Really Quite Paradise

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Hey! Im back! Havent been very bloggy this summer, but as wordpress reminded me a bit ago, its been almost 10 years of me writing dumb crap on the internet so I’m able to forgive myself for the odd temporary absence. Absence makes ones farts grow fonder anyway. However, I know that the internet demands sacrifices in the form of pictures of dogs and flowers in order for the Web Gods to continue smiling upon us so I will suck it up and do my part.

So here is a dog:

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Here are some flowers:

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Here is a dog with flowers:

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That would be Sweetpea, a big beautiful wild rose, an ant crawling on a peony for some unknown purpose, and finally Sweetpea again. She is posing artistically with Foxgloves and looking a bit nervous about a spider.

Im sorry if these pictures have been blogged about before, I had them uploaded in old drafts and I cant be bothered to check up and see if Ive ever actually shown them to you before.

I may as well post the rest of the pictures from the old drafts, they sum up our summer in Gabarus pretty nicely!

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This summer I finally got my motorcycle licence! This was taken on our first ride together to the beach, which has been a one of our shared life goals for ages now. Romance! I took a two day course, and flipped the bike twice, but got right back on. By the end of the two days I could barely move my legs and my knees were held together mostly with Band-Aids but I was very proud of myself. Mine is the old BMW and its so sexy and her name is Zerhilde. It means warrior goddess in German, whatever…

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I spent almost every day after work this summer swimming in the ocean. It was absolutely, balls-clenchingly cold, but it felt so fresh and nice. A couple of nights a seal swam with me, but pretty far away. It was still magical as fuck.

This summer we ate some amazing meals together. Lobster, mackerel and cod fish suppers at the churches and community galls around the area.  A sushi place opened up here and made me so happy. I crave me some fish eggs and eel on rice so bad. We also cooked a lot of nice meals for each other, lovely big leisurely breakfast, lots of curries, Chinese pork dumplings & salty cucumber, thai dishes, etc.

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Midnight ice cream snacks in bed..

Gorged on fresh strawberries and blueberries.

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I made an absolute buttload of blueberry jam and experimented with making rose sugar and angelica liqueurs.

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We took a week and drove to Newfoundland to make desserts at an amazing Food Festival there called Roots, Rants & Roars which I should probably do a post about.CB got a rep at the event for being the worlds most patient cook, spending hours standing slowly stirring scrunchions so they didnt burn and frying 700 doughnuts. We made blueberry doughnuts, screech n’ scrunchion doughnuts, and apple fritters with apples from our apple trees.

We got to see some of our old friends from Fogo which was so nice. I miss my Fogo people every day. We got to have a couple of meals with Murray & Judy, and buy a some of Paddy Barry’s photographs which are now on our wall.

We cooked beside Duff Goldman. We had breakfast with CB’s food-crush Zane Caplansky and his super cool wife Willa.

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We ate this!

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I made this cool cake! Most proud of this one.

I chopped off my hair. Buzzed one side and dyed it purple.

We went for numerous long drives and talked about life and the world and everything in it.

We went for hikes through the woods, taking pictures of mushrooms and frogs.

Hung out with Sweetpea, who is quite possibly The Best.

Oh yeah, and we started a business! More on that to come…

Anyway Im tired and this is so many pictures so, so long for now!

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Crocus Pocus

 

Heeeey y’aaaaalll

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It’s been a pretty nice last couple of weeks here. I think it’s even safe to say spring has sprung! Yesterday it had to have gotten upwards of 20 degrees, I got a sunburn on my arm just driving home from work! I pulled up into the driveway and CB was puttering around in the shed, making a nice cozy spot in eager anticipation of the arrival of our motorcycles back from Newfoundland. The dog was racing around through the woods like a psycho, chasing rabbits, being happy. Coming home is the best feeling.

By the time we went into the house, the temperature had dropped about 10 degrees and the fog tumbled in eerily fast. It went from a beautiful sunny saturday afternoon to a scene from a gloomy horror movie in an instant. Complete with a crow sitting in a creaky old tree out front. The air was so thick with fog it was deathly silent, save for the occasional cawing of a crow. So we ate a dinner of very spicy beef rolled in lettuce leaves and pretended it was summer.

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Last weekend CB’s Nan Marie came out to stay for the weekend. We hung out, and ate nice meals, and shot BBs at beer cans, enjoyed the sunshine. It was the weekend of the Cod Fish Supper at the church in Gabarus, and she came down for that. That was SO GOOD. OH MAN. It is a salty fish fantasy.

We went out to the church about 4:30, and you buy your ticket which has a number and sit in the pews to wait for your number to be up. When they call you, you get to have your supper. The ladies had set up long tables with baskets of fresh buns, tea & coffee, chow and curds. They serve you a very generous plate of salt cod with baked potato, mashed turnip, and tons of scrunchions. I learned allllll about scrunchions in Newfoundland, and oh my lord, let me tell you about it. These are little nuggets of salt pork fried up golden until its fat is rendered out, cooked down all day with onions, and when you ladle (yes, I said ladle, do not judge me!) it over the salt cod and potato, it is what heaven tastes like. And then a little chow pickle to cut the richness, sopped up with buttery homemade bread… …. yeah…. oh yeah… YEEEEAHH!

And lemon cake for dessert. Hoo. Boy.

On a completely unrelated note, I went into the hospital this week because of my high blood pressure. BUT, it’s all sorted out now, and Im being very good and healthy. I will consider the Cod Fish Supper my last salty Hurrah before I knock it off and be good. Still going again next year though….

Also the ladies said I could come help for the Strawberry Festival at the church in July. It’s mostly to help hull thousands of strawberries but then I get to eat them with tea biscuits and cream, so I dont mind the cramped thumbs and red stains on my fingernails for the next few days afterwards.

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These are some cool bottles I found in the forest out back. Two of them are old Javex bleach bottles. I like old bottles.

Yesterday at work we made a few hundred macarons. They are going to be: chocolate mint, vanilla rolled in sprinkles, orange, blueberry, red velvet, cookies & cream, and strawberry. These are… very popular..

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This is some rickety old haunted house thats probably 100% full of bats. Sweet Pea and I walk past it very night around 7pm, and every time I stop out front and think about having a peek in the windows. But then I get scared about ghosts and hobos getting bent out of shape at me about it and we go on our way.

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This is the house next door. Its super cute, and also tempting for a little casual evening B&E action. CB says I should refrain from breaking into abandoned houses around here because of the law and whatever but I WANT TO SEE IF THERES COOL STUFF INSIDE. Not to steal– that would anger the spirits and I hate being haunted– just to look at and say “oh, cool!”

Is that too much to ask?

There’s an old house across the street from us that makes me hungry for law breaking. The paint has peeled away long ago, and the driveway has been eaten up by the forest. But its windows are intact and the roof is good, all the angles are straight. They say, like a lot of houses around here, it was built by shipwrights and that is why its still so straight. I bet there is some kind of cool pirate booty in there. I think thats where my fox friend lives. He comes out around the same time as we go for a walk every night and sits in the middle of the road having a look at us. Nosey bugger!

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AHhhhh.. thats that. There’s probably more to drone on about but I’m sitting at an awkward angle and my legs have gone numb so Im going to go eat .. some plain celery and.. I dunno, some other thing a healthy person pretends to love eating.

Sigh.

K BY E LOVE Yo U

Meeting The Meatball

 

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Yolo, homebrewskis!

So goes the traditional greeting of Gabarus, CB.

Starting right now. Our house represents 7.5% of the population here and if you include the crows we represent a solid 10% so I think it’s fair to say we are making this happen.

Speaking of the crows, I just fed them the last half bag of stale Sriracha flavoured chips. They are on the front lawn gobbling them up them like rambunctious frat boys, and then jumping up and down with either happiness or spiceness. I have trouble distinguishing the two.

Last night we had our first guests to the house!! It was so exciting. Bryce and Celina were passing through Cape Breton on their way to Fogo, Nfld, and stopped in to waste time before boarding the ferry. Fortuitously we had spent the morning at the Farmers Market buying curry, african food, chili, naan bread, and german treats for dinner so we had a feast.

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This is kind of a crappy photo of the farmers market, but there you are anyway.

Bryce and Celina had their dog with them– a 50 pound Meatball-Of-Handsome bulldog named Brent. He was SO AWESOME! I could spend the rest of my life watching him climb the stairs and do “tricks.” What a little cutie.

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We have learned a lot about Sweet Pea this week. The first thing we learned that despite being 90+ years old in dog years, she is not an old lady. We thought she needed love and naps. Instead she needs constant attention and exercise. Because, she is 100% border collie. YAY! So instead of constant naps, we are doing constant walks. We learned she can do tricks: stay, sit, shake paw, dance, speak, kisses.. etc. She knows her toys by name and will bring them to you. We decided one day that she is either incredibly stupid or manipulating us, guess which one was correct. She is super smart. And super athletic and energetic. We also learned, she hates every other dog. Including sweet Brent the Bulldog puppy. Despite Sweet Pea routinely dominating dogs half her age and 3x her size, Brent held his own. Their stubborness was well matched. So we had some scary sounding dog fights in the kitchen with our Curry and wine!

But it was really nice having them over, Celine and Bryce are some of our favourite peeps. She has a Lemongrab tattoo. Thats all I need to say. We talked about food, and they made us want to take a motorcycle trip to Montreal to eat at Au Pied du Cochon and have the trotters and foie gras poutine SO BADLY GOD DAMN IT!!! Bryce and I shared my Ra-Ra-Rasputin beer, which was delicious and deep and dark but kind of tasted like that time I poured beer in my coffee for experiments. I dont think it’s going to be a routine purchase.

 

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On the work front, everything is still chill & fun. Look at these sprinkle macarons! HOW FUCKING CUTE ARE THOSE!!? TELL ME! TELL ME!!!! Yeah pretty cute. I made a Minecraft cake this week, with fondant figures, which made me very proud. Easter was incredibly busy, and we made a million cakes and all the money. Felt great!

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We had Chinese at Peking Restaurant, which is always the best.

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Aside from the pure crazy joy of having a dog around the house, and her excellent properties for warming up my feet at the end of the bed, another thing that Sweet Pea has brought into my life is walks. Im outside at dawn and dusk now, my two favourite times of day, that I rarely see. The other night we went for a walk down to the beach in the rain, and it was getting dark and the world smelled like wood smoke, and moss, and salty air. We walked through the graveyard that is slowly falling into the sea. I took a few pictures with my phone of the moody dark blue world. I would normally be at home reading the internet or watching TV. This was 1000% more relaxing. Thanks Sweet Pea!

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Sp00o0O0o0oOO00O0o0Ky ghosts!

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We also visited with Blair, as it was Distilling DAY! It was very cool to watch a bucket of sugar, water & yeast ferment and distill into clear, 180 proof alcohol. I went home with about 3 quarts of the stuff. My plan is to bring it down to about 40 proof, and add herbs and plants from around Gabarus to make a kind of gin. Angelica, rosehip, spruce, etc. The rest maybe will turn into bourbon.

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wowzaaaa

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Its been very wet and rainy this week, but the sun is shining now. I can hear bluejays and chickadees and buntings making their sweet little bird sounds. This evening we are going to drive into town to buy a BBQ, and a frisbee for the dog. On monday I get my package of vegetable seeds in the mail from Veseys in PEI. We bought about 20 different kinds of veg to try planting in the back yard. For the front garden Im going to grow a hardy hedge lavender that winters well, german camomile and pink echinacea. As well as random wildflowers for the bees. Im thinking of trying to grow some kind of water lily in the ditch in front of the house. It’s always full of water. CB tells me there will be tons of frogs in there come the warm weather so Im looking forward to some frog songs in the summer. Thats the nicest sound in the world. Dogs, BBQ’s & Frogs Forever!

CAN’T WAIT FOR SUMMER!

Spring Sprungler

Well hello there, March!

Where’d you come from, you sneaky little devil!

Can’t say I’m going to mourn the passing of February, the seemingly longest month of the whole fucking year. Ready for some wet Marchy spring time now! There’s still snow, but there’s buds on the trees and sometimes, sunshine! I feel so greedy for it! I find patches of it beaming into the house and stand there like a lazy cat. Rubbing the sunshine onto my skin like some kind of ethereal lotion. Need those happy suntime rays on me!

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This has been a really strange, amazing month in the life of CB & Karalalala. So much good stuff, we are starting to get paranoid that some kinda Big Bad must be on it’s way. The universe likes to even us out like that. But so far it’s all sunshine and pizza parties. Crazy. Our days have been filled with family, lovely meals together, day time naps and cupcakes. So nice. This is us leaning into our Old Peopleness with a quilt-slipper-nap combo.

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This is the view from the second floor window of OUR HOUSE!

That’s Dr. Lutz’s house across the way. He is a german doctor, who is one of the best people Ive met in life. He is so curious, and warm. And he shares my intense love of chocolate so we get along pretty well. Behind him is the ocean. It smells fantastic here all the time. Outside all you can hear is seagulls and wind chimes and I feel like I should tape it and put it on youtube for people to listen to while trying to fall asleep at night.

These are some random pics Ive taken of life stuff in the last month. Some crazy good pizza, a weird fencing painting in Corys uncles house, molasses raisin bread dough, ma po tofu and pork with preserved veg from our favourite Chinese restaurant here, and some stuff Ive been making at work. I’m finding that people here are obsessed with French macarons, and anything filled with whipped cream. Those are coconut cream eclairs and pistachio macarons, and a gigantic guitar cake I made. I always thought I hated making cakes, but I’m actually really enjoying it. My lovely Boss Lady says I get real quiet and zen when Im making tiny fondant owls & corals and what not for cakes.

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SO MUCH FUN.

I also have started working on my Get Better At Life List to great success!

  • Ive been calling my family way way more which is something I really was bad at, and thusly so nothing in this blog will be new or interesting to any of them haha
  • I have read 7 books! I have time to read! READNG IS COOL U GUYZ.
  • CB dyed my hair mermaid colours one sunday night, and it was beautiful for a week and a half. Purple magenta, royal blue and turquoise. Because why the hell not.
  • I have been eating better, and lost about 10 pounds since christmas. Just 1081292809 more to go! But I do feel a million times healthier, in my bod, and also my brains. Yay, vive le fibre!
  • Im doing very good at not working so much and its making everything in our life so much better. Also, our regular customers are little girls, grandmas, and Klutzy the Clown so thats pretty fucking great.

 

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We finally got down to the Farmers Market on Keltic Drive this saturday. It is a fantastic little market! There weren’t any veggies or anything like that yet, lots of sea-shell based crafts as to be expected, but they had something there that gave us emotions. Ethnic food. The smell, of spices, in the air! OH MY GOD! We ate samosas, and my tongue felt like it was bursting with a million spicy rainbows shooting out happiness.

We grabbed dinner from a lady selling African food! Ive never had African food before, and we are now probably her biggest fans. We got “African stew” which was tomato based, with chickpeas and spices. Meatballs. Something amazing with lots of eggplant. Couscous, some really tasty rice, chicken legs, and two bottles of home made sorrel juice. Which tasted like fruit punch. And tasted even nicer, with rum in it.

Rum = Yum. Thats just good old fashioned math.

Then we had some german baking for dessert; bienenstich which is like sweet bread filled with custard and covered in honey & almonds. Also a quark doughnut, which was dense but soft and very slightly cheesy. It is tasty in my stomach, ja?

We also picked up some local honey that tastes like roses and spruce trees, so basically heaven. Some sausages made by a German couple who were hocking sauerkraut and bratwurst on buns. Big Spruce Brewing co had giant growlers of beer which gave me troubling lust feelings. They also had a mysterious dark bottle the size of my forearm with a picture of Rasputin on it that I had to buy. Its a dark stout, tasting of vanilla and caramel, and it is also 10.5%, called Ra Ra Rasptin. The guy told me to “be careful” while drinking it, or to share it, because it says 10.5 on the bottle but its more near 12. Soooo that should be fun for CB to have to deal with me one night.

There was a wizard looking dude selling mead, and some goat soap makers, Nova Scotian wines, Caper Crepes, a cupcake stand, chocolates, coffee, naan bread, tons of baked goods and even more hippy shit, and German translations of Clive Cussler novels.. So we have lots to try next time.

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After the market we went by Uncle Blairs house, and started off a batch of home brew whiskey. This is him stirring the yeast into the big buckets of sugar water. Mmmmm, hoooooch-y. As a sugar-based professional I got him the hookup on cheap 25kg bags of the sweet stuff, so in return he’s teaching me how to make booze. Pretty good trade! Seems pretty straight forward, so in addition to cupcaker and fly tier, I might try my hand at bootlegging. Yay!

For our next trick, we are gonna get the garden started out back. Maybe start figuring out a chicken coop for next spring, cause we have left it a little late now to get chickens this year. And yeah.. damn it.. maybe even get a fucking pony. WHY NOT! Why, the hell, not.

Damn it!

 

P.S. Hi Murray! This ones for you..

Loving The Alien

In January I had wanted to make a blog about my birthday. Im always super psyched for it and have maximum levels of fun on my b-day. We had planned to go to the Wildlife Park to see my favourite Deer friend and “adopt” him, and then have a pizza party for lunch, and then watch movies with pop & chips party dance all night. But I woke up in the morning of the 11th and David Bowie had died.

It hurt instantly like being shot with sadness right in the guts. A cold hand squeezing hard on my soft pulpy heart. It really felt like losing a good friend…  or a crazy uncle I hardly saw but loved and would send me weird presents from exotic locales… or a 5th grandparent maybe. It felt close to home, and it hurt more than I thought it would. David Bowie was one of my peeps. He was my Original Weirdo. When I felt like an alien, I knew at least he was from the same planet. I felt so sad that morning for all the freaky weirdos who I knew loved him for the same reasons as me, because now we will be that much more lonely.

When other little girls were dressing up as princesses, I was taking my fashion cues from the Thin White Duke. I bet you can’t even tell who is who!?

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One of my first memories is of being a baby Karalalala and sitting in the dark on my bedroom floor playing with a Fischer-Price casette player. Prized possession at the time, right up there with Squeeky Bear and my rock collection. Little red plastic microphone in hand, I was in the midst of recording an EPIC tale in flawless baby gibberish involving lava and monsters over top of one of my dad’s tapes. A young hobby of mine after my dad showed me how to do it.. I don’t think he realized he would soon lose many of his tapes to baby nonsense.

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The tape was Ziggy Stardust & the Spiders from Mars and I remember pressing the wrong buttons and the song It Ain’t Easy came on. Suddenly, I imagined myself on top of a mountain, looking out over the sea. Thinking about the places perhaps, where a young man could be.. and what is a hoochie-koochie woman? And then Lady Stardust came on… and I couldn’t believe how much better that story was than mine. I stopped recording my crazy baby gibberish story and listened to the songs. And then my musical tastes broadened from Sharon Louis & Bram and Fred Penner to include this gorgeous glamrock space alien god. And then a few years later I saw The Labyrinth and had all kinds of confusing love and devotion to this androgynous King. I don’t think there was ever a period on my life where I got tired of listening to Bowie, or fell out of love with him. He always had something for me, no matter what colour my hair was or what music or books I was into or what my personality at the time was. He was all the flavours. It’s too bad some people can’t just earn immortality.

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Anyway, it was violently stormy out when we set off towards the Wildlife park. By the time we got there, the wind was gusting 120km/hr and I could barely see the road in front of me to get to the main building. Not a good day for taking pictures of chubby raccoons and derp-faced deer. So we turned around. The only bright spot of the sad morning was because he had passed, the radio played nothing but Bowie. Even though it kept making my eyes puffy and wet, I couldn’t have asked for anything cooler than the radio to play nothing but back-to-back Bowie the whole day. As if I was controlling all radio stations. So I spent the morning of the 31st year weeping uncontrollably and driving through a hurricane to see a deer. You stupid old bastard, why did you have to go on my birthday??

A woman called in to the radio to say the weather around the Louisbourgh lighthouse was insane. Since we were about 20 minutes away with no plans now, we headed there. It was mind blowing. Huge green waves shook the ground as they arched forwards and crashed into the rocks. As we drove up, and the spray went clear over our car. I took some videos but you cant really appreciate the scale of it all in such a small video. We sat and listened to the radio and watched the weather. I kept thinking, here in the car we are dry and safe and 5 feet ahead of us, we would be dead, violently crunched against the rocks. I started to feel better.

That he was born and died around my birthday makes me feel like he’s connected to it in a way, like I get to keep him, a bit. It was a strange, but kind of wonderful birthday in all its wild and sad ways.

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To end on a lighter note, here is a picture of my sweet ass shit kickers. My birthday boots!! Shiny pink patent leather and red plaid laces, just like I dreamed of. They are perfect. Bowie approved, I like to imagine.

 

Catching Up with Dr. J. Edward Slothman

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Oh haaaaaiiiii…

Man. I’m so laaaaazzzzyyy todayyyy. I am inert, dude. Truly lackadaisacal. Like operating in 100% sloth mode. When I move, it is akin to old farm equipment starting up on a cold winters day; all creaking, moaning, and cloud of pollutants puffing out the back end. Mrrahhhhh

Last night we had a sleep over– which is what we call it when I get all excited and move the mattress from our bedroom to another room in the house and we sleep where it lands. We really only have one other room though so its just plunked down in the living room in front of the TV.

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The Grand Tour!

CB got this little device dealy that you stick in the TV and you can broadcast youtube through it, so my morning has just been loud cartoons and Nikki Minaj videos on a larger screen. Which is fun. So colourful! So much butts! Despite that kind of beautiful awakening this morning I’m still rather haggard and laggard. Not to be a bragard.. Damn, I am a wordsmith.
This post is sponsored by YeOldeMedeivalEnglishThesaurus.com.

So I realize that for the exception of my brief photo essay on Chickens Using Power Tools, I haven’t posted anything in a long time. Soz, m8s. I have been busy! Ive had more than a month off! I haven’t had to scale flour or cast side eyes at coworkers dubious work habits in weeks! It’s been incredible. Instead, we drove 7,825km there and back, visiting family and friends. Google Maps estimates that to be about 98 hours in a car. You can imagine the mountain of Tim Hortons cups we amassed on our drive.

Next time, we will probably fly, but it was an adventure! A snowy, ice stormy, white knuckly sort of adventure. But we survived! And I got to fill up on family, which is good, because my family meter has been long empty. If I were a Sims character I would have been dancing around angrily and peeing myself long ago. If you do not understand that reference, you are not cool.

I missed my fam so much. Even though travelling took up most of our time so we could only have wee visits, it was still special. I missed my mom’s b-day but I still got to make her a cake, and share christmas with my family. That hasnt happened in about 9 years I think, since I started working in kitchens. BOO KITCHENS. No j/k they’re ok. My mom is better though.

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I got to play a millions games with my brother and sister. Got to have morning coffee’s with my dad!

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Pizza lunch with my Gram and Aunty Pat. Got to annoy my cousins while my Aunt Chris made us chicken parmasen for dinner! We ate every single ethnic food we saw. Dr. Phil and lasagna with CB’s nan! Finally we got to have breakfast at our friend Anthony’s restaurant, AMAZING! Then dinner with our friend Ima later on at his third restaurant. Successful bastard. Hugs and whistle dogs with our most best friend Jess who we havent seen in so long she’s gotten all married and become a teacher! Waaah! So many hugs. Im getting better at them now. They are actually pretty cool, hugs. I think that means I’m finally starting to grow as a human being.

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I got SWEET xmas presents! Like one of these bookmarks my sister made out of leather. We lost our old stink dog Oscar a few months ago and she made the three of us booksmarks with his neurotic dog face all over them. It looks exactly like him, she is so wicked with leather. Aw, Osc. I also got an adult fleece Onesie pajamas that I wear ever minute of my life now. If it’s one piece is it still “pajamas” or just a singular pajama? And I got a fishing rod! For to catch a fish! Because I showed great aptitude for that! CBs mom made me an awesome birthday quilt and for xmas gave me these tiny ceramic skunks, probably one of my favourite presents ever now. And my brother bought me a million books. Like literally a garbage bag full of books with a christmas bow on it. I have so many books now. Thanks, bro-bot!

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We spent a lot of time at christmas with CB’s fam. We got to be their annual boxing day bash, which is always fun! There was so much food and hiding from strangers! I drank a lot of whiskey.

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It was so warm for a week in December that Arlene’s chickens started laying eggs!! She thought someone was pranking her, hiding brown, shit covered eggs all over the place. Ha! She was so excited, it was great.

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And ate a million diner breakfasts! CB’s raison d’etre. That one was at a truck stop in Quebec, it came with breakfast meat pie! Oh I also ate so much pie. One day, I ate 4 different pieces of pie. I also gained 17 pounds this month. That is not a lie or gross exaggeration. It is just gross.

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Oh yeah..

Five days ago I officially became an old bag.

Sigh.

The big Three-Oh. A solemn dong from the Gong of Eternity sounding out through the din of time, in celebration of my ever shortening, but constant and inescapable, march towards death. CB MADE ME CAKE!

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Here he is spackling on the strawberry mousse frosting with a (very clean) drywall knife. It was chocolate, with strawberries and whiskey. YEEEEAHHH!

Now if youll excuse me, I think I will make a tea and see about maybe sporting some pants perhaps. Good day!

Smeg Head

I haven’t blogged in a couple of weeks, because there’s been some crazy changes!

Firstly, our farm sitting time has sadly come to an end. I’ll miss that hairy guy up there. Not so much the poodles.. or the cat. Two days before we left the farm, the cat decided to pee on the powerbar that every piece of computer equipment in the office was plugged into. Shockingly (ha! Pun!) she didn’t die, but there was smoke, and horrible burnt cat pee smells, and a whole bunch of fuses blew.. fun.. We spent our last few days cleaning like champions, the house was a shining beacon when we left. I used nothing but warm water with a drop of dish soap and sodium carbonate crystals to wash everything and that combo was like magic. I was so thankful to Trevor and Mary for giving us such an awesome opportunity to live their lives for a couple of months, but it was kind of nice to move on to our next stage of life here. Which had one major benefit, and something we havent had since January.. our very own room!

We moved in with Rosie and John 2 weeks ago, and became their wacky foreign basement flatmates. The house is on a quiet street off Henderson Valley Road. We have a huge deck that Lorrie just finished rebuilding, a nice kitchen upstairs, a fluffy white cat named Wyatt and a lemon tree! There is also a peacock somewhere in the neighborhood. I thought it was a monkey, and was briefly terrified. I hate monkeys.. We have a little pink room, stuffed with some donated furniture and… a SUPER KING SIZED BED! Brand new, still in the plastic, off trade me for $50. Amazing.

And, most importantly, I also got to fulfill a life long dream of mine.

My parents know all about this dream.

I finally, get, to have my very own fridge, IN MY BEDROOM. I know, it’s a fat girl thing. BUT IM SO HAPPY! My dad always said of me, “For Kara, home is where the fridge is”. He also said “Kara, the floor is not a shelf” but its the largest flat areas in here, soooo it totally fulfills the criteria of shelf for the time being. Some people are happiest when their bed is made, some people with a clean bathroom, or a sink that isn’t full of dishes.. but I really am happiest when I have a clean and tidy fridge fully stocked with food. CB rolls his eyes. I have a dozen pictures on my phone of particularly nice shopping days when the fridge is all packed with healthy colours. LOOK! Here’s one of our last apartment:

One of the most beautiful sights in life..fresh veg, cream, eggs, jars of home made jams and tomato sauce and meat wrapped up neatly in pink butcher paper. Extremely satisfying. I may have some kind of strange refrigerator fetish.. hm..

I dream of one day owning a Smeg fridge. They are beautiful, and I am a total smeghead. But due to debilitating poorness, we instead turn to Trade Me! We had the winning bid in two fridges, one a little metallic grey Toshiba from a super friendly Thai family for $20, and the other..  a 1960’s Fisher & Paykel named Leonard! Guess which one we’re using..

GORGEOUS! Okay so, a bit rusty, but it runs like a champ, and has an awesome chunky handle and sexy curves! Its heavy and overbuilt and I love it. Apparently the fellow we bought it from was using it as a beer fridge and originally bought it off a famous Kiwi race car driver in the 70s. Today CB bought some rubber tubing and replaced the seals on the door. The original rubber seals had hardened and were cracking off. When we get a bit of money saved CB is going to take it out to the yard, and spray paint it that light turquoise colour of old milkshake machines. I love it SO MUCHHHH!!

Tomorrow Ill take some pictures of our room, which is very pink and cozy.

The other big thing that changed, is that I started my new job! Its very different working at such a big hotel, but I’m getting my bearings and I’m really excited about it. We are severely understaffed and running without a head and sous pastry chef, so I’m trying to hold down the fort and instill confidence and enthusiasm in the frustrated, stressed out remaining staff members. Our head chef is coming in from Germany in a couple of weeks and I can’t wait for her to take the helm. Our sous chef will be coming from Portugal if I heard right. Ive gotten to work with a number of culinary students already in my first 2 weeks and that is my favourite part so far. We have a nice girl named Michelle from the Philippines, a hilarious flight attendant from India who is passionate about being a great pastry chef, and my new friend, a really sweet and tiny Japanese lady. She has converted to Islam because her husband is from Pakistan and they have three young daughters together. They are in New Zealand because they are afraid to bring their daughters up in Japan because of all the radiation. I loved working with her, she was so soft spoken, and watching her standing on top of a wooden crate in order to be tall enough to stir a giant pot of cream for creme caramels was adorable. Its a real global team!

So that’s the last couple of weeks for us. We’ve also eaten some freaking awesome food. CB showed me the magical yum that is Donburi! OHMYGODSOGOOD. We had truly excellent New York style pizza in the CBD called Sal’s Pizza. We had crazy good Thai food at The Thai Kitchen in Henderson and I discovered my love for NZ scallops. But mostly… a lot of pies.

In the next couple of weeks we’re working on getting CB a motorcycle and his license, and Im just going to try not to die at work!