Sunday, July 19, 2009

Guu was Guud!

On our visit to Vancouver we took advantage of having family and went on a date while the sidekick remained with Cate and Marc. We have been on one "date" since getting to Edmonton as teenage babysitters charge crazy amounts of money here and the people we childcare swap with keep getting posted. I love my little sidekick but it was really nice to have an evening out without having to parent.

A few months back Ian went somewhere (hard to keep track of that guy) and it was necessary for him to fly Air Canada. While reading EnRoute magazine he read about a Japanese pub in Vancouver called Guu, where the staff yell in Japanese across the restaurant and yell in Japanese at you when you enter the restaurant. Ian very seldom gets excited about things so I hoped we would get the chance to go. Upon further investigation it was apparent that it was definitely not a family restaurant and we would need a sitter. Yay Cate and Marc!

There are 4 Guu locations in Vancouver; Ian chose the one on Robson and we set out on the bus to get there. Guu is a pub and doesn't take reservations and we had a small wait once we got there so we explored some shops on Robson.

Our name was called and we were loudly greeted by a hostess. I was a little disappointed that there were no inside seats left as that's where the electric atmosphere and cool decor was. The outside patio was small but it was a nice night and it did make for a nice date atmosphere.

The menu was huge. All the menu items were said to be traditional pub fare and were small tasting plate sized. No knowing what to order we started with a shaved pork cheek, baked oysters, edamame and scallop sashimi. Ian had a Sapporo and I ordered what I thought was lemonade but it turned out to be Ramune. Ramune is a lightly flavoured soda in a nifty bottle with a marble in the neck; funky.

Everything but the sashimi came and was all delicious. The oysters were so phenomenal when we reordered our sashimi we ordered more oysters and a ton of other food. The scallop sashimi never came but all of the other dishes we tried, except the fish cake, were really tasty.

We left Guu feeling pretty full and having had a nice time without the sidekick. Funny thing about the sidekick though, we talked about him almost the entire time.

Upon returning to Cate and Marc's we were surprised to find the G-man asleep in the bed. He never goes to sleep for anyone but us so Cate is a superhero.

Gratuitous Gaius Photo

Friday, July 17, 2009

Family Vacation -The Glorious Train

Gaius and I have travelled a lot this year; it was nice to have Ian along with us. During the July, VIA rail has been offering free trips for current serving members of the military and veterans and 50% off trips for their families. We had planned to stay put in Dredmonton all summer due to finances but we couldn't pass up the awesome deal. Thank you VIA rail for making an amazing family vacation possible.VIA Rail's current advertising describes the train as "the more human way to travel", I find I must agree with them. The plane is merely efficient and the bus is cheap, the train feels like traveling in style (even if your going coach).

The trip took 28 hours and had to sleep sitting up because the deal was only available for coach (no bed) but we were afforded a family seat (4 seats set up like a pod) so G had a bed of sorts. The scenery was beautiful and we saw wildlife without that rush of panic that comes with seeing wildlife on the highway. The aisles were wide and G could play in them without being too much of a nuisance and the observation car was a welcome distraction every few hours.
Being a health conscious and somewhat frugal foodie I packed a whole bag full of healthy snacks and beverages for us with the plan of eating dinner on the train. I was expecting the food to be expensive given that we were captive on the train with no other choice of where to go. We reserved for the first sitting and found it interesting that since the dining room is so small they stick strangers at tables together.

The menu was small but the most expensive entree was $11.50. We both chose the pot roast, it was flavourful, tender and a good sized portion. The wine selection was a disappointing red or white but the lemon cake for desert made up for it. Since we unexpectedly had a cheap dinner we decided to have breakfast which was, again inexpensive & good. My only breakfast complaint was that maple syrup was advertised on the menu but we were served table syrup.

I am sure the dining car in the Blue and Silver classes is much fancier and I had thought we could choose which dining car we would like to eat in but coach people aren't allowed to go into the Blue and Silver class cars. Being that people from Blue and Silver were welcome to walk through coach, it made me feel a bit second class.

The train was indeed the more human way to travel. The train environment has a comfortable social aspect and the opportunity to stretch out comfortably and read a book. The plane would have gotten us there in 2.5 hours, we could have driven in 12 but we wouldn't have had the same experience meeting people, feeling relaxed and eating good food.

With the hope that VIA will offer the same deal next year we are already thinking of where we would like to go next July. If you have the extra time to take the train I highly recommend it as a travel option. I felt like I was on vacation the moment I was on the train; a nice change.


Monday, July 6, 2009

Headed to Vancouver with Both my Sidekicks

The whole fam is getting on the train to go to Vancouver tomorrow. Stay tuned for awesome pics of training it through the Rockies, Vancouver adventures, and so many sweet kids you might get diabetes.

Oh, and also stay tuned for Plot 56 pics. Plot 56 is coming along nicely despite cutworms, cold, potato beetles, and a late start. Plot 56 is the reason for the blog lag. I am out at the plot watering, weeding, and worrying 'til about 10 every night, but the garden makes me really happy, or rather, by gardening I make me really happy.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Ready to ship!

People who have known me a long time know that I make jewelry. I make jewelry and intend to sell it then I look at what I have made and decide it isn't good enough to sell. I also used to buy supplies to manifest my inspiration and either not have time to develop the idea or by the time I do get around to it I am no longer inspired.

When I worked at Workshop I was surrounded by hugely creative women and a lot of inspiration. I ended up selling *gasp* some of my work, yet I still lacked confidence when it came to designing for a purpose.

Earlier this year I was inspired to do some research and development with some felt. Nothing really came of it because it required large chunks of uninterrupted time and life with a sidekick, simply does not afford that. Hopefully this summer, in between gardening and other life activities I will be able to put sometime into teaching myself the art of wet felting.

Lately I have been playing with polymer clay and I find working with it quite enjoyable. I have not been very confident that any of it is saleable but alas Workshop ordered 12 robot barrettes, so maybe.

With all the travel I have been doing I haven't had time to sit and work on the order but I finished the barrettes today and I am ready to ship them. I am hopeful that they will do well but if not I did have a lot of fun making them.

Now it is off to work on setting up an Etsy shop for my other latest venture; stuffed felt letters. I made them for G and Chicken for the bedrooms and Bridget thinks I may be on to something.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Go Team 56

A while back I was pretty excited about getting a community garden plot for $20. A while later I was disappointed to learn that I was not fast enough in my signing up and I would not be getting a garden plot. I was pretty upset but I resigned to break CFHA rules and garden on my lawn. I prepared one bed and ran out of room so I have been in the process of collecting materials to make some raised garden beds and learning that creating a garden from nothing is a little bit expensive.

Since Ian became the president of our little living area, I seem to be hearing a lot more about what goes on around here. Last week I learned that our community garden was not so community, the allotment of plots has been poorly managed and at leats two other families were without plots.

People who do not live in this community have upwards of 2 garden plots each, one community dweller has 8 plots (that is 8000 sq ft of garden) and 5 plots have not been planted or paid for (they are on hold). I can't get a plot?

I am trying to learn how to garden and teach my son the origins of his food and the value of growing your own food. I thought that community gardens were about community and growing food for your family. Nobody living on this base needs 8000 sq feet of garden to grow food for their family. The people with 4 and 8 plots are selling at the farmers market; the organizer's children have a plot purely for the purpose of making a profit. All of that is fine when everyone who lives in this community who wants a garden plot has one. People who want to garden shouldn't be faced with having to pay to resod the yard when
there is a community garden that should be able to acomodate them.

The fundraising done on this base and revenue from the Tim Horton's and the golf course fund this project. The $20 does not even begin to cover the water, tools and rototilling of the gardens. If people are growing food to make a profit at the market they should be subject to a higher rental cost per plot but that is a story for another day.

On Thursday Ian sent me a text message from
work, he had signed me up for a gardening lecture at the community centre for 2pm. The lecture had a field component out in the community garden and I was hoping the oragnizer would be there.

I sat in the lecture scrutinizing the name tags of the male military members in attendance. I was looking for Cpl. Lange, the organizer of the community garden. After the lecture I approached him and introduced myself. I asked him about the system of awarding plots and learned he had decided to go with a first come first serve system as last year there were 20 plots left over. I understand that he wants full membership so the plots get tended but this community is a very transient one; the interest in programs wil
l change drastically every year.

He really didn't seem moved or interested in talking about his management methods and the gardens are planted so there is really no going back no
w. I asked him to contact the members with the unpaid for plots and find out if any of them would be willing to give me their plot. It was a move that helped just myself but getting my foot in the door to the club will make it easier to bring up concerns about community garden management. How did I become such a community activist? It is so different from trying to save the world.

That ladies and gentleman is how I became the proud owner of 1000 sq ft of dirt called plot #56.

Now I have an excessive amount of garden to deal with, pre
cious little time to plant it and not enough plants. It seems like I have the cheese/chips problem with the garden lately. Not enough garden too much to plant, too much garden........

Sunday, May 24, 2009


The garden is almost 100% planted! I ran out of room in the bed I prepared at the back of the house so I have decided to create more beds using the square foot gardening method.

I am already freaking out at how much this gardening adventure has cost us; Ian doesn't care by the way (about the money that is). This house and this garden are most likely mine for this summer and next; I don't feel that it is long enough to justify huge expenditures on the yard. Alas, these are the perils of a nomadic lifestyle. I can choose to not have a garden and spend no money on the yard in anticipation that the yard will only be mine for two seasons or I can live in the moment, go all out and rock this gardening thing. Besides, we could be here longer than anticipated and choosing no garden would suck.

Having chosen to rock the garden I am going to go all out and make four beds by the square foot method. Two large 4' x 8' and one or two small beds 4' x 6'. The wood and the soil will be the biggest expense but since I went dumpster diving today, the wood is free( also free was some sidewalk chalk, planters and a cool little cart for G)

I think I might be a crazy person. I started this gardening adventure back in March with the intention of joining the community garden for $20. When the community garden fell through but my seedlings were sprouting I made an 80 sq ft garden bed. Now the one bed has proven to be too small; I am planning 4 more beds. I put an herb garden in the front yard and since I can't decide which of the 8 mint varieties to plant, I am going to make a mint garden on the south side of the house. The seedlings are all dead so I had to get starter plants from the greenhouse,which is why I ran out of room in the garden; all those veggies were just too tempting.

Howare your gardens coming along? Any tips for me for starting herbs and veg from seeds for next year? Help me develop my green thumb.

*I'll post some pictures of the beds at the end of the week.


Wednesday, May 20, 2009

"Before and After" Amanda's Garden Plot

Oooh, makes me feel all Design Sponge .

I didn't get a garden plot so I had to make my own in my backyard. FYI it is totally against the rules but I figured that since the grass was dead anyway it isn't going to be a big deal. It took me a week of digging and raking a few hours every day but I did it and I present you with the results.

I know it looks like 80 square feet of dirt with a yarn and stake fence but it will be my 80 square foot organic garden. Already planted in that heap o dirt is two types of onion, shallots, and carrots. By the end of next week it will contain beans, peas, corn, tomatoes, leeks, potatoes and fennel.

Don't get all impressed or anything; I didn't grow any of it from seed(except the carrots) and everything should be assumed to be on death row until it lives through midsummer. I tried to impress you all growing from seed by staring some thyme, basil (seeds saved from my Ottawa basil) and mesculun in March but things did not go as planned.

As of today all that remains is one pathetic basil seedling and some really tiny thyme. The mesculun took a dive off the front stairs and I don't have any excuses for the rest. Everything sprouted brilliantly but either stagnated or died.

Help me seasoned gardeners! How do you grow from seed? When do I need to start? Do I need special equipment?

At this late date I am still going to attempt to grow some herbs from seed and I bought some mesculun seeds again but just in case I bought $40 worth of potted herbs so I can turn the front garden bed into a herb garden.


Monday, May 18, 2009


I turned 30 years old today. It has probably been my most laid back and reflective birthday ever. I was reflecting on where the last decade has gone and realised how full and charmed my life has been for the last ten years. There have been some ups, downs and some outright grief but my life has been full and interesting and has helped me grow. I think I might finally be a grown up. I feel like a grown up.

Inventory of a Decade *the highlights*

- met, dated and married my soul mate
- graduated from University
- got hypothermia in an Arizona canyon
- owned 3 cars and crashed or been crashed in them all
- lost a loved one to AIDS
- had 4 careers/jobs (none in my field :) )
- been married for 7 plus years 19 months of which was long distance
- travelled almost the entire country
- lived in two provinces
- took up yoga
- developed my spirituality
- travelled to Belize
- made some amazing friends
- birthed a baby at home in my bed
- embarked on the journey of parenthood
- learned French
- a ton of other things I can't think of right now

Those are just the highlights but I feel like I have done a lot with the last decade. I cried when I turned twenty; I felt like I was losing something. Today I look back and I am proud of myself and what I have done with my twenties, I am excited and looking forward; what will life and the universe present me with next?

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Social Woes

Ian and I don't now many people here. My social life consists of G and Ian, or me and a book. It is impossible to get a date with Ian because we don't know anyone who can/will babysit. A lot of people here use young teenagers for babysitters (who charge $13-$15 per hour!) but I just don't feel comfortable leaving the G-man with a 12 or 13 year old; he is too young and I still remember being 13.

It would be nice to get a date but since G is sleeping well, Ian and I get a lot of hang out time at night and when he is a bit older, Ian can take a vacation day, we can put G in the base daycare and get a "day date"; parents need to be creative.

I really want someone to go out for coffee with. Not just anyone, I have criteria. I want to have an easy flowing conversation, maybe a slight difference of opinion but knowing that no judgement is being passed and even if we disagree we are still friends. Basically what I want is Bridget, Karen, April, Heather, Cate or Melissa to pack up and move around with me. I would rather have coffee alone with a book than struggle to create a friendship.

This month I have attended a few parties that led up to a wedding. The person getting married is someone with whom I have a struggle relationship. I don't like it and would avoid it if I could. I admit things are getting easier in our interactions but I still prefer my lonely book to struggling conversation.

At the wedding I got to chatting with one of the guests; we seemed to have a lot in common and conversation was easy and silences weren't awkward. I started thinking "this could be the start of something" then I found out.... she lives in (get this) OTTAWA. Arghh! I am doomed to be friendless in Alberta.


Friday, May 15, 2009

Went to a Parenting Lecture and now.....

I feel like a screw up.

Parening lectures, I always sign up for them even if the topic doesn't apply to the age of my child because I am totally clueless about how to raise G now that he is a little beyongd the "eat, sleep, poop" stage and I have no patience for parenting books. Usually, I leave the lectures with one of several trains of thought.
  • That lady was nuts.
  • Seriously who parents like that?
  • I want to parent like that.
  • Oh my God(s) am I screwing up my child parenting the way I am?

Is this child already doomed?


The last thought came to me after I asked a question at a parenting lecture last week. The lecture was about misbehaviour, what causes it and how to deal with it. I was really enjoying the lecture and was affirmed in many of my parenting beliefs. I enjoyed the lecture so much that I intended to write somewhat of a review here on my blog, that is,until the lecturer answered my question about routines.

I consider myself to be a very laid back parent for a "type A" person. I don't want a hyper scheduled child who is so dependant on his routine that he can't cope with a deviation from it. My life is not organized enough to need a crazy schedule, in fact, ever since marrying a military guy eightish years ago my life has been anything but predictable.

I feel at this point I may need to give a disclaimer as I am about to assail you all with our non-schedule or non-routine.

Disclaimer *** I am in no way judging people who have a schedule or routine for their child(ren) no matter how loose or strict. I am a lazy rambling hippie an you should probably pay no attention to me***

Before attending the lecture I had no real serious doubts about my day to day with G. The purpose of going to the lecture was to gain insight into non-punitive and non-corporal discipline. I figure once G forgets that he is a living Buddha, I am going to need it.

During question period A parent asked a discipline question specific to her child and the speaker gave her some strategies. The speaker seemed finished but then stated "you need routines and lots of them".

Uh oh, my brain flies into motion, over thinking over analysing. I started thinking of what routines G and I have and I am realizing we don't really have so many routines as we have daily traditions. I am curious and I want to know do our daily traditions constitute routines?

So... I ask. I don't know if I really got an answer to my question, she just said "You need routines and a lot of them, you need to stick to them because children do well on routines."

Crap! I guess I am messing up. Maybe I should have read more books. Maybe I should try for more routine. Ack! I lived with all of this swimming in my head for a few days and then I enlisted Ian to try and either talk me down or confirm that I am a huge screw up and I am indeed screwing up our kid. Where is Bridget when I need her?

Ian doesn't think there is anything wrong with our routine or lack of it. He thinks that G is doing just fine and he enjoys that G is a flexible little dude. Sort of a why fix it if it isn't broken idea. I guess it seems like that should have talked me down but it really didn't. I am now thinking things like "just because what we do is easy doesn't mean it is good or right" and "maybe I should find a crappy job and put G in daycare because I am obviously not qualified to raise my own child". Then there is the more rational me that just wants to raise him the lazy hippie way and hope for the best.

So if anybody has made it this far into the most recent adventure of the "Reluctant Nomad and her Toddler Sidekick" please go a bit further and tell me what you think of our unroutine/daily traditions. Tell me if I am screwing up my kid. I won't promise I won't obsess and cry but I do promise to read and be thoughtful about it all.

The Daily/Weekly Traditions of Amanda and the G

Everyday we wake up when we wake up, we have breakfast and sometimes shower, sometimes Ian comes home and eats with us. We usually have one daily activity planned and it is usually in the morning. Mon playgroup , Tues yoga with day care, Wed salsa tots, Thurs yoga with daycare and playgroup, Fri playgroup. The rest of everyday is just stuff, we play and read and get things done in the garden or the house, he naps if he needs it and eats when he is hungry. When Ian comes home we all hang together or I go out or we go out as a family. Weekends we go to the market, zoo, for bike rides or swimming.

The reason I say we have traditions instead of a routine is that we always eat at the table, he always naps on the couch (usually in my lap), every night he usually nurses to sleep in my arms etc. So there are constants in his life an I think they are good but we fall short of being in a routine because nothing we do , except timed activities, has a time structure.

I know parents who time everything; wake up time, snack time,meal times, reading, art etc. I always just thought it was a difference in kids or a difference in parents but today I am a bit paranoid that it is the way we are "supposed" to parent to raise normal kids and that my being a lazy hippie is forever screwing G up.

Monday, May 4, 2009

On the Road Again!

On our bikes that is. Having finally purchased our bike trailer, we installed it and took it for a spin. G was in a super cranky mood and hated the helmet but once we were rolling he didn't mind. After our first spin I started to doubt our choice and worried that I had just paid $700 for something I didn't really like. It was after all not the trailer we had originally decided on.

March 2008, Ian an I researched and chose a bike trailer. The Chariot sidecar seemed to fit our needs perfectly so we started saving for it and planned to buy it come the summer. My dear Aunt held a party for baby G the following month and everyone contributed to the trailer and we had enough to buy it. I was so excited to get back on the bike.

In April we visited the pediatrician and learned from her that it is not recommended to put babies under one year old in a bicycle trailer. Resigning ourselves to walking for the summer we put the money in a savings account to keep it for the next biking season.

March 2009, enter fellow cycling friends and a bike mechanic who give us serious misgivings about our choice of trailer. They are not so sold on the side car as I am; since they are well seasoned cyclists who use trailers my ears are open. They recommend a pull behind trailer and vote for Burley over Chariot.

Now we own the Burley D'lite two child bike trailer (just in case we add another sidekick or need lots of groceries) and our first experience was terrible. G kept slipping down in the trailer and was not having such a good time.

Back at home Ian discovered that the bike shop had installed the harness incorrectly and given us incorrect information on using it with one child. Maybe, I just expect too much but I don't think it is ridiculous to expect expert service, at a small high end store, selling top of the line trailers. I am going to pay the shop a friendly visit to let them know so the next person won't start their biking journey with their child disappointed.

We haven't taken the trailer out since but the modifications seem like they will fix all of our complaints. Now all I need to do is stop thinking about how cool Bridget's bike seat for A is and I will be a happy, baby towing cyclist.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

"Home" again.

Well, the sidekick and I are back in Oil town, settling into our old routine. G is still on Ontario time so his wake ups and naps are off. He must have really missed his Daddy as he pitched a huge fit when Ian left for work this morning. G was very excited to see Fiji and his purple ball, he seems to really enjoy being in his own surroundings. I will be working hard in the next while to make this house more like home. A home inside "home".

The day we left Ottawa I went on a mini shopping spree. Having made it the whole winter without purchasing anything unnecessary (clothing wise) a trip to The Workshop to blow some serious coin was in order. Me and my trusty new credit card had quite the time. B was kind enough to offer me my old employee discount which may have either softened the blow or made me spend more. The clothes are amazing and make me feel like a really hot styling urban mama; who can put a price tag on that?

After the spree it was time to bid farewell to home (*sob*) and make our way back to Montreal (hooray!). First though, I had business at the butcher shop. See, Ian has a second (must be third now that G is around ) love, double smoked Ottawa Valley bacon. Being a wonderful, fabulous and ridiculously good looking wife I purchased 6lbs (yes 6lbs) of the stuff and had the boys at Aubrey's vacuum pack it (vac packing was really Ryan's idea).

Friday night's dinner in Montreal was a fabulous curry prepared by K's partner D. He has recently become the proud owner of a book full of amazing curries; I can't remember the name of the book but it was a eggplant dahl and it was incredibly fabulous. G has been obsessed with oranges of late and instead of eating dahl he settled for crackers and oranges. I think the dahl might have been too spicy for him.

Saturday was a load of fun. K and I with the sidekick in tow picked up a friend of hers and went yardsaling. I haven't been to a yard sale in a really long time and judging by how quickly I picked up stuff, it is probably a good thing. The good yard sales were great and the bad ones were awful. The sales were pretty spread out so we ended up driving to most of them. G fell asleep and K had an allergic reaction to a really icky house that was having an estate sale. K didn't find her breadbox but we all found some treasures.

After the obligatory visit to the Jean Talon Market, where I got 18 vanilla beans for $20, we had a lovely dinner at Rumi. I had really amazing lamb kebab and the best fatoush I have had a in a long while. G slept almost the entire dinner but woke up just in time to have some french fries, which are unfortunately one of his favourite foods. We had plans to see a Ghanaian dance troupe but when we arrived at 8pm no one was there except people waiting to see the troupe. A little bit discouraged we headed down into Plateau for the best (BEST!) chocolate gelato ever.

"Fleur de sel" chocolate gelato is absolute heaven. G, being a foodie baby also loved the gourmet gelato and preferred the "fleur de sel" above all others. We did give the chili chocolate a try and it was good but I regretted getting a whole scoop of it as my mouth was tired of it and really just wanted more of the "fleur de sel" stuff.

Sunday, our last day in Montreal, was pretty chill. D & K played with G (did I mention that D is great at playing with G?) while I made pancakes (sour cream pancakes) and then we visited the awesome cafe with the huge pate selection. This particular cafe makes the most divine hot chocolate with milk on the side.

One of my favourite parts of the trip was cooking Sunday's dinner. D cooked trout and I made a blood orange sauce to go along with it. D makes the most amazing basmati rice, he gave me pointers on how to make mine as great but we shall see how it goes.

Well that was basically the trip. The plane ride back was a challenge and I am sure that when I lost my temper ever so slightly with G everyone thought I was "Mommy Dearest". I think it is because I am so used to his chill that his crankiness, while not obvious to others, really grates on me.
We will be "home" for the next little while. Looking forward to planting the garden plot and buying the bike trailer. Woo Hoo the open road!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Home Again Part 2 A massage and a "Cookie Day"

While we are home in Ottawa we are staying at the home of G's girlfriend (A). We are loving staying here for a ton of reasons but the best ones are the homey atmosphere and being immersed in friendship. Being among such great friends for the past few days has been divine and sad. It really makes me feel revived but also really accentuates what our Alberta life is missing. Suburbia would be a lot more livable if all these lovely people were in it.Because B is brilliant and has great ideas for having fun with the kidlets; I had my first massage in months (thank you RMT Rossana Rebeccani) and my first full on baking experience with the sidekick and his pal.

Chef April joined B,the kids and I to make and decorate sugar cookies. We made the cookies while the kidlets napped and set them loose decorating them when they woke up.

"Cookie Day Recipe"
Makes 3 dozen cookies, a huge mess, and good memories
Caution! When baking with babies make sure you have at a minimum a 3/2 adult to child ratio

  1. Bake cookies and allow to cool
  2. Pipe a little bit of icing on to each cookie
  3. Place cookies and toppings within reach of the kidlets
  4. Have a blast!
A was all about the decorating; she was a machine throwing sprinkles and silver balls on everything. G, always the minimalist, was more interested in eating the toppings than decorating; he decorated about 3 of the 3 dozen cookies!

The living room was a disaster but we all had a blast, got to munch on cookies and share them with friends!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Home again home again

A darling friend of mine has flown me and G down to visit her in Montreal. We had a lovely whirlwind of a weekend with the sidekick and introduced him to some urban living. Most of you know that the sidekick and I used to be urbanites but I think suburbia has caused him to forget how awesome urban living can be. I think he was a little shocked at our packed calendar but he is adjusting.

One day in Montreal and I am in love again. If I could just have one Montreal thing follow me everywhere it would be the cafes. Twelve kinds of pate and the most divine hotchocolate! Why is the rest of the country so uncivilized?

The sidekick and I spent a day exploring the hood (I miss having a hood). We tried Mama et Bebe cafe on for size but the coffee was overpriced and they charged a ridiculous sum (which I paid) for the boy to play with boring toys. Happily, K saved the day by bringing us to a great cafe in the late afternoon and out for awesome Indian food. G slept almost the entire day away in the stroller allowing me to (gasp!) read most of a book.

As my dear friend has a busy week day schedule (having a real j-o-b) G and I have borrowed her car to whisk ourselves back home.

Ah, home! I need to stop thinkng of Ottawa as home as we do not live there anymore but it just feels like the place I/we belong. G and I plan to hang out with allour bestest Ottawa friends and visit our favourite Ottawa places. Blowing my monthly budget on pretty handmade clothing at "The Workshop" is also in my "homecoming" plan.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Green Thumb!

Sinceone of the things I like about Edmonton is my having a yard and a garden plot, I need to grow a garden. In the past I have grown container gardens fullof herbs and flowers. I tried to grow vegtables in a container garden but it was a horrible disatser.

I am planning a vegetable garden for this summer and I am hoping that I don't end up being the "Grim Reaper" of the garden. I have already started a few herbs and I can see the first little sprouts of "creeping thyme" and a whole bunch of marigolds pushing through. So far so good.

I think I have two main failings when it comes to gardening; 1) I think it should be intuitive and 2) I get too excited and plant before the frost. Oh, and I am the most disorganized "type A"person you will ever meet. I am really hoping that I can over comemy disorganization and my lack of ability to actually learn about gardening. Perhaps there is a gardening support group attached to my garden plot rental. I really want to learn how to do the organic gardening thing right.

I have sprouts it is true but I am one week into my new garden and I am encountering a problem. I need to keep my sprouting plants in the house until June. That isn't the hard part though ,the hard part is keepingmy cats from using my sprouts as a toilet. I have only enough room for 2 more flats of seeds before I run out of places to put things. Since I am being very ambitious with my herbs (I want my back yard to smell like an herb garden) I am going to have to find a solution.

Getting the sidekick interested in the garden willbe another challenge.We don't have a fence and he seemsmore interested in the neighbour's swing set than playing in the dirt with mommy. I have no problemwith him playing in the neighbour's yard but I ama little worried that they might. We share a drive way and a walk way and even though I have attempted conversation they have never really talkedto us and they seem uneasy about G being in their yard.

The suburbs they are a strange thing. We have lived here for 8 months and despite announcing ourselvesto iur direct next door neighbours we still have no idea who we live among.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

7 months!

It has been seven months since we left Ottawa. Seven months since we bid farewell to good friends and our city life.

Just before we left a good friend held a going away party for us. It was lovely and torture at the same time;I just couldn't look forward with any optimism. A friend at the party suggested I start a blog to keep everyone updated and I had intended to start one when we arrived here but I was so absorbed in my hatred of my new surroundings I didn't have the energy.

Now here we are after the worst winter of my life and I am feeling optimistic. I endured the worst 6 months of my adult life and now I feel energized. I want to stop hating it here and maybe start to tolerate it and even (gasp) like it here. Here I am going to attempt to counter everything I dislike about Edmonton and my new life by finding something I like about them.

Anyone who reads this can feel free to keep me in check. I want to try and grow from this experience instead of just sitting around feeling sorry for myself because *sigh* we could be here for a while.

1. I hate living in the suburbs
2. I hate having to drive everywhere
3. Bringing my recycle to the depot is a pain

1. I like having a yard and a garden plot
2. I like my new (to me) red Toyota Matrix
3. I like that Edmonton rips sorts and composts compostable garbage

That was pretty easy. I bet it is going to get harder.

Lets see if I have the organization and brainpower to keep up with this blog. Stay tuned for some possibly totally unintersting (or intersting I may surprise you) updates about me and G and Ian and our "little rented house on the prarie". We have lots planned for the spring lets see how it all pans out.