Category Archives: Day-to-Day

999 Words of Thanks

I’m thankful for long distance phone calls and direct flights. I’m thankful for email, and snail mail, and for photo sharing over the internet. I’m thankful for closely-knit families. I’m thankful for the ocean, and for icebergs, and for the Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. I’m thankful for wedding photographs and childhood stories.

I’m thankful for medical procedures and diagnoses. I’m thankful for surgery. I’m thankful for support systems, and hugs, and for coffee outings on mornings that are minus fifteen degrees. I’m thankful for family friends and public health care. I’m thankful for younger brothers, younger sisters, older cousins and toddlers. I’m thankful for cookie parties. I’m thankful for trusted secrets, and shared names.

I’m thankful for puppies. I’m thankful for aunts and uncles that aren’t really related by blood. I’m thankful for fireplaces, and for television shows on the internet, and for cozy evenings in the cold. I’m thankful for bread baking in Wales and philosophical discussions in the UK. I’m thankful for societies that are gradually becoming more accepting and less discriminating. I’m thankful for House and a sense of humour.

I’m thankful for Meryl Streep, and Natalie Portman, and Tina Fey. I’m thankful for animated fairy tales and for Curious George anthologies. I’m thankful for the duvet covered in musical animals that protected me from the Voldemort in my closet, and for countless tomes devoured at one o’clock in the morning. I’m thankful for dance, and for music, and for harmonizing loudly during car trips.

I’m thankful for schools within walking distance, and I’m thankful for teachers that listen. I’m thankful for sailing trips. I’m thankful for French horn, and for French horn posses, and for new relationships with people I’ve known for ages. I’m thankful for friends that live just down the road, and neighbours that build airplanes in the garage in their backyard. I’m thankful for candle making, and for Hallowe’ening, and for block parties with people I’ve never met. I’m thankful for the community centre with free skating on Sundays, and for last-minute kickball games with the kids from the block. I’m thankful for Friday night pizza and online RPGs. I’m thankful for Lord of the Rings, and clueless boys, and gossiping girls that make fun of my baggy clothes.

I’m thankful for A&W, and painted nails, and rocky beaches. I’m thankful for Mahjong. I’m thankful for decorating Christmas trees and leaving out cookies for Santa, and I’m thankful for scattering reindeer food in the snow. I’m thankful for amateur fireworks. I’m thankful for Christmas Eve services, and for Father Chris, and for congregations. I’m thankful for the Food Bank, and for volunteering, and for the public library. I’m thankful for adorable kids who need help with their reading, and for high-energy kids who won’t take the help.

I’m thankful for getting caught by the police, and failed jumping pictures, and all-nighters. I’m thankful for dances and for Michael Jackson. I’m thankful for cheap seat theatres. I’m thankful for plane rides, and cruises, and trains. I’m thankful for national parks and for written messages in toilet stalls. I’m thankful for walking home from restaurants. I’m thankful for eclectic musical tastes.

I’m thankful for band camp, and choir camp, and concerts. I’m thankful for long lines during random Safeway runs with friends. I’m thankful for Starbucks and its crappy baked goods section. I’m thankful for bought cookie dough shared with pals on the walk home. I’m thankful for running across crosswalks, and for talking the train downtown, and for hanging out in Chinatown just for the hell of it. I’m thankful for cupcakes and school bus ice cream. I’m thankful for the mountains. I’m thankful for sunrises and sunsets, and telescopes in the middle of the night. I’m thankful for warm beds and teddy bears. I’m thankful for cold sleeping bags and summer camp, and for friends in unexpected people.

I’m thankful for overprotective parents and aunts, and for nitpicking step-grandfathers. I’m thankful for shy men and amazing women. I’m thankful for my heritage, and for bilingualism, and for traditions. I’m thankful for spontaneity. I’m thankful for angsty poetry and beautiful photography, for school arts magazines and newspapers. I’m thankful for revolutions and pop culture. I’m thankful for days off school, for fire drills, and for huddling together in the cold. I’m thankful for days spent in foreign countries in plus forty degree sunshine. I’m thankful for donkeys. I’m thankful for volcanoes. I’m thankful for kidney transplants, and chemotherapy, and radiation.

I’m thankful for strangers who smile at me in the street, and for buskers, and fiddlers, and big band jazz. I’m thankful for the people who can’t sing a note, and for the people who’ve got crazy pipes. I’m thankful for music in general. I’m thankful for the sound leaves make when they crunch under your feet in the fall, and for the shapes clouds make in the sky, and for the freezing cold that makes you do up your coat in the winter. I’m thankful for my birthday, and for spring, and for baking. I’m thankful for solitary card games. I’m thankful for the cabin, and the pond, and the island that you can swim to if you really feel the need.

I’m thankful for lyrics that express exactly how I feel, and for playlists that make everything better.

I’m thankful for the possibility of moving away, and I’m thankful for the chance to stay put. I’m thankful for accents. I’m thankful for walks around the neighbourhood, and for tea buns, and I’m thankful for knitting lessons. I’m thankful for old home videos that show really embarrassing footage of my six-year-old self. I’m thankful for growing up. I’m thankful for learning, and good marks, and arguments with teachers. I’m thankful for understanding, even if we’re not quite there yet. I’m thankful for starting to know myself, and for open boxes, and for therapy. I’m thankful for friends of all ages, and for you.

I’m thankful for having known you.

Post inspired by Schmutzie.

Fireworks and Festivals

I just got home from the most incredible fireworks display I’ve ever seen.

1
image courtesy of mybctnow

Honestly. I just sat there in my mother’s twenty-year-old jean jacket, sipping the best London fog I’ve had in my life, getting my mind blown for nearly fifty minutes by incredible lights. It sounds kind of like an acid trip, really, but it was gorgeous.

Putting On My Dancing Shoes

Hey kids! Well, yesterday I decided to make a massive batch of muffins because I noticed we had a full tub of yogurt sitting in our fridge that was about to go off. Not that I needed an excuse to make muffins, really, but I guess that’s some sort of justification, anyway.

1

Cran-Bran Muffins
adapted from Smitten Kitchen

1/2 cup margarine
1/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 large egg
1 cup plain yogurt
1/4 cup honey
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup bran
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

In a large bowl, cream together the margarine and the brown sugar with an electric mixer until the mixture is light and fluffy, beat in the egg, the yogurt, and the honey, and stir in the dried cranberries. Whisk together the flour, the baking soda, the salt, the cinnamon and the bran, add the mixture to the yogurt mixture, and stir the batter until it is just combined. Spoon the batter into 12 muffin tins and bake the muffins in the middle of a preheated 375°F oven for about 17 minutes, or until they are golden brown and springy to the touch. Turn the muffins out onto a rack and let them cool.

This recipe is meant to make 12 muffins, but I doubled the recipe and got 24 muffins plus a small loaf.

This is definitely the best bran muffin recipe I’ve tried to date… often, bran muffins turn out kind of dense and dry when I make them, but these are lighter and fantastic. I had one for breakfast this morning, topped with melted cheddar and some quick homemade apple sauce, and they were absolutely delicious and satisfying. Actually, quick note about the apple sauce… I had half of a Golden Delicious left over from yesterday’s snack, so I chopped it up and nuked it with some cloves and some cinnamon for about two minutes. Then, I stuffed it all into the blender, made it into a kind of thick purée, and left it in the fridge overnight. This morning, it was perfect for spreading! It’s a quick fix if you’re desperate for applesauce, and it’s tasty to boot.

In other news, I got new shoes for school! I was really bored yesterday, so I marked them up a bit, and I think they turned out pretty well!

2

I love this style of sneaker, and I finally found a pair at Payless that wasn’t outrageously expensive and that actually fit. Needless to say, I was pretty pleased! If you’re wondering what the words are, they’re all lyrics from different songs that I’m currently enjoying… there’s some Indigo Girls on there, some MJ, Diana Krall, CAKE, and Death Cab For Cutie. Yeah.

3

Anyway, it looks like it’s lunch time, so I’m going to go get myself a bite and maybe read a bit of the novel I’ve been reading. This afternoon, I’m getting together with some friends to see The Time Traveler’s Wife, and then tonight, I might be going out for Chinese. I’ll tell you all about it later!

Ciao!

In Which She Gets A Hole Put Into Her Head

So, big news… I finally got my piercing done!

1

Mum had told me way back in May that for my sixteenth birthday, I could get another piercing. I had a bit of trouble deciding which one would be her gift to me… I’d also like one in the helix (the upper cartilage) of my left ear, but I figured Mum would have an easier time if I got my lobe done first. So, the right lobe it was!

There’s a bit of a story behind this piercing, as well. We had tried to get it done at Merle Norman, but after going into their store, the piercer told me that I actually have cartilage in my lobe and that they couldn’t pierce that because they use a gun. After Merle Norman, we weren’t really sure where to go… I have absolutely no knowledge of local body piercing stores, so I didn’t even know where to start! I looked around for a bit and found one shop that seemed decent, with good reviews, and one of my mum’s friends had gotten her belly button pierced there, as well. Her recommendation helped with Mum’s nerves quite a bit, especially because the shop also does tattoos!

So, after a bit of hassle, Mum and I went down to the shop this afternoon to get my piercing done. On the outside, it looked a little sketchy, but once inside it was really clean and well-kept. My piercer was really soft spoken, but he totally knew his stuff and was really professional about it all. He was really cool… but Mum was a little put off by all of his massive gauge plugs and tattoos! All of the equipment was new and he sterilized it all in front of us, and the best bit of all? It didn’t hurt!

2

I’m really, really pleased with how this worked out, and I’ll definitely return to the same shop when I get my helix done. All that’s left to do now is wait for it to heal!

Peace, kids! I hope your day was as fantabulous as mine was!

Catastrophes!

My camera has decided to die.

Which is unfortunate, really, because I’ve only had it for a little over a year, and I’ve only just started using it regularly, and it just had to kill itself right when I was starting to develop an interest in photography, and it just really sucks, basically. So I’ll probably be using my dad’s camera for the next little while, while I try to come up with sufficient funds to replace my point and shoot, which is why there will likely be less photography featured on my blog, and that depresses me somewhat.

Why is it that whenever something like this happens to me, I feel the need to ramble on for hours in run-on sentences?

Slow Cookers and Jet Lag

Alright, well, I know I promised to have some of my Europe trip pictures posted this week, but that was before I realised that I had 958 of them – and that’s after I’d sorted through and deleted all of the blurry and really dark ones. So you’ll have to wait on the Europe update and be sated with this awesome minestrone soup that I made yesterday! It was delicious, and was perfect for warming us all up on a really gross and rainy day.

Slow Cooker Minestrone Soup
adapted from the Betty Crocker Recipe Keeper

4 cups vegetable broth
4 cups tomato juice
1 tablespoon dried basil leaves
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
1/4 teaspoon pepper
4 medium carrots, sliced (2 cups)
1 sweet red pepper, diced (1 cup)
1 medium onion, chopped (1/2 cup)
1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 can (28 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained
~2 1/2 cups uncooked penne pasta
Parmesan cheese

  1. Mix all ingredients except pasta and cheese in slow cooker.
  2. Cover and cook on low heat setting 7 to 8 hours or until vegetables are tender.
  3. Stir in pasta. Cover and cook on high heat setting 15 to 20 minutes or until pasta is tender. Sprinkle each serving with cheese.

Makes 12 servings.

1

I served it with a pretty simple spinach salad and some nice multigrain baguette… it was, dare I say, fantastic! It’s the first time in a while that I actually made dinner for everyone: I made the soup with Mum’s help, did the salad on my own, and even walked down to the supermarket and picked out the bread by myself. I bought it with my own money, and everything!

…can you tell that I’m almost unreasonably proud of myself?

I also took my sister to the movies yesterday. We saw Monsters Vs. Aliens, her choice, and it was pretty cute! Because we went to the cheap seats, it was only six bucks for both of us to get in, so I treated her to an ice cream after the show while we wandered around the Asian supermarket waiting for our ride to pick us up. It was a really nice outing, and I feel a lot better about how I’ve been acting towards Claire now… it’s been a little tense between us lately, but going out together helped, I think.

And, last update, I’m nearly over my jet lag – finally! For the past five days, I’ve been waking up at ridiculous hours of the night. Surprisingly, though, I always get a lot done when I’m up because of jet lag, so I’ve totally re-arranged my room, dusted for the first time in nearly four years, cleaned my bathroom, done some mending… it’s pretty crazy. Mum’s liking it so far, though!

Alrighty then, well, I should really get going. I’ve got a family that I’m supposed to meet at noon… they want me to babysit and I’m not about to turn down extra cash! I’ll talk to you kids later.

Peace!

The One Where The Writer Returns

So we got home last night at around 11:00 after an awesome trip. Unfortunately, seeing as I woke up at ten to five this morning, I’m a little bit too jet lagged to actually write anything worthwhile, so this post is just a placeholder until I get around to posting the first set of pictures. Hopefully, they’ll be up sometime this week. Europe 2009… sounds like maybe a three part blog series to me!

Ciao, kids! ♥