I did today for a) A mullet and b) a mullet-esque 80's poof. Both of those times, it was like today. I knew, as they were cutting it, as they were finishing - pretty much all the way through - that it would be bad. Did I stop it? Did I say "I won't pay for this horrific hair cut!"? No. I said "yah, it's great!", paid them, and tipped them. Every time. So what is this bizarre power hairdressers have over me? Is it just me? Are you afraid of your hairdresser?

I want Hanna, my hairdresser in Victoria back. She would die if she saw my hair today!

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

The ghosts that must live here...

There is a tower atop a building that we can see from our place, and we've always wondered what it was, and keep meaning to go find it. So, today, Phil and Daryl and I went out adventuring, and after a few other outings decided to find the building that this tower belonged to. It was a foggy and rainy day, so we could only just spot it once we had drawn a bit closer.

As it turns out it is the Worcester State Hospital, also known as the Worcester insane hospital. It is abandoned, huge, brick and imposing. There are numerous buildings, including one with a clock tower, dormitories, and many other buildings. The current state mental institution is on the same premises, but the old buildings, built in about 1870 are abandoned. Here's a link to some great pictures of it that we found online.

It was eerie and awing all at the same time.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Identity crisis averted.

I found this on dictionary.com:

1 result for: tyla
View results from: Dictionary
Thesaurus Encyclopedia the WebWebster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary - Cite This Source
Hypodactylum \Hyp`o*dac"ty*lum\, n.; pl.
-tyla. [NL., fr. Gr. "ypo` beneath + ? a finger, toe.] (Zo["o]l.) The under side of the toes.
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary, © 1996, 1998 MICRA, Inc.

Yes, you read that correctly.....I am the under side of toes. Excellent.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Guess what I did today

Pretty much nothing. I slept until - wait for it - 12pm. 12 PM!! I haven't slept that late for-ever. It was bliss. I didn't shower till 3pm, and I had apple-raspberry crisp for breakfast. We are having a wonderful visit with P and B. They arrived Friday night and it's been SO wonderful. The best thing is that they are those friends that you can totally relax with. Hence the me lounging around in my PJ's till 3pm with guests here..but we all just hung out and read books and watched movies and had a totally relaxing day together. It was great.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Happy Halloween

Halloween has been good. The kids I work with got all dressed up in costumes (most of them) and trick-or-treated at school today. They were very very cute, even if the whole event was a bit stressful for the teachers!

We haven't had any trick-or-treaters here tonight, but we made a wonderful feast. We have a bit of a halloween tradition of having a special dinner and watching movies. It started because the first halloween I spent on the island was sad because I was used to having big bonfires and fireworks and caramel apples when living at my parents! So, Daryl and I started doing a special thing to make up for it :-).

So tonights dinner was:

Peppered wine salami.
A small round of brie baked with a wonderful blueberry jam that my sister in law made.
Roquefort blue cheese (SO good!)
A German white soft cheese (also good),
multigrain rice crackers and bread.

Just little bits of all of the above. Of course, all from Trader Joes, so all for about what we'd pay to eat at McDonalds together!

We also just found out that two of our dearest friends are probably coming to visit us for a WHOLE week for my holidays!! I have 9 days off starting this coming Friday, and P and B are coming Friday.

I can't possibly explain how happy this makes me. They are those types of friends with whom we have an ease that makes spending time with them so relaxing and enjoyable. They are in Ottowa, so it's about a days' drive for them to come visit.

Good dinner and the promise of time with dear friends. I'm so happy :-). So, it's a happy halloween. Off to watch movies and eat some "left -over" chocolate.

Monday, October 30, 2006

This is hard.

There are so many great things about being here. We do really like the area we're in, the east coast, and the New England surroundings. It's beautiful. We've just had the pleasure of experiencing a New England fall. We've seen so many things that we hadn't before. This upcoming week we're hoping to go into Boston, and New York.

We miss our friends though. We miss having friends to fill with food laughter and wine.

We miss our Church communities so much I can't even begin to explain it. We had no idea blessed we were with them. I look at pictures on All Saints, and Saint Herman's websites and blogs, of those people we love gathered together, and I almost can't look because I miss them so much it's painful.

It's just hard. That's all.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Outlet Stores Ho!

I rediscovered one of the wonders of the USA today - Outlet stores!! There is a whole group of them about half an hour from our place. We were headed to Providence, RI, but got side-tracked at these stores and never made it there!

My favorites by far were La Creuset, Williams-Sonoma , GAP, Banana republic, and Barney's. Very good. We are getting incredibly good at looking and not buying though. All we bought in about 2 hours of shopping was one pair of pants (for me, from GAP, that were only 12.00!!). Granted, there was a martini shaker and set at Williams-Sonoma we were going to go back for but forgot :-(. Next time! My mother-in-law mailed me the fabulous martini glasses she bought me for Christmas last year, so I need to pick up a shaker! They are currently in-use as decoration on our bookcase. There was much else to "go back" for throughout the day, but we managed to escape with out money intact :-).

Friday, October 27, 2006

The problem with black Lululemon yoga pants is

That they look almost exactly the same when you accidently put them on inside out. That is, until you try to put something in your pocket, and can't find it. But because the pants look identical inside out, in all other respects, you think you are losing your mind, and maybe these pants don't really have pockets, maybe you're just crazy. You paw at your hips, examining the waistline closely, pulling the pants out, stretching them, hoping to find the pockets.

Then you see the drawstring on the inside of the pants. Oh. Right.

Thursday, October 26, 2006


I passed Brian Iwata in the hallway at work. Functional analysis guru. One of "the" people in my field.

I think only one person who reads my blog will understand my excitement about that.

I'm a nerd.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Squash and Ginger scones

I had a half of a butternut squash left over from a previous nights dinner...and I thought "Hmm..you can make pumpkin scones..why not squash scones??" After a few different searches on google, I came up with this recipe:

Squash and Ginger Scones
Time: 30 minutes preparation, 30 minutes baking
Serves: 10+ (yields 24 extra-large scones)
Level: 3

6 cups hard flour
3 cups flour
1 cup sugar
2 Tbsp powdered ginger
1 Tbsp salt
3 Tbsp baking powder
2 sticks butter, cold, cubed
1 lb cooked pureed squash
1 qt half-and-half

Let's cook!
• Combine all dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Mix in the butter with a fork until it looks like breadcrumbs. Mix in squash and half-and-half. Roll out 1/2 inch thick. Cut into circles.
• Bake at 400°F 15-20 minutes on parchment paper or greased cookie sheet. Eat while warm.

Editor's Note: The sugar, butter, and half-and-half make this recipe a true "treat"in the sense that it's not low-fat—something you eat once in a while (not every day)!
Recipe created by Westtown School Baker, Suzie Dudas

Here is the link for the recipe. You may ask what "Hard" flour is...I did another google search to find out if I could substitute regular flour. Sounds like it is fine and won't affect the quality of the scones too much.

I made these this morning, but modified the recipe slightly based on what I had. I used 2.5 cups of regular flour, and 2 cups of whole wheat flour, skim milk instead of half and half, and replaced the butter with part margarine and part olive oil.

It's a huge recipe - I cut everything in half and it still made about 18 large scones! They were pretty good, though I think could have used a bit more ginger, and maybe some nutmeg or other spice as well. Turned out fluffy and yummy, but much lighter than scones usually are -that was probably due to my substitutions though.

Anyhoo...thought this was a good way to use up left-over squash if you have it :-)

Saturday, October 14, 2006

"That's your big boy"

I totally stole this stellar blog title from D.

Those of you who are Seinfeld fans...or fanatics, as some may judge you will have immediately, upon hearing that phrase, pictured Jerry sitting in a hospital, next to his comatose neighbor, looking admiringly at a Drake's Coffee cake. You'll remember that this phrase was part of his attempt to bribe Newman, using the Drake's coffee cake, in an attempt to keep him from telling the aforementioned comatose neighbor (CN) that Jerry had kissed CN's girlfriend right in front of him (in a romantic joining over the body of the comatose neighbor).

You may also picture Elaine ravenously shoving a Drake's coffee cake into her mouth, crumbly cinnamony topping flying every which way, after fasting for blood testing for two days. This of course occurred right as the CN woke up and attempted to strangle Jerry, with completely wonderful Seinfeldian pandemonium breaking out.

So, why all this talk about Drake's coffee cake?? You see, until two days ago, I had believed "The Drake" to be a made-for-TV invention. I have news from the East, fellow west-coast, Canadian Seinfeld fans - Drake's coffee cakes are a real, American, boxed pastry! As we wandered the grocery store the other day, we came upon them. In complete disbelief we turned the box over and over, looking at it from all angles. Eventually we had to believe - this was indeed THE Drake's coffee cake talked about on Seinfeld. And I have to say, after trying them, they are really pretty good.

Magnificent M - be aware, you may be receiving some Drake's in the mail for Christmas. I think you are the only person I know who would appreciate such a gesture enough (you know..the sending of cheap fatty bagged up pastries that are akin to twinkies via post).

Click here and select the "Concord trip" album to see the pictures of the Drake's coffee cakes. Blogger wouldn't let me post them :-(.

Monday, October 09, 2006

I can't believe I forgot!

To mention that we made our first visit to The Container Store. This is a store that I had read about in Real Simple, that is not as of yet in Canada. I have drooled and browsed online, and dreamed of one day going there. I realized very quickly that there was a Container store here in MA, and only about 45 min away from us. So, the other night we took a trip out there, just to browse. It was fabulous! It is the organizational mecca. I loved it!

Turns out, convieniently enough, it is located right next to Natick mall. This is one of the large, up scale malls here, very similar to the one I went to in Atlanta. Macy's, all the great shoe stores. That's a big difference here...all the brands you see in stores in Canada (or the West Coast at least) have their own stores here. So, that was pretty exciting...I'll have to head out another time and spend more time window shopping at the mall.

Anyhoo..I just felt so remiss in not blogging about visiting The Container Store!

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Bits and Pieces

Who needs sleep? Well your never gonna get it.

That's from a BNL song. Why can I never sleep on Saturday nights? It seems to be becoming a regular thing, that no matter when I go to bed on Saturday night, I usually don't get more than about 3 hours sleep if I'm lucky. I think I just get wound up and anxious about the start of my work week....and I get anxious about not sleeping because today (Sundays) is my 11 hour day at work. Anyhow... that's alright, I always make it through my day no matter how little sleep I get, and I can sleep in tomorrow, since I don't start work till 2pm.

Happy Thanksgiving !!!

We were going to celebrate Canadian Thanksgiving with our other Canadian friend here, but it came along much faster than I'd expected, so no turkey for us I think. It's actually a holiday in the US too, Columbus day. I work late-ish today and tomorrow though, so not really conducive to a dinner celebration. The good thing is we get a second chance at thanksgiving in November!

Friends and family...

I had two great conversations yesterday. I got to catch up with my friend Rach - it was so good to talk with her. She's one of those people who I always reconnect with in minutes despite not talking for a while. We always have such rejuvenating conversations.

I also talked with my cousin last night. We haven't talked on the phone in ages, but we managed to reconnect when D. and I visited her on our way down here, and have kept in contact since then. I'm so glad that we had the chance to visit and get reacquainted when we did.

That's all for today...

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

I just had my favorite breakfast ever.

Apple pie with ice cream.

Yes, I had apple pie with ice cream at 6:00 am in the morning.

Now I'm ready for the day.

Friday, September 29, 2006

Apple Picking Pictures

Here, finally, are the pictures of our apple-picking adventure. As it turns out, the actual picking of the apples is not a lengthly process. We had a 1/2 bushel (about 20lbs) within about 20 minutes. We also picked raspberries though, and that was a more time consuming process. It was fun though, and there was a little petting zoo and pumpkin patch as well. They had this neat thing where the goats could walk up onto a thin bridge, and visitors could haul a cup of food up to them via a pulley system. There are a few pictures of this below. We ended up with 3 apple pies, and three apple crisps, which used only about half of our apples! I made another apple crisp last night to take to a friend's house. It was tasty! I think we'll make yet another crisp to freeze, and maybe some platz as well, and that should just about take care of the apples. They are such yummy, juicy apples too!

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Where did the week go?

I can't believe today is my Friday already! The weeks seriously disappear so quickly, I don't know how or why, but htey just fly by.

Yesterday, we went to a liturgy at this Orthodox Nursing home that's about 10 minutes from us. It was quite an experience. Those in attendance were primarily residents of the nursing home, and volunteers there to help with the service, but we felt very welcome. The priests in the area trade off from week to week, and this week Fr. Michael, the priest at St. George's (the Church we're going to vespers at and Daryl is going to Sundays at) was there this week.We had a good talk with Fr. Michael, and other parishoners, and I got to "talk shop" with another prosphora baker, which was great. I think that we may have found our Church home here. Now to really try to get involved! They have a women's group, a men's group, parish events, a youth group, Choir, Church school, and lots of other places to get involved.

Tonight, we're going to Danika's house to watch the first two episodes of Grey's Anatomy! I got totally addicted to this last year, but don't have TV here so I missed the season premiere last Thursday. Luckily for me Danika has on demand cable :-).

Tomorrow I think we'll be going to pick up the rest of the furniture we're taking from Danika. I'll be getting a desk (yay!), which I'm hoping will provide the needed space and motivation to get moving on this research I have to finish writing up. We'll also get a kitchen island similar to this, but with drawers and a few other things in it as well. We'll also pick up a mirror, and some bookshelves. We'll be all set once we have all of this. I'm so thankful we have such a genrous friend moving into a smaller space!

Must get going though, time to get off to work.

Saturday, September 23, 2006


Here's the link to our online album of our pictures from the trip from Victoria to Boston, and the rest of the move!


"Espresso pots are fun..."

That's a quote from Trader Joe's online brochure about the coffee they carry, and coffee in general. I had to hop online and check it out, because we just picked up some coffee there yesterday, and I just made the first pot of it this morning. Can it be true? They have fabulous coffee too! A beautiful, strong, dark roast coffee called "Volcano" is what I'm drinking right now. It's a very good thing.

We had a great time at the orchard yesterday picking apples and raspberries. We ended up with a "1/2 bushel" of apples (about 20lbs), and about 9 lbs of raspberries. The raspberries are such nice, big, juicy berries too. I've frozen about 3/4's of them, and we had raspberries with vanilla ice cream last night. I'm going to put some of the rest of them into pies. That's the plan for today - to make the apple pies and apple crisp, some to freeze.

I also made a stew yesterday - a beef stew! This is, as you probably know highly unusual for me. In fact, I've never made a stew in my life. For some reason I decided yesterday that I wanted to make one. So, I picked up the fat free beef broth and meat I needed, and followed the handy directions on the back of the broth. I accidently put the vegetables in too soon (about an hour too soon), but that turned out to be a good thing I think, as the potatoes kind of disintegrated and made the stew thicker. In the end, the stew actually turned out really really good! So simple and inexpensive, but so good. I know for most people this is probably not a big discovery, but for me it is. I don't typically cook typical meat and potatoes type food. We rarely eat red meat actually. Anyhoo. It was a successful experiment.

As a side note - I really appreciate when various food items have recipes on the back/side of the packaging. Mostly because you can tell, while your at the grocery store what you still need to buy before you go home. I'm horrible for deciding, while at the store "I'm going to make ____" but then not really knowing what I need to make it and having no recipe on hand. So I end up going home, realizing I don't have half of what I need, and that half of what I bought I don't need! This would have most definately happened with the stew, were it not for the recipe on the side of the broth container.

Anyhoo...being that it's almost noon here, and I'm still in my PJ's I'd better get going on prepping those apples for baking.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Fall fun ...

Today's my Friday! I'm almost finished my first week "on shift" on my own. I'm excited for the weekend.

It's chilly this morning. I do like it when it's cold in the morning, and I can get my favorite snuggle blanket (this really warm fleecy blanket) and curl up to blog or watch the morning news. No tv right now, so no news, but I can blog :-). I'm thinking of soup and the butternut squash that is in my cupboard. Hearty warm comfort food is what I'm thinking of. I was thinking of making butternut squash soup, but to make it properly a food processor or blender is really necessary, both of which I did not bring with me when we moved....so I may have to leave that for later in the fall for when we have money to buy one, or get ours shipped to us.

The first official day of fall I believe is September 23...and apparently it falls at a specific hour and minute? 12:02am on the 23 of September this year, according to this site, which gives this information:

The date (near September 22 in the northern hemisphere) when night and day are nearly of the same length and Sun crosses the celestial equator (i.e., declination 0) moving southward (in the northern hemisphere). In the southern hemisphere, the autumnal equinox corresponds to the center of the Sun crossing the celestial equator moving northward and occurs on the date of the northern vernal equinox. The autumnal equinox marks the first day of the season of autumn.

To celebrate the start of fall, a little ahead of time, I think we're going to go apple picking tomorrow here. It looks like lots of fun. They have peaches and blueberries still as well, so hopefully we can pick up some of those. The plan is to make a bunch of apple stuff on Saturday (pies, crisp etc) and freeze a bunch of it, but we'll see how much energy we have :-).

Sunday, September 17, 2006

One down...

I made it through my first day. Whew. Exhausted. Didn't sleep at all last night. Long day. I had a bunch of evaluations (that I wasn't expecting!) , which seem to have gone well. I still felt like I had no clue though. It will all work out in time though I'm sure.

Now to bed for a movie and sleep...sweet sleep.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Day to day...

It's been four days since I've posted! I made it through my initial training (last day was Thursday), and my first day "on shift" is tomorrow (ah!). I can't believe that we've been here fro just over three weeks already. Time passes so quickly when things are changing.

God is truely good. When I was initially given my schedule I was completely panicked, as it has me working 8am to 7pm on Sundays (=cannot go to Church). I talked to my supervisor about it, and there was no way to change it. I was devestated. There seemed to be no options. Then, a few days later, Daryl happened upon another Orthodox Cathedral in the area. We stopped in and talked with the priest and as it turns out, the Churches in the area hold a joint liturgy every Wednesday morning (in addition to regular Sunday services). They run a nursing home, and hold it there for the residents, but it is open to anyone who wishes to come. So, I will be able to go to liturgy weekly (I don't work till 2pm on Wednesdays). I'll hopefully be able to switch enough of my shifts around so that I can attend on Sundays at least semi-regularly, but it is one of the most difficult shifts to switch.

So tomorrow starts the normal schedule of 8am-7pm on Sundays, 2-9pm on Mondays and Wednesdays, and 8-4 and 9-4 on Tuesdays and Thursdays. I'll have Fridays and Saturdays off. Aside from the Sunday thing, I actually like this schedule, because it gives me time to get stuff done during business hours. It also means I get to do about an equal amount of time at the house with the kids, and at the school, which is great.

We've also scored more free funriture. Our friend who lives here (who helped us move the couch) just moved recently, and has a bunch of furniture she doesn't need anymore. So, we picked up a Lack coffee table (Ikea), a cupboard, and next weekend will move over an Ikea kitchen cart, a desk (yay! I get a desk again!), an entertainment centre (not that we have any TV or other such entertainment-type things, but it's nice and ikea so...) and some bookshelves. It is amazing how genrous people, are, and how easy it is to furnish a house for almost nothing. Had we realized (or just been patient enough) we could have also taken a dining room table and chairs from her ,and not had to buy that. Though I do REALLY like the ones we got from Ikea. lol.

I'm excited, as I just stocked up the pantry. We were doing way too much convenience food, because we didn't have the basics on hand to throw things together. So, I'm excited now, to be able to cook and bake again. I have some mature banannas calling out to be made into bananna bread. I think tonight willbe home made pizza night. Have to love the pizza dough from Trader joes!

So, right now it's just continuing to try to get settled in, and used to the new job, and find work for Daryl and get settled into a new Church community. Just day to day living.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Batteries not included

So, I just got a scale. Not just any scale, but a scale that not only tells you your weight, but also tells you your body fat content, and body moisture content, AND graphs it for you. It also stores and saves information for up to 4 people so you can track progress. It was super cheap (especially compared to other ones with similar features). I was so excited to try it out (despite my fear of what it would tell me), got home, ripped open the packaging only to realize that BATTERIES ARE NOT INCLUDED. That is definately in my list of top ten most frustrating things. And, not only are they not included, but the batery is that weird rectangle one that no one has just lying around the house. I have AA's, I have AAA's, but none of the freaky rectangle one. Oh well. I'll have to wait till tomorrow to step on the pink and silver scale. Not that I'm bothered by it or anything. Patience is definately not a virtue I posess ;-).

Monday, September 11, 2006

U-Turn Day.

Well the day didn't start quite right. We realized late late last night that we had moved on to the unground bag of coffee beans, and that a piece of the coffee mill (crucial apparently ... since the mill won't work with out it) is missing. I remember taking apart and washing it before packing it. Apparently I lost the crucial piece in the process. So, this morning, there was no coffee. And therefore...there was no motivation for me to get out of bed whatsoever. I literally lost all will to get out of bed. When the alarm went off, I actually physically pulled the covers over my head, and let out a yell of agony - well, actually, more of a loud whine "There's no coffee, I don't want to get up, there's no point." Yes, I do actually whine like this in the morning to my husband. Poor husband.

It ended well though, as it meant that instead of coffee and breakfast while I checked email etc...Daryl and I headed to the cafe and had coffee and one of their baked egg/pastery brioche things. Mmmm...

I didn't work till 10 today, and had an early end at 3pm, which was really nice ( I did work 12 hours yesterday though). I was able to get some cleaning and organizing done, and decided that yes, we definately need to paint the apartment (it's all very white right now). I painted my toes red, and watched arrested development later on with Daryl. It was good. And btw - if you haven't checked out Arrested development yet, you must. It's SO funny. One of the funniest sit coms ever I think...close runner up to Seinfeld in my books (which as you know is a strong statement for me :-).

I feel happy and content tonight.

As a side note - U-turns are legal here. Half the people in the left-hand turn lane are typically doing U-turns. This is very conducive to my directionally challenged driving. I like that, and I like the fact that people drive fast, and that the highways move even if they look full. Most of the time anyways. It's fun to drive here :-). Don't worry, I'm safe...I just enjoy driving within the legal limits of MA law ;-)

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Furniture, music, and an intriguing restaurant.


We have a sofa couch and matching chair! I think they may be the nicest couch and only comfy chair we've ever had. And guess what?? They were FREE. Where could I have found them you ask? Where else... www.craigslist.com . I saw the posting this morning, called them, and a our wonderful friend Danika, who met us there with her SUV. We loaded the couch on the roof rack (made me VERY nervous!), chair in the back, along with two drawer dresser type unit they had as well. Managed to get it all back here. I'm SUPER excited. So, we now offically have a sofa bed, so we can officially ahve guests, so please come visit :-).


Check out www.pandora.com . My cousin showed it to me when I was visiting her in Hamilton oun our way here, and I just now started playing around with it. It is this great site, where you input an artist you like. They then play you something by that artist. Then, they play you something with similar qualities, by another artist. You tell them if you like it or not (thumbs up or thumbs down). Based on the information you give them, they continue to modify the music they input into your "station." So, you end up with all this great music, that you love, but have never heard before, or would never have found otherwise. It's fabulous! You can set up differernt "stations" too, based on what artist you start with. So, different stations for different moods :-). It's an awsume website. Addictive too, because you're always wondering "what will be next?!"

Intriguing restaurant.

So we went to a place today for lunch called "Bugaboo Creek." Danika (also from BC origionally) said we had to try it, as it was "Canadian themed." Apparently it is specifically Western Canadian themed. So, you might ask, what do East Coast Americans think of West coast Canada? Well, I'm not sure where to start. Here are the highlights:
1) A talking, moving moose head above the bar. Yes, talking. He made jokes jokes about the fact that he was just a head on a wall. And yes, it was more than a little creepy.
2) A talking, moving Bison head above the bar. On the other side of the bar. So, I didn't hear his quips. Thankfully.
3) A moving woodpecker. He pecked the pillars between the tables.
4) Numerous dead, stuffed dear heads (one directly above my table).
5) there was a dead, stuffed pheasant about 12 inches from my face.
6) Black and white photos of fishing, hunting, and snow. There was a picture of a deer strung up by it's hind quarters with a proud Western Canadian hunter staning next to it. This picture was exactly next to my face. Nice.
7) A creepy talking wooden Mountie in the entry way.
8) A giant moose head that they bring out and stick on your head if it is your birthday, while they sing to you and everyone gawks and feels sorry for you, but at the same time thinks "We have to bring ____ here for their birthday, they'd love having a stinky moose head on thier head!"

Those are just the highlights. It was seriously hilarious! We made sure to inform the waiter (after he told us all about this being a "Western Canadian themed restaurant") that we were all from Western Canada, and that it was not like this there.

A P.S. to this post:

They don't know what Americanos are here!!??!! I went into the Panara (a very respectable cafe and bakery) and asked for an Americano. The person looked at me like I was insane and said "A what? I don't think we have that." I, in turn, looked at him like he was crazy, and said "you don't have one?" hoping this would prompt a more acceptable response, or that the other employee would turn around and say "YES we do...I'm sorry, he's new here." But no. He pointed to the menu, and sure enough, there was no americano. So I said "okay, well, it's just espresso and water. I think you have it." He said again "We don't have that here." Seriously. I mean, come on, even if you don't technically have it, couldn't you at least know what it is?? But again, no. So I responded with "Okay, well then, can I get a tripple shot of espresso in a large cup filled about 2/3 of the way full with hot water." Okay, they could do that. So, after much adieu, I obtained an americano of sorts. Sigh. It was a sad day in Tyla land.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Internet and the Seinfeldian twighlight zone

We have high - speed again!! I have one question though - how does it take a week and a half for them to get to us, when it literally only took 2 minutes to connect us. They brought the modem, they plugged it in, and they phoned to activate it. Why does this require specially trained men with mondo tool belts and tank tops? Could I have not just gotten the modem, plugged it in and phoned them to connect it? Would that not be more efficient? Either way, we're connected and online with high speed and that makes me smile.

It's my Saturday today. I made it through week two of training. Up until now it's all been observation, but starting this coming week, I'll be observed working with the students. A little nerve-wracking, but it's odd - I think there is something about going to a specific place for 40 hours a week to work that makes it easier for me to leave work at work. I'm finding that even though I normally would be agonizing and stressing over everything, I'm not. Maybe it's just that right now, there is nothing at home that connects me to work, and there is so much to get done and set up at home, that I don't have time to worry about work at home. Not sure. Either way it's a welcome change...even if temporary.

Last night we went for a walk around our neighborhood, along Lake Quinsigamond (try pronouncing that). It's a beautiful lake, with beaches and parks and lots of houses along it. We say a beautiful house right on the lake for sale, for an unbelievable price, and drooled. We bumped into the owner, out for a walk with a friend and chatted with them for about 20 minutes. They were so friendly and helpful. We got advice on:
a) Best place for Indian food,
b) Best place for Middle Eastern food,
c) Best breakfast place,
d) Liquor store (owned by an old couple and apparently looks like an old candy shop) open on holidays,
e) The best place for desserts and phenomenal pastries (so they said anyways).

Then, something funny happened. When we told them where we were living (while getting directions), Marguerite said "OOhhhh....so - have you run into STELLLLLAAAAHHHHH yet?" She did say "STELLLAAAHHH" in exactly the manner that Elaine says it on Seinfeld. This line from Seinfeld as most of you know, is the source of endless amusement for myself and Magnificent M., and is my code name on her blog, and my husbands blog.

So, my jaw dropped. I thought "How does this stranger know about our inside Seinfeld joke??!" Daryl and I looked at each other, and back at these two women who apparently landed from the twighlight zone. They then went on to explain that Stella is the condo mangager here and is apparently a bit soup-nazi like (not their reference, mine). Then i remembered the woman who owns our Condo mentioning her. OK. So this isn't a freaky Seinfeldian twighlight zone situation. I was almost dissapointed.

So we had a very pleasent conversation with strangers while out for a walk, and we now have a long list of eateries to try out. It was good.

Monday, September 04, 2006

A good day...

I got to spend a whole shift today with the girls I'll be working with at NECC. It was great. It was so good to get to spend a good chunk of time with them and get to know them a bit. I'm so excited to be working with them. They are all so unique and so lovable in so many ways. Also very challenging at times, but I think this is a great team for me to be on.

Not much else to say today. I got to sleep in a bit, and study work stuff this morning. Then work, and now bed.

I think that's really all I have to say. lol.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Dial me up...

While buying a vacuum at Wal-Mart yesterday, we "happened" to end up in the electronics/computer section and passed by a display of the various companies providing disks you can set up dial-up internet connections with in minutes. We caved. The disks cost nothing (we've been known to use them as coasters before now) and the Netscape one we grabbed has a 30 day trial period for free. We've signed up, logged on and now have dial-up connection over my laptop for the next week until our real internet is hooked up on Friday. So, if you call and can't get through send us emails and msn's telling us to get off the internet!
We went to our potential new Church today for the first the first time. It's a beautiful cathedral-type building, and a fairly large parish. They seem friendly (though coffee hour was cancelled today, so we didn't get much time to chat with them), and there is a lot of "extra-curricular" stuff going on. Women's and men's groups, child care centre, parish get-togethers etc. The service is about 70-80% in English, and the rest in Albanian. I love that, despite some of the service being in a different language, and not knowing one person there, that Church always feels like home. The chanting, inscense, iconography, and flow of the service (and in fact all the content of the service) is the same. We walked in and felt at home. It's a little bit of continuity that we can always count on despite all the other changes. There are other Orthodox Churches in the area, but I think this is the closest to us. We're not sure if we'll check out the others or not.
We'll try to get pictures up soon. My comp is really slow with them, but we're not sure if Daryl's comp even has an internal dial-up modem, so we may have to wait till Friday. Soon though I promise!!

Friday, September 01, 2006

How can that hurt, is there even a muscle there?

Where to start? Well, we're here. And as a dear friend blogged after arriving in her new home...people are still people here. They talk a little differently, and drive much differently, but they are still people.

The Whining

I've just finished my first week of training. Wow. It's kind of like boot camp. You may think I mean this metaphorically...but actually I mean it literally as well. My whole entire body hurts more than it ever has before. Ever. I am feeling quite overwhelmed, inundated with information and challenges. It will be good for me, soon, but right now it is about the hardest thing I've ever had to do. I don't do very well with change and upheaval and having a home that isn't settled (does anyone?), so the combination of the move and adjustment, the lack of friends and family close by, the complete and utter physical and mental exhaustion is making me quite homesick. I think I actually am getting sick too :-(. I knew it would be hard, but that doesn't really make it easier.

Unfortunately, though we had expected to have internet connected today, we found the company had meant NEXT friday. So we are still cut off, or so it feels. But I am continually thankful for this fedex-kinkos accross the street.

The Ikea Trip:

We went to Ikea on Sunday. And Tuesday. And Tuesday night.

Sunday: Sunday afternoon, we decide to go for the trip. We're excited - Ikea makes us happy, makes things better, and feels like home (that's probably because the furniture is the same). We hop on the highway, transfer to another, and another, and are nearing Ikea. Traffic starts to back up. We see a sign saying "Expect delays on Weekends." An actual road sign says this. So we bunker down for a wait thinking "Well, it must be people going into Boston for the weekend." Then we realize that the back up is for our exit. The exit to Ikea..as we near it the other lanes clear, and the exit lane is backed up. Then we see a set of traffic cops. As we procede closer to Ikea, the traffic thickens even more, and there are more traffic cops. We're thinking "Must be an accident." Then we are practicallyin the parking lot, and there are MORE traffic cops...but no accident. Then it dawns on us...the traffic sign, the cops, the traffic...it's all because of IKEA. Seriously. We asked around when we got there. You see, THIS is what happens when you only provide people with one IKea for several states. They all migrate there on the weekend and cause pandemonium. As we entered we realized we were in for an entirely different IKEA experience. No more calm stroles throught the show room, latte in hand, no relaxing over a glass of wine and 99 cent dinner for a break. No no. This was every ikea shopper for themselves. They were running out of things, people were manovering at break neck speeds around the show room (the store was close to closing). It was worse by far than any Christmas eve shopping I've ever done. Then, enter the self-serve area. Insanity. Utter maddness. I'm amazed there weren't casualties. There were thousands of people with carts and large boxes and pointy objects pushing through to get to their needed items. Things were mixed up in the bins, you couldn't move your cart to the object, so had to carry it (heavy as it was) accross the floor to your cart. I had to duck under an aisle to get to the as is section. We made it through, barely though, and managed to stuff: a kitchen table and 4 chairs, a bed, a matteress, a desk, two night tables, various kitchen implements, a lamp and other things all into our car in the pouring rain. Then we tried to set up the bed...and realized we had the wrong mattress. Daryl went back while I was at work (that's a whole other blog). We then tried to set upthe bookshelf....and realized that in our haste, we hadn't bought the shelves for it. Back we went. Finally, I think we have it all. Keep in mind it is about a 2 hour trek out to the Ikea here. I think it will be a while before we return :-(.

Must go though...as this is unfortunately still costing money :-(.

Miss everyone muchly.

Sunday, August 27, 2006


We made it!! My visa was approved at the boarder, after MUCH discussion and debate over why exactly we had MA plates on our car when we'd never lived or worked in MA before ( "So, you were that sure your visa would be approved hey?"). Sigh. It was stressful, but not at all as traumatic as I had anticipated. I learned a few things:
1) Boarder guards are not allowed to be pleasant under ANY circumstances..even after they approve your visa.
2) They refuse to actually tell you they are approving it...they just send you to pay the cashier - that's how you know your approved.
3) They don't care if you have a cat, or what is in your car at all (not one question or glance at the inside of the car).
4) They can't quite understand that the female is the one getting the visa.
5) They care nothing about your spouse, except to tell him that you will be deported if he tries to work in the US.
6) They like to make fun of your salary..."You know you're not making very much..."
7) They make mistakes too, but will never admit it. At one point the guard called Daryl over and asked him the exact question he'd asked me 5 times already, I'm sure in an attempt to trip us up and get a different answer. Except he asked it wrong. He asked "So, why do you have a MA drivers liscence?!?" Daryl looked at him, we looked at each other, and Daryl said "Do you mean liscence plates?? Because I don't have a MA drivers liscence." The guard looked down and moved on to the next question. Said nothing. I thoroughly enjoyed it though :-).

So we are in our apartment, which we love. We are within walking distance of everythng, some of which are:
-3 grocery stores including Trader Joes, which a friend told me about. This amazing organic/natural food store with better prices than the regular grocery store...I'm in love.
- Cafe/Bakery (essential, we've already tried it out).
-Liqour store
-Southwestern, Japanese, Chinease, North American, Fast food, Italian, etc restaurants. Amazing.
- A fedex kinkos (where I am now using internet)
- Used CD store
-Pet food store
-Hair salon, nail salon, tanning place.
- Bank,
- Dentist

And when I say walking distance, I mean under 5 minutes. So, we're all set. Must run now though, we're off to find my new work, and make the first essential visit to Ikea. And wash the dead bugs off of our poor poor car.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Night driver

OK, so we've realized throughout this trip that Daryl is the day time driver, and I am the night driver. I can't stay awake during the day driving (??), and he is sleepy at night. So after we disembarked the ferry last night at 12am (well this morning tecnically), I took over the driving. My body failed me though...my eyes were drooping and I had to pull over, then start again, then pull over. Daryl kept trying to take over driving, but I was not willing to give in. I am the night driver THE night driver. I pounded back another Sobe Arush drink (mmm), but it was not helping. I was praying for the first town to appear, with a Tim Hortons or something. Finally, over the horizon, I could see the glow of the white sign with red writing, and the yellow sign below. I pulled in just before Owen Sound, and decided desperate times called for desperate measures. I loaded up on coffee, tim bits (it has been like years since I've had those!), and changed the tunes. I had to bring out the big guns - MJ. That's right, Michale Jackson. Some of you know how much MJ inspires me, and wakes me up. So, we piled back in the car, MJ cranked ("Billy Jean..." "I'm Bad, I'm Bad..."), timbits and coffee in hand and I went into the zone. I was amazing. At one point, shortly after we got going again, I reached to get something and Daryl looked at me and said "what was that?" - he had thought my reaching was a sweet dance move reminicent of Elaine from Sienfeld. We laughed. I then, of course felt compelled to demonstrate the Elaine dance. Picture it: Bombing down the highway in no-where Ontario at 1am, coffee in hand, doing the Elaine dance in my seat, to MJ's "Bad." Stellar. It was beautiful. We rolled into Hamilton at 5am and crashed. We meant to get up earlier to decide if we wanted to go further today to the boarder. Ya..we slept till 2:30pm. So, no travel today. We'll head for the boarder at about 4am tomorrow, then on to our new home! We may be without internet for a while though.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Here we are...

...sitting in an internet cafe in South Baymouth, ON hungrily devouring blog updates and emails. I have been terribly remiss in chronicling our adventure..mostly because it's been almost exclusively driving and sleeping since we left Edmonton! We have SO many great pictures which I'll upload at a later point. So for now...I'm just going to list it off...

Places we've been:
1)Langley (Late arrival, early departure - I'm so sorry to everyone we didn't get to see while there).
2) Kamloops - Caught up with my family, many good long talks on the patio with wine and a great dinner out. Tearful goodbyes.
3) Edmonton - Had a wonderful but much too short visit with dear friends Bean and P. It always amazes me how easily Bean and I reconnect. We go months and sometimes more than a year without seeing eachother or talking. When we meet up again though, we always have an excellent time. Also visited my cousin and aunt, which was great.
4) Saskatoon - not much to say..we got in late, we left early. Nice hotel.
5) Dryden (ON)- Gross motel. Waxy towels, red shag carpet, yellowed duvet covers and just...ick.
6) Wawa (ON) - My favorite town EVER - mostly because of the name. Just say it. Wawa.
7) Eventually tonight we'll end up in Hamilton..well early tomorrow around 4am. Sigh.

Animals I've almost killed driving fast on Ontario highways at night:

1) A bear. Yes, a bear. Ran right in front of my car.
2) A fox (as above). ]
3) 900 Dear. There are a lot of dear. They line the highway faking you out. It's a little game they have called "make the tin animals flinch." I think they get bonus points for making you vear into oncoming traffic.
4) NOT a moose. I'm both thankful and disappointed. I really wanted to see a moose. I was totally petrified of hitting a moose.

Things I've had to drink:

1) Starbucks..mmm...
2) Zack's coffee...mmm...
3) Tim Hortons...eh...
4) Espresso at Beans (made by her!) - to die for
5) "Complimentary" coffee at cheap motels - disgusting. Seriously. This was of the "toss it out the window as fast as you can" variety.
6) Sobe Energy drinks. A -something. They are amazing! And SO tasty!! Way tastier than any I've had before. They came up to bat after I winged the nasty coffee out.
7) Flavoured water...love it.

I need to take a moment to recognize the moths of Saskatchewan and the varied bugs of Manitoba. Seriously. The moths/butterflies pummeled our windshield and blanketed our radiator for the duration of our drive through Saskatchewan. During they daytime!?! Daryl took pictures. I refuse to post them on my blog..but if you must, you can see them at his blog eventually.

She is amazing. Turns out she a)Will just sleep all day in her carrier if in the car, b)Has astounding constitution. c) doesn't like the carrier at night when she usually is tearing apart our house d) Has no problem wth a harness but e) Is kind of freaked out by being outside and f) Is so super cute when we leave her free in the car while we go in to eat at a restaurant. We are nerds - we sit in a window seat by the car so we can watch her. So she is handling the trip SO well. We are amazed.

The "Lakes"
We've been fooled. There is a whole other ocean in the middle of Ontario. It looks like ocean, there are rocks, sailboats, seagulls (dont' they need a SEA?), sandy beaches, cliffs, there are even FERRIES. It's beautiful!

Onwards...Well, I can't believe we are this far already, and that I start work at NECC on Monday. It's hard to believe and hard to adjust to. We've had a good time on the trip so far. The only regret we have is not having had more time for the Ontario portion of the trip. The drive over Lake superior is SO beautiful. So, onwards to Hamilton tonight to stay with my cousin, and then make a run for the boarder. Wow. Those of you inclined please pray for our crossing. We're a bit nervous about it..I have to do my visa interview, and all that. I'm sure it will be fine, but it's just a bit nerve wracking.

Must run before the time is up, but will update and post pictures later. I wish I had time to formulate this blog better!

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

New beginnings.

Well, we actually made it out of our apartment and onto the last ferry last night. I am astounded. And sad. And excited.

We only got through the last few days by the grace of God, and with such amazing friends and family. I have wonderful pictures to post, will post later today though. Monday night, several friends from Church came over and helped us clean our apartment (even though it wasn't packed yet!). You know someone loves you when they scrub your toilet and pull rotten cucumbers out of your fridge!! I scrubbed the stove at 2am, then we collapsed on our air bed and didn't sleep until about ummm I think 3am.

We were going to a 6am liturgy on Monday morning (perfect way to end our time in Victoria) and our priest was picking us up at 4:45am. We had thought we'd set the alarm for 3:30. So, I woke up to the sound of our priests van...and Daryl still in the shower, and me NOT WOKEN up!! Turns out we set the alarm for 4:30. Anyhoo...it all worked out - we got to Church, had a beautiful service, were anointed and prayed for for our travels, cried a lot, had breakfast, and went home.

There was a huge debacle with the liscence plates. So, the liscence plates for our car arrived at 4PM. So, we had to get the car, pack it, wrap everything for shipping, ship it, finish cleaning the apartment, figure out how to attach the roof top carrier (which also just arrived yesterday). It was impossible. But not with our friends and family. Daryl's aunt and cousin, and my dear friend showed up to help us out. They wrapped and cleaned and organized like a storm. Julie packed our whole car, and got more into it then I we could ever have done ourself I think. I managed to put the car top carrier on UPSIDE DOWN and FILLED it, and closed it. Daryl and his cousin went to put it on and realized it was upside down and had to flip it, totally full! Ya, I won't be asked to do that again. I, unlike Magnificent M. am NOT a stellar packer.

So, we pulled into the ferry terminal at 8:45, and drove on the 9:00 ferry. We had a long LONG day after only an hour or so of sleep. So we crashed here, and are just about to get ourselves ready to head to Kamloops.

Bastet did amazingly well with the pandemonium. She was great in the car, and is doing wonderful being at Daryl's parents house. This is a huge relief!!

So, we are tired, emotionally drained, and excited all at once. On to our next stop today. I'll post pictures of the moving fiasco (I have a nice before-after sequnce of packing the apartment ;-) later on.

Once again, goodbye Victoria, and soon to be goodbye lower mainland.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Missing Victoria already...

Why is it that we never appreciate things until we are loosing them? D. And I just went for a walk to get a coffee...I was tearing up the whole way thinking of leaving our quaint (sp?) little "avenue," the apartment that was really our first home together and the west coast air. I haven't appreciated all this until recently though. Does anyone else have trouble living in the present? I find I'm usually longing for the past, or pining for the future. Rarely am I ever really absorbing the present; being truly thankful for what I have, where I live, and the wonderful people I'm surrounded with. Maybe it's the downside to being very goal oriented. I think that one of the benefits of blogging is that it gives you a venue that is almost exclusively devoted to describing, enjoying, sharing your present life. It allows you to bask in your day-to-day joys and struggles, and to reflect on them. This type of reflection is what allows me to live "in" my life, rather than just observe it, or completely miss out on it. One thing each day that is beautiful and joy-creating - that's what I want to try to blog about.

Today. We had one of my favorite "in law"s over. Daryl's aunt, who he lived with when he first moved over here came for dinner. I love her. She is a wonderful, warm, dynamic, FUN person. I feel completely at ease with her, like I can talk to her, be myself with her, and really enjoy her company. She came for dinner tonight, and I just really enjoyed our time together. I have such fond memories of coming to visit Daryl while he was staying with her - she always took such good care of me. I remember one valentines we went for a nice dinner, and on a carriage ride. I had dressed up in clothing not nearly warm enough, and it was FEBRUARY, and really really cold! When we got "home" (back to her place), she brought out a fleece sweater, these amazing slipper-socks, a blanket etc, and wrapped me all up and made tea for us. It was lovely. She also knows Victoria like no one else - knows when and where all the fun events are happening. I have told her many times that she MUST open a B & B. It would be perfect. I would SO pay money to stay with her ;-).

That's it for today. I'm in denial about the 5 days till we move. I can't handle it. I'll let you know when I can :-). Today I made a big pot of soup. I used a lot of our food that needs using up, and it was pretty good :-). Tonight my contribution to the moving task will be making some oatmeal raisin cookies. This is progress because 1) I found a recipe that uses banana, oatmeal, honey, sunflower seeds, raisins etc..all of which I have large quantities of that I need to get rid of, and 2) It keeps me from crying or yelling, which allows D. to keep his sanity. It also provides us with nourishment. Yes, I know it's 10pm. So I like to bake at night.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

A party, two friends, and a lazy morning.

We are leaving Victoria in 6 days. SIX days. If you could see how full our apartment still is and how completely un-ready we are to leave it you would understand my mounting panic.

We had our "Take away our stuff" get together on Saturday. We had a wonderful time visiting with many people, and were overwhelmed by the generosity of our Church family. We will miss our community here so much. I am sad that we haven't gotten to know more people more deeply while here. There are so many astounding people we've had the joy of knowing, and I only wish we could know them more.

So, the only downside was that only a limited amount of stuff was "taken away." So, we have a lot to clear out still. The good thing though, is that it is sorted, and at least we know WHAT we have to get rid of. That's a step anyways.

It's been a busy last few days. We had Mag here for a few days, and spent time visiting, watching some Buffy from the "glory days" as she called it (Read: Season 2), celebrated her birthday with her (this is becoming a tradition...she better fly out to Boston next August!), and said a tearful goodbye. It was a wonderful visit, and it was so nice to spend some good quality time with her before we go. I'm only sorry we were so wrapped up with preparing for the Saturday get together and moving events.

She left on Sunday, and my dear friend M. arrived Sunday. We had a mad couple of days of work and play together, both of which I enjoyed more than I can describe. I was saying to my mom on the phone after she left that M. is the one person who, no matter what else is going on or how stressed out I am, can make me laugh. It's interesting too how most people in my life know when I need some "M. time." My mom commented on it - "You really needed some good time with M. I knew you'd feel better after you saw her." Daryl has, on numerous occasions shipped me off to the mainland for some time with M. when I was debating whether I should go or not. They both know that somehow, no matter where I'm at, after seeing M. I'm in a better place. That's just the way it is :-). As always we had good food, good wine, and good conversation...all of which both of us love.

After M. left I found two things: 1) She'd left a bottle of Desert Hills Gamay Noir on the counter in the kitchen. We used this to celebrate the recent discoveryt that our applications for interest relief on our student loans has been approved. It is an amazing wine. Sooooo good. Thanks M. :-).

2) I discovered a pile of presents and cards on my desk behind my computer. I read the card - so completely appropriate for our friendship...and her additions to it...and cried. I will miss her so much...and it means so much to me to know she's behind me in this move. She also left a beach picture of rocks to add to my planned wall of west coast beach photos (It's my inexpensive decorating project for when I get to Boston), a Sonya Kitchell album (songs that are SO "us" on it - an excellent new driving tunes album!), and a starbucks card. Could she know me any better?!? So, as I'm driving on the freeway, with Sonya blaring, downing my 10th tripple americano of the day (this would be during hour 15 of a driving day), I will think of M., and of the amazing supportive friend she's been to me.

So, now we ahve 6 days to get things in order. I have the day off today, so, I slept in till 9:30 (so wonderful), snuggled with my DH (also so wonderful), watched grey's anatomy (I just discovered re-runs are on CH at 10am on weekdays!!), and ate salt water taffy. It's now 11:30, and I'm still in my PJ's, and have done nothing constructive today yet. But I think that's ok. I will shower and get going after this, sit down and outline a plan of attack for the next six days, and start in on it. Aiyaiyai!

OK...off I go.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Goodbye to UVic..

I turned in my keys at the Psych department yesterday. It was sad. I went in in the morning meet with the prof I'm TAing for and hand in exams. We talked for about an hour....got on to new research ideas, debating and discussing. He was on his way to a research meeting to discuss what another student was going to do for their honors thesis in the coming year and said I should come along. I thought "I have a thousand things I need to be doing...I have scheduled in other things for this time"...then I thought "YES!" So off I went and spent another 2 hours discussing research etc...a quick trip to drop exams turned into a 4 hour morning. But I just couldn't leave. I LOVE the process of discussing and planning new research projects. It's so exciting...coming up with ideas, and pondering how they would pan out...thinking of what we could find, getting excited, and listening to two very intelligent profs argue (can they ever argue) over the best way to do things. Excellent. I'm sad to leave :-). I"ve learned so much from them, and from this process, I have so much more to learn! But, I will have new people to learn from :-) . I've gotten a good degree at UVic. I'm very glad I came here to finish it. I think the research experience and coursework in my area that I've been able to get I couldn't have gotten anywhere else. Also, the two profs I've been working with really took me under their wing and have pushed me, guided me, and helped me to learn and grow immensely.

Goodbye UVIc.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Much to say about nothing?

Well, I felt it had been too long since I last posted...but I don't have much to say! I finally finished a stack of marking last night, I feel like I can breath again. Whenever I have marking on the go I feel like I can't do anything else until it is finished. These exams were a little fun to mark, but also a little painful. They are for a class that is exactly "my" area of psychology and I was appalled at how little some students seemed to have learned. The last one I marked was the worst. The student literally stated the polar opposite to the correct answer for each and every question. Arg! There were some very good exams too though..and they were fun to mark.

So now I must get on with the packing and cleaning and moving stuff. We're getting down to the wire now - 13 days exactly till we leave. That is frightening! This weekend will see most of the stuff we're not taking with us leave our apartment. We decided to do the open house/come take away our stuff get together this Saturday, and we've heard rumors that it will be crashed by Church friends and turned into a going away party ;-). So, hopefully most of our stuff will sell/be taken away on Saturday. What doesn't go will be carted off to BB or VV or something. After that, all that will be left will be our bed and a few additional things to store, which my parents will pick up the following weekend.

The "last time" s are starting to happen now. We had a wonderful weekend last weekend with two of my dearest friends and their significant others. We had a BBQ...lots of talking, a jam session, arguing about Meyers Briggs personality profiles, and walked to the beach to see the fireworks. I think this was the last time I'll see them before we go, and it was a wonderful visit. I got to hug J. and R. and congratulate them on their engagement (possibly the single most exciting event of this year for me), and have good catch up time with two of my "chicks." We've been friends for so long, and have watched each other grow from 13 to adults. We've stayed close through all the life changes, graduating highschool, graduating university, kids, weddings, everything! I know that a large part of the person I am today, is tied to them. I said to Daryl after we left, that when I am with them I feel like I can breathe. It's hard to describe, but I think it's something that just comes from growing up together.

This weeknd we also had a short but reviving vist with another couple who are moving accross the continent days after us! They have been such an unending support and comfort throughout the process. B. has been my "packing buddy" and despite being a "J", I don't think I could possibly have gotten through all of this or made any headway at all without her! We were all tired and stressed out when we met up..but we managed, by the end of the evening to have some laughs, and bolster ourselves for the coming weeks.

I'm so excited too, as this week we have TWO dear friends visiting back to back to say goodbye., Today Mag comes, and we'll have some therepeutic evenings watching..hmmm...I'm not sure what we'd watch together? She is my "safe"friend. I say this because whenever I see her when things are stressful and hard (umm...at wedding rehearsals and mid-moving maddness) I end up just crying. I'm not entirely sure why...as I don't "just cry" often. But I think it might be because she's one of those people who never puts demands on me...and she's not involved with any of the stressfull parts of my life.

Then on Sunday, I get to have M. here for two nights. I can't quite believe I have to say goodbye to her yet. Since I've moved here, as with many people, we haven't seen too much of each other.But...we still have our record length phone calls intermittently, and recently have been able to see each other in person fairly frequently. Which is no fair, because now we have to go back to rare visits! She's my dance partner, my nerdy graph buddy (we both love them a little too much), she loves decorating, good food, good wine, good coffee, ikea, God, and her work (which happens to be the same as mine) - could we be a better match? I remember once as we were preparing food for one of her amazing dinner parties, we found ourselves finishing each other's sentances, exclaiming the same comments in stereo, laughing hysterically (as we frequently do), and oohing and awing over the dishes she had chosen for the evening. We were amazed by this - since we literally hadn't seen each other for months. I mean I was expecting us to laugh hysterically...but finish eachother's sentances and speaking the same?? We decided at that juncture that it was a tragedy that we'd never been roomates. I don't think I have more in common with a single other person I know, and because of that she gets me in ways others don't.

Ah..friends, glorious friends. I truely am an extrovert! I really believe that so much of who we are is influenced by those close to us. All of my firends have given me a part of themselves. I hold it for safe keeping :-), and it strengthens me.

Ok ok..enough of all this smeepyness. And I thought I had nothing to say!?!

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Bus rider....

(If you've heard that take off on "cab driver" you'll be humming it in your head right now. If not..that's okay).

Today on my bus ride home, the bus was quite empty - only about 5 or 6 people on it when we left university. Included in the bunch was an elderly lady, and several UVic-ites. There was one student type fellow sitting in front of me. When he got on the bus and sat down in front of me I somehow knew I'd have something to blog about tonight. I'm not sure why...just something about the way he carried himself. So...we pull out away from the stop...it's silent, everyone is looking out their windows, dutifully avoiding eye contact with anyone else (myself included). Suddenly, fellow in front of me just yells "holy _ _ _ _ " (the one that REALLY gets your mouth washed out with soap). He continues reading his newspaper without looking up. Everyone looks at him. He looks up...says "Oh, sorry, but you won't beLIEVE this!!" And proceeds to describe to the 5 or so of us how some developer wants to put in condos in the old Bay building downtown I think it was. He tried very hard to engage everyone...eye contact, holding up the paper, waving it around, madly gesturing towards it. It was funny to watch all of us squirming...no one wanted to talk, but it couldn't be avoided, he clearly needed a response involving outrage comparable to his. So gradually...quietly the elderly lady said "has it been approved?" and immediately looked down again. It was so funny!! He also, unfortunately was wearing a sweater and scarf in 30 degree weather, and had his arm up and wrapped around the seat infront of me...positioned just so the air conditioning blew underneath it towards me. Nice. You can imaging sweater+scarf+30degree weather does not = smell of roses. Anyhoo..he was an interesting guy, and I was appreciateive of the bus ride adventure.

I was laughing to myself on the bus and thinking of all the mini-adventures I've had and people I've met, while riding transit.

I remember once discussing theories about a mysterious coffee shop on my old bus route with a couple I'd never met before (the shop has been closed for years, but things move around inside it, the florescent light is always on). We started discussing the coffee shop, but ended up being "those" people on the bus laughing hysterically about I can't remember what the whole bus ride. It was like I'd known them for years. Then it was awkward though - when we'd see each other on the bus after that I'd be thinking things like "I won't say hi unless they say hi to me," and wonder "do we know each other well enough to go for coffee, or is that weird." It was like I was trying to date them. LOL!

Then the man that I see all the time. He looks a bit intimidating...very rough around the edges, older. He always likes to talk to people, and I admit I'd always avoided standing next to him. Then one day I couldn't avoid it, and ended up talking with him. He was so nice...I really enjoyed the conversation. I kind of look forward to bumping into him now. Regardless of how many times things like this happen...I still seem to avoid interaction with people who I don't know. I'm a chicken.

Then the old lady who has crazy teased hair, bright pink blush, hot pink lipstick, excellent 80's clothes too hip for most her age, and an awsume attitude. I DID want to talk with her. I got an opportunity to one day, and she told me that she was 22 (she is at least 65/70 I think), and was going to meet her boyfriend...and told me about graduation and all kinds of things.

And the tiny lady in all red, with cowboy boots and a giant cowboy hat (both also red).

And so many more. That doesn't even cover the adventures...just the neat people! That is the one thing I'll miss about being a bus rider... getting to talk with and meet people I never normally would.

What's your best bus rider story?