Saturday, May 27, 2006

Southern Charm and sleepless nights

The talk about "Southern charm" and southern hospitality turns out to be completely true. Atlanta is my new favorite place. Every single person I've met has a) had a beautiful (and oddly calming) southern accent, and b) been extremely freindy (really, I think us victoria/vancouverites have some serious competition on the friendliness!! We had quite an adventurous trip here - ok - a LAME trip here. Our flight was delayed by about 5 hours...then as we were about to take off, they had to turn the plane around due to the weather...then FINALLY we took off, and ya, there was crazy LIGHTENING flashing in the windows for the whole first 45 minutes of the flight!!. Michelle and I got stopped at customs by an indignant man who asked us (in a voice that cannot be replicated as humerously via text) "You brought PEPPERONI??" When M. tried to make light of the situation saying "'s not REALLY meat right?" The officer looked at us straight faced and said "yes. it is." lol!! Theresa on the other hand had a much more pleasent experience with the customs officer. Probably because when asked whether the trip was for business or pleasure she said "PULESSSUUURRRRE" with a raised eyebrow. Ya, SHE didn't get stopped for illegal non-meat goods. I officially hate the Chicago airport (the one we were stuck at)...but love the Atlanta one.

We did our first international presentation today at the conference...and I said "crap" while presenting....very a professional conference presentation. I think it might have even been while I was discussing the topic of professionalism. Ah! Other than that though, it went really well...I have my poster presentation today, which I'm a little nervous about but it should be fine. No sleep last night, or the night before...but that's ok - it was mostly due to good socializing ("Good times...good times").

Anyhoo..I should run I'm hogging the free computer. Have to get ready for my poster presentation. Will try to keep the blog posted..maddness though!


Friday, May 19, 2006


So, I now have in my possession a real, giant, printed poster for my poster session. And you know's kind of cool to see it all done. Really cool actually. But I am afraid to take it out of it's tube and unroll it since a)It took about 4 tries for the people at the print shop to get it rolled up tight enough to fit in it's tube and 2) It's not laminated yet, and I am deathly afraid of ruining it somehow! So it will stay in it's tube until I make my way to staples for laminating. Whew!

Getting there on the last test I have to finish for tomorrow...but have hit a snag and have to wait for a response from my prof, so have a brief moment to 1) Vacuum, 2) do some dishes, 3) Eat something, and 3)Blog.

So last year, Daryl's sister gave him this plant for his birthday ("dragonfly" and he likes dragonflies..) and it seemed to be dying no matter what we did, had this while film on it, all small and limp and just ill looking...eventually after many attempts to save it, it died...or so we thought. It came back to life this year, compeltely to our surprise (no attention from us for months)and has flowered. It's beautiful! Here it is:

Nice hey! There are now really nice red and white flowers as well! It's so beautiful. LL will be so happy it came back to life. She was at our place a month or two ago and looked on the balcony and saw it all dead looking, and seemed sad. I think maybe we'll make her wedding card out of this picture.

Very nice...well must check if email has come in.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Come one come all

I've changed my preferences so that anyone can comment here. So all of you that have been so enthralled by my posts that you feel a deep need to reply to them, but could not because for some BIZARRE reason you didn't' want to get a blogger can now post comments on my blog. Just kidding....not about posting...about the other part. :-)

The cheese man and poster panic

There is a "happy" and a "GGRRAAHHH" for this post. First the as to end on a postive note.

Poster panic has completely taken over my life. It is MUCH to long a story to replay here..but the last two days have been a series of "OH NO!" momennts. Feedback not in from profs on time, poster can't be printed in time at UVic, poster can be printed at staples...poster cannot (no I'm sorry we were wrong) be printed at staples...mad all night editing, last minute trip to print shop. Yes, I signed the proof at 5:32 - the print shop closed at 5:30. I was on the computer in the print shop making the final modifications until 5:29. So, for better or worse, it is being printed, and should be ready tomorrow at 5. Please pray I don't have any type-os or huge mistakes.

I'm very scared, b/c the prof who supervised my research REALLY wanted me to do the poster in a different format. And I did it this way (which my argument goes the way all the posters at the conference are done, and more professional looking...not to mention that a)HE suggested this format monthes ago, and b) re-doing it right now would take at least 15 hours of my life that I DO NOT have. So I have, for only the second time in my life NOT taken his advice and direction. I'm very afraid, as the first time I did this it involved applying for MA programs rather than PHd programs (he said again and again to apply for PhD programs)and it was a HUGE it messed up my funding and visa situations. So, here's to hoping that this time (please, please, please) I made the right call!!

"Happy" note - We have a cheese man.

Meet Manu: .
He comes around all the business buildings downtown (including Daryl's) every month or so. That's how we found him.

I haven't tried the pates, but Daryl brought home some of his cheese for the second time last night, and I tell you this is the BEST cheese ever. Last night it was AMAZING triple cream brie, fantastic blue stilton (see last post), and the most tasty and creamy goat cheese I've ever had. So, we disregarded all responsibilities (see above: Poster panic later ensued) and sat on the patio with the cheese, bread, wine, olives, apples and pears, and pecans and had a wonderful dinner. Cept then we started talking about school and what the heck we're going to do and turns out one bottle of wine is not enough for that type of conversation!!!

So, now onto the marking (SO much - due by tomorrow morning! Bye bye sleep!) But first some left over cheese and a glass of wine to strengthen me.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

A love affair with blue cheese...

I made THE most fantastic pizza last night (Biss I was thinking of you :-). Here it is:


-1 of Biss's super good 100% whole wheat pizza dough crust (dough made in bread maker)
-Olive oil,
-1 granny smith apple
- one large onion
- bit of brown sugar (Tbsp?)
- turkey bacon (4 slices)
- sprig of rosemary
- about 3/4 cup blue cheese (I used a mellow blue cheese).
- About 1 to 1 1/2 cups of skim mozza

Roll out dough and brush with olive oil. Sprinkle a tiny bit of the mozza over the crust, lay out apples evenly around crust. Cut the bacon into small pieces (about an inch wide) and lay out evenly on the pizza. Caramalize the onions by frying for about 20-30 minutes, adding about 1/3 cup of water and the brown sugar after about 10 minutes (do this ahead of time). Put the caramalized onions and crumbled blue cheese on the pizza, top with the rest of the mozza and bake (350 ish for about 20-30 mintues?).

IT WAS SO GOOD. I based it on a pizza I had at (I think it was) Milestones - that one had gorgonzola cheese though I think. That was the first time I enjoyed anything involving blue was a slippery slope after that. During one of our wonderful, therepeutic dinners, I shared a blue cheese/apple/caramalized pecan salad with a dear friend, and that was the next step in my improving relationship with blue cheese. I took the final step and had it "straight" with apple at Pascha, then at ANOTHER wonderful dinner with the same friend (we like to eat together :-) I tried some wonderful creamy yummy blue cheese, and have been craving it ever since.

So, that's it, I officially like blue cheese. I may even "LIKE like" it. Do you remember that saying from when you were 12 ( "I like him" ..."But do you LIKE like him?" ). I think it meant I don't LOVE him...but i have a very big crush on him and want him to like me so I have something to giggle about. I can't tell if it is the company I always seem to be with when I eat it, or the cheese, but I think blue cheese may make me giggle :-)

Saturday, May 13, 2006

New Hair!

I did it! I got my hair cut. So here is the BEFORE:

This is me with my old haircut

And here is the ....AFTER!!

This is me with my new hair
Make-up all gone at the end of the day look in the after picture , but the hair is fab. My only regret is that I didn't book time for coloring. Hanna is far and beyond the BEST hair dresser I've ever had. SO good. You know what was great too - I took in a few pictures to give her an idea, but I wasn't sure what would work with my hair. She explained what would and wouldn't and why and suggested this, and she was right on the ball. She takes so much time making sure it's just right, I was in the chair for almost two hours simply b/c she was taking all the time to make sure that every little bit was perfect. Anyhoo...needless to say I'm happy. Not sure if there will be time for the coloring before I go to Atlanta but we'll see.

So, once again I have spent much too much time on non-essential things. Well, I guess that's a matter of opinion. I slept in and hung out with Daryl this my hair cut, then went for a long walk to the mall....wandered around, shopped a bit...came home, emailed and marked for about an hour, had dinner and somehow it's now almost 11. I did do some marking ..but still way behind! I'm so unmotivated to get things done right now. I think it's because it is SO beautiful and sunny makes me feel like I'm on holiday! Well....that stack of marking is still looming so off I go.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Haircuts and scary timelines

So, in looking at the upcoming week, I realized that I am leaving for the mainland in 8 days. I'll be at a wedding, then two days later flying to Atlanta for a conference. I cannot possibly enumerate all the things there are to do before that point! AH!

Problem: Need proffessional clothes, of which my supply is limited as I work with children and crawl on the floor all day.
Solution: OK, so I bought two skirts and two tank tops the other day...which helps a bit. But - today I wandered through Jacob in search of a substitute for a really expensive but nice jacket (professional looking of course) I found at another store that wasn't in my size, and was too expensive. Yep, found one at Jacob, in my size, but even MORE expensive and not as nice at numerous other clothing items and left :-(

Problem: Poster session and Workshop to prepare. I've started both, barely. But just realized I have to have the poster signed sealed and delivered to the print shop by Monday or Tuesday to have it done before I go!! AH! Workshop - what I have together so far is bare bones and really desperate need of revisions and additions.

Problem: Evil stack of marking glaring at me and refusing to shrink.
Solution: Maybe I could just give everyone A's...or B's that's more belivable?? No...I think I'll have to mark it.

And travel insurance, shoes, jacket, packing for wedding and conference all at once, wedding present, etc etc etc...ah well and I have no idea how I will pay for all of this?!? I will be paying off the last 5 years of my life for the next 20 with all the student loans and flights for interviews and conferences etc. See, the problem with these conferences is that many of the people there are professionals, with real money (or at least really good credit!) and the rest of us, who are still part or full time students or between degrees have live like they do for a week even though we don't have the money! K, we don'thave to, but with the schedule of events it's tough to leave the hotel. Add hotel to almost all meals out to flight and social events (which really ARE necessary in terms of talking with people etc) and you have a stinking high price tag. You WANT to go and really soak it up and see all the excellent presentations and meet and talk to everyone you can, but all of that entails needing to look presentable, purchasing food and drink, not to mention paying for the trip! I'm really concerned about the spending - It is SO hard to keep costs low with these types of trips. ANYhoo...will try to keep it low and M and I have great plans for buying breakfast goods at a grocery store etc...So hopefully we can pull it off.

So, VERY big bright spot - Getting a haricut tomorrow. I've been growing my hair out for a long time. It's the longest it's been in I think like 8-10 years. I need a change though...and it's pretty fried on the ends. SO, I'm thinking of going shorter again. We'll see. I could be a whole different person tomorrow! I'm going to Hanna, the first good hairdresser I've found in Vic. I'm sure she'll theink of something good.

Must go look for hairstyles online and get to bed. That marking awaits me in the morning.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

A few miscellaneous things.

Well, there are several things I had thought, before I had a blog, and after "I should put that in my blog" but alas, time passed and.....

So, I discovered in my favorite magazine (REAL SIMPLE), a great way to keep track of all those extra buttons and thread that come with clothes. I had never, funnily enough had these things come with clothing when I read the article, but over the last year or two have accumulated SO many little baggies full of buttons etc...So, I modified their idea, based on what I had around the house and came up with this:

All it is is construction paper wtih the bags pinned to it. But it keeps them orderly and in one place. I popped this into my sewing kit. The PLAN is to continue to label them from now on - easy to do by writing on the paper above them. So am I more of a nerd for doing this, or taking AND posting a picture of it?

Next item :-) A week or so ago, to celebrate HIM being asked to start working full time at a web design company, D. bought me a gorgeous live orchid. I LOVE my orchid so much! I'm determined to keep it alive and looking as beautiful, calming and pristine as it does right now (which I might add is going well so far - it's still alive after a week or two!). So, here is a picture of my gorgeous orchid. Isn't it gorgeous!! It makes me smile.

So...I've been trying to socialize more and stress less. I've been somewhat successful on the first count, less so on the second. As mentioned earlier, I had a great weekend with Daryl, but ALSO..on the Friday, one of my kindred spirits (mostly in that she loves to dance to MJ, will think the button organization is exciting, and most importantly LOVES the same food I do). And no no Magnificent M I'm note only writing this b/c you commented in your blog! Anyhoo...we had wonderful food, cheese, wine, with a beautiful view of the ocean. It was a wonderfully relaxing evening.

So onwards - the Prosphora Bash was great...lots of good socializing, and with people from Church that I haven't had a chance to spend much time with.

Yesterday, I ended up going on a semi-impromptu shopping trip with a wonderful friend A. who is 9 months pregnant!! And...met up with Mag who is over visiting for a couple of days. I discovered that A. is just about the absolute best shopping mate for me ever. Even at 9 months pregnant she was totally willing to continue shopping around for the best price for hours on end. It was excellent, and I picked up a beauty skirt for my sister-in-law's upcoming wedding, and some much needed "conference atire" (what I'm calling it to justify getting it). So, that was awsume.

AND - Mag is here, we had a great time shopping with A. and then a great evening on the deck drinking wine and eating pizza with Daryl...and then just us girls later on. It was wonderful. She's leaving tomorrow :-(.

On the not stressing thing, I've been somewhat less successfull- big work stress that left me not sleeping at all last night and tense and unable to eat most of the day today...will be fine - no reason for me to be so upset and tense, but that's just my personality. I'll continue working on it. LordhavemercyLordhavemercy...

I suddenly feel like I have so much to write...but will sign off for now...I always say too much :-)

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Prosphora Bash!

I wrote this two days ago, but had problems with the picture formatting! Still not quite there but will post it anyways. This evening, we had a "group" prosphora baking night. Prosphora is the bread we use for communion in the Orthodox Church. Check out for more info. ANYhoo...the process is long (as is all bread baking) but wonderfully thereputic, especially as it turns out when combined prayer, great company, wine, dinner, and tea and "reject" prosphora afterwards (which didn't look great, but despite being a little undercooked was SO tasty). Melanie and Katerine are kneeding the dough above. While waiting for the dough to rise we had a yummy meal on the patio in the sun, with wine. This was the first dinner on our patio this summer. Hooray! Summer is almost here!! Here's Melaine enjoying the "wine" break :-). So, all in all we ended up with 7 good loaves of prosphora - almost 2 months worth! of the best parts about making prosphora is eating the warm left-over/not quite right prosphora right out of the oven, dipped in melted butter. Fr. John tipped me off on that idea. So, we all enjoyed it with wine and tea afterwards. The boys had a theological debate, which somehow lead to vulcan ears?? So, prosphora has been baked and summer is almost here!

Unfortunately, I can't seem to figure out how to set up the pictures so that they all fit and look nice! In fact as I'm typing this, I lost two pictures! Where did they go!!?? Arg!

Monday, May 08, 2006

Simple Pleasures

I had a great weekend. Finally startng to feel better from my cold, and Daryl and I managed, SOME how, to book Saturday off together to recoup. We slept in - apparently now "sleeping in" is until 9am. We can't seem to sleep later than that. It was wonderful to laze around though, not have to rush out of bed to anything! Later on we went for brunch at the Shine cafe, and then wandered around downtown window-shopping until it was time to hop on the bus and head out to Church.

Can I just say that breadfast at the Shine is the best ever in the history of the universe!?! We had what we always have, the "Canadian" eggs benedict - which involves brie, bacon and many other wonderful things :-). It's one of the few breakfast places with decent coffee, and the atmosphere is bright and friendly; tiny but packed almost exclusively with "regulars." It's one of those places. The decorating is perfect - which goes without saying since much of the interior is, I think Ikea ;-) So, breakfast was good.

Daryl took me to see his office downtown too - it's awsume!! Right downtown, near all the neat little shops mentioned in my last post. It has so many windows and light, and is trendy and open inside. Very nice - I can see why he loves it so much!

Ooh, and when we got to our stop for Church, we were really early, so went to the nursery accross the highway from it. I purchased the beginnings of my patio herb garden!! It's not quite time for my favorite (basil) yet, but I picked up oregano, spearmint, peppermint (REAL peppermint which I couldn't find last year), dill, parsley and thyme. I love having fresh herbs to cook with!

SO, we had a great day off together. I'm glad - this will be a VERY crazy busy month, and I don't think we'll get any chance to have a day like that for a while, so I'm so thankful we had Saturday. I love my husband :-) We have so much fun together.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006


One baby step closer to less stress and more organization?? Whenever someone's birthday comes along I invariably forget until a) the day before or b) several days after. I also really enjoy giving gifts with more character, that are suited to the person I'm giving them to...but shopping in a rush doesn't exactly facilitate that. Of course, like everyone else, I always see things that would be perfect for a certain person when it is NOT their birthday...and yes, the best thing to do is to buy it right then, and stash it away for when it IS their birthday.

This presents three problems for me though 1) I usually don't have the money right then to buy it, 2) There is great potential that I would stash it and forget about it and 3) I can be a bit of a shopaholic. Take the other day for example: I had to get two gifts. I had a lovely time strolling around the neat little shops in trounce alley downtown; a fabulous kitchen shop, a chic gift shop...oooh so much great stuff. The problem was that I found several hundred dollars worth of gifts that were perfect for some particular person! I would have gone broke had I bought it all right then!

But when I went to pay for the TWO gifts I did buy, as I was standing at the counter I noticed these nice little decorated rectangle -shaped pieces of cardboard with writing on them. Yes - did you know that stores frequently provide you with convienent "cards" with all the necessary contact information on them?? So, I thought, I could just write, on the back of this card what I wanted to get and for whom...and then when I forget their birthday, i'll know exactly where to go! Hooray!

Daryl had the brilliant idea of including the price of the object (bah!!) and storing them in a little receipt folder, by month (the month of the persons birthday)....haven't gone that far yet, but I'm working on a way to avoid loosing/forgetting the cards ;-) .

So that's my little story. I was pretty proud of myself...maybe others' have been doing this for ages and I just caught on to the point of business cards???