Tuesday, September 29, 2009

granpere's hammer

My friend Michele makes gorgeous metal jewelery in a home workshop. She has tools for grinding, melting, cutting and stamping. I am lucky enough to have a few of the pieces that she has made. Now you can have some too. Check out her website.

question: if you could melt anything and make it into a bracelet, what would you melt?

mompoet - liking the stuff that Michele melts

Monday, September 28, 2009


I was all set to go to Word on the Street Sunday, then I decided to stay home instead. I love WOTS, and was looking forward to going and enjoying it as an ordinary participant for the first time in years, having given up helping with the Poetry Tent. But Saturday evening I began to get a strong feeling of resistance, and I realised that I wanted to be at home on Sunday. I tried to talk myself out of it: "Come on, it will be a beautiful day. Your friends will be there. Free readings. Thousands of good books and magazines. Come on!" But the feeling just got stronger. I knew that Andy and Fiona would be away all day, taking Andy's mom on an adventure to Stave Lake, where she lived as a little girl. I knew that Alex would be at work all afternoon. I would have the house to myself, and it would be a beautiful day.

So, I went to church in the morning, then came home, changed into my oldest jeans, and stayed home. I made a gorgeous salad for lunch, and read some of Saturday's paper. Then, as soon as Alex left, I put on my iPod and attacked the house. So now the cat box is changed, the floors are vacuumed, there's new shelf liner paper inside the cupboard under the sink, the computer desks are de-cluttered, the living room has been dusted, all of the stuff lining the hallways and stairwells is temporarily out of the hallways and stairwells, there are fresh candles in all of the candle holders, the bed linens have been washed and changed, and the linen closet reorganized (well, the top shelf anyway). There was also a delicious spicy chicken, veggie, rice stir fry for supper and an apple crisp. I am happy about my choice. Something about staying home and tending the house was very satisfying. After a month of pell mell hurry hurry and very little time at home, I got a sense of order being restored. I felt centred and relaxed.

I am not a clean freak in any sense of the word, but the act of organizing, de-cluttering and some cleaning settles me down. Cooking helps too. It's weird, but I have to go with it. Music and solitude help, and I have to be in the mood. The bonus is that our house is cozy and tidy and comfortable, and there are delicious leftovers for school and work lunches this week.

As proof of my sanity, I did not get the bathrooms done or the floors washed, and I do not have a burning desire to complete this part of the task. I am not THAT compulsive.

question: what do you do to shake your whim whams away?

mompoet - I will go to Word on the Street next year.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

another splendid salad

I'm still chopping and crunching my way through New York Times food columnist Mark Bittman's "101 Simple Salads for the Season."

Today: I riffed on salad #84 from the Salads with Noodles section - "spring rolls unrolled."

1/2 of an English cucumber - diced small
2 small carrots - grated
1 cup bean sprouts
1/4 tsp grated ginger
1/2 red bell pepper, julienned
2 green onions, sliced
cilantro - whole leaves - as much as you like
4 small rice noodle salad wrap rounds - briefly wetted then sliced
8 prawns, steamed just until pink
chopped roasted peanuts
juice of 1 lime
1/2 tsp toasted sesame oil
1/2 tsp soy sauce
1 tsp Asian sweet chili sauce

Combine the veggies and noodle bits. Mix up the last 4 ingredients for dressing and toss in. Arrange on 2 plates with 4 prawns on top of each salad. Garnish with chopped peanuts.

2 meal-size salads

question: when is "the season" over?

mompoet - loving all of the fresh, crispy, crunchy, green, red, yellow, pink, purple mmmmm

Saturday, September 26, 2009

mashed poetics on youtube

Videographer and poet Warren Dean Fulton has posted video of the songs and poems from the Nevermind evening. Here's the song "In Bloom," performed by cover band, Lithium, and my poetic response.


Last fall, in our federal riding, MP Dawn Black was re-elected. A few months after the election, Dawn resigned to run for MLA in her local riding, because the incumbent had been diagnosed with cancer, and could not run again. At the time I felt deflated. Here we had put in all of this work to bring back a really awesome MP, then she quits. The feeling didn't last, as we all plunged into the provincial election. Provincial ridings being smaller, we campaigned for our local candidate, and watched Dawn get elected in New Westminster, to the Legislature here in BC. Reflecting now, I think that as good an MP as Dawn was, she's now an excellent MLA, a wonderful representative in Victoria, and a beacon of hope for next time - We need to see her in government again, and I believe we will.

So now we've been waiting to see, federally, if the Conservative government falls and there's a general election, or if we will need a by-election as mandated, to fill that vacant seat in the House of Commons. Looks like the Conservatives made it through without being deposed earlier this month, so a by-election is in the cards for later this fall. This our guy, Fin Donnelly. Alex and I are gearing up to support him in the election. Today, Alex will spend the afternoon doing data entry. With 2 elections in recent months, we have very good stats from canvassing, to help shape strategy through the campaign. It just needs to be feed into the computers, and Alex is very good at that. For me, I'll be out door-knocking again, starting Monday evening. Fin has visited an amazing number of households already - months before any election call. I'll help out by carrying the lists and pamphlets and offering to introduce him to people who answer their doors. I really enjoyed doing this with Shannon Watkins, for her campaign, and look forward to it again this time. Walking and knocking with a candidate is an awesome way to get to know the person who you are working to elect, and also to gauge people's responses to the issues. As a campaign worker, I will spend a lot of time listening, nodding and smiling, and growing to appreciate once again all of the work it gets to get someone elected. On the outside, it looks like a big machine, but working the campaign, it is small, painstaking, and just plain lots and lots of hours and hard work. I love it.

Watch for an election call very soon in this big federal riding that stretches from the Fraser River in New Westminster, up and over the Moody Arm in Port Moody. Look for me knocking at your door, asking if you'd like to meet your NDP candidate, Fin Donnelly. Watch for more blog posts. It's election time.

question: have you campaigned for a candidate or a cause?

mompoet - inside the machine

Friday, September 25, 2009


Here's Joe Biden talking to seniors in Maryland about medicare, death panels and the Obama plan for universal health care.

question: how can people believe that health care for everyone is a bad thing?

mompoet - grateful for Tommy Douglas's legacy


Mashed Poetics was a great show. We got to the Cottage Bistro around 9pm, just as the audience was leaving from the comedy show that was in before us. I arrived with Helmi, who drove out from Whonnock to attend the show. She is awesome! Friends Cathy and Terry arrived soon after.

The band, Lithium (Trevor, Clint and Keith), did a great job of performing all of the songs from the Nevermind album. The poets were everything I had hoped they would be - strong, individual voices expressing so many styles and points of view. Duncan Shields opened with a tribute to Kurt Cobain's life and art, inspired by "Smells Like Teen Spirit." Kimothy Shaughnessy got us all to shout, "I'm having a sex change!" in response to "Come as you Are." Nora Smithhisler and her partner (sorry, forgot his name) performed a duet love poem about lovers' dust motes in the bed, inspired by "Breed." Andrea Daniels' surreal response to "Lithium," refracted the tone and spirit of Nirvana's life and lyrics. Warren Dean Fulton ended the first set with a harrowing account of a violent, true abduction story, with a peripheral connection to Nirvana, then recited a short sound poem generated with the help of William S. Burroughs inspired software. Warren says that WS and Cobain corresponded. After the break, RC Weslowski broke our hearts with his take on "Territorial Pissings." Amnesia Jane Smith revealed her playful and dangerous inner monster in response to "Drain You." Su' Cormier's rewrite of "Lounge Act" reminded us of our own stalker moments. CJ Leon flung artful disdain on "Stay Away." Zacc Jackson made a poetic statement on "On a Plain" by not showing up. For a finale, 7 Dollar Bill (Sean McGarragle and Chris Gilpin,) linked Gene Roddenberry and the holodeck to "Something in the Way." Lithium gave us a seemingly coincidental 15 minute blank time then revealed the hidden track, playing us out with the last song of the evening.

My own piece (response to "In Bloom") went over the way I hoped it would. My heart was pounding from the music and my own apprehension about performing something not in my usual style, but I like that experience better than playing it safe. Once I got past the tongue-gymnastics of the second stanza, I knew that I was okay, and I got into the mood of the poem and performed it as well as I knew I could. The audience response was good.

This Mash Up idea is wonderful. Next one is RUSH in January. I won't miss it.

question: can you believe all of the wonderful things under the sun?

mompoet - glad to have a sleep-in morning, and time to reflect on last night

Thursday, September 24, 2009


I have been eating this salad (or variations) like it's the only best most wonderful thing available:

red, yellow or orange bell pepper
english cucumber
red onion
1 fresh lime
olive oil
salt and pepper

chop up the veggies into small bits - you should have enought for 3-4 cups salad
dress with juice of 1 lime and a splash of olive oil
season with s and p

It's really good

my nirvana poem

Tonight I'll be in a show called Mashed Poetics #2 - Nirvana's Nevermind, at the Cottage Bistro on Main Street in Vancouver. The show is at 9:30 (doors 8:30). A band will play all of the songs from the Nevermind album, and poets will perform works inspired by the songs. I drew "In Bloom." Here's the poem that I will bring to the evening:

she sits, still as blank sky
scorned, scarred, ignored, scared
ready to hitch her hopes
to the first dustbowl prophet or
cactus-pawed sandboot hustler who looks her way
without choking
while she waits
cross-stitches sugarbag homilies

he is some affliction
sunset-eyed ambush cat
pole-headed, razor-bucket, daylight glam-bazzler
for a day, or three, she takes him for all that
sweet grass hell-smudge saddle callus
hip as glass-bevel pillow plank
takes her down to the creek to see
pussy willow in the marsh

she is his hop-toad guide dog
panting melt-bellied on the floor
dodging boots and table legs
addicted to his clues
which way now?

in the dark, he whispers
nobody warm as you
don't ever change
tells herself, she don't believe his
yeah, yeah, yeah
tells herself, she is no
modest proposal
no spider web wedding feast
no house filled with parting gifts
for comfort, cedar chest eiderdown
stuffed with finishing nails and snap turtles
she weeps
he is holding me down

she sits, still as blank sky
ready for
belly bullet blood blossom blue bottle
BAM bath
no side for taking
no place to hook a claw
toe-holds stuffed full with sad socks
crank-handled spring levers
don't jump
don't jump
don't jump
nothing to push against
just slide to the bottom, it's another day

she remembers
sweet hunger of loving unloveable
sting of self revelation
she sits, still as blank sky
but now, she
rattles, like a penny in a can

Monday, September 21, 2009

september is intense

I am glad I did not say "insane," that being one of my pet peeves (calling anything that is unpleasant or exceptional "insane.") We are 3/4 of the way through the real new year of the year - the time when everyone starts something new, and I am about ready for a rest from the sproingy, demanding, reactiveness of this spring-loaded lollapallooza of a month.

Pause for trivia - blogger's spellcheck corrects my spelling of "lollapallooza" as:


Come on - collapsible? from lollapallooza? However, I think I will change my name to "Mompoet Lollobrigida." I like the Lollo part.

Back to topic. September is intense. Well, for starters, the kids are back to school. That's like hitting the structure wall after 8-12 weeks of "whatever." The first week was deceptive but now we're really talking business: homework, assignments, having to get up at 7 in the morning or earlier on an ongoing basis, packing lunches (the kids pack their own so that's more pressure), everyone needing a shower at the same time in the morning at our house. Yes, it is intense.

We have also been experiencing mechanical failures of consistent and grand proportions. Alex's X Box 360, Fiona's iPod touch, my car (first a wee radiator as an appetizer, now the engine - white smoke and herky jerky lurching HEAD GASKET). The bright side is that we are all well. It's just stuff, and it's just money. The people are all okay and the car broke down during the daytime, close to home. We all love each other and we can fix stuff and pay the bills.

Adding to intensity: auditions, fences that need painting, persistent low disc space notices on the computer, my beloved camera making a very sick noise (but still taking pictures - for now) and some extraordinarily busy days at work for Andy and for me. We are ready for a rewind to mid-August if that's possible. Failing that, we will soldier on and get over it, and October will be robust and less intense and just normal fall. Everyone loses his or her cool in a spectacular way at least once in September. Everyone reflects on the meaning of life in September. Everyone has a moment of existential doubt in September. Everyone pushes the restart button in September. Life goes on.

I'm not sure if that expresses it, but that's the best I can do for now.

question: how is your September?

mompoet - trying to remind myself I do not like bland

socks and underwear

The Cold Wet Weather Mat program is coming to Tri-Cities again this Fall Winter. With a permanent homeless shelter still (slowly) in the works, 5 area churches are stepping in again to run a temporary night-time mat program from November 1 to March 31. Our church, St. Andrew's United in Port Moody, is up first, preparing to run the November program. We'll house 35 guests each night from 10pm to 7am. We'll provide supper, breakfast and bag lunches. We'll have clothing available too.

This year it looks like we have lots of help for food and meals. Other churches in the neighbourhood are already signing up to do one or more suppers every week, and local businesses help out too. If you would like to help, here are two ideas:

1) sign up to work at the shelter. Evening shifts are from about 9-11:30pm. You set up the mats, prepare/heat/serve supper (depending on what we have that night), share a meal with the guests and do the dishes. Volunteers also help in the clothing closet, assisting guests to find what they need. Morning shifts are 6-8:30am. You serve breakfast and share a meal with guests, distribute bag lunchs, then clean up after and put the mats away and clean the floors and bathrooms after the guests have left. End time is flexible if you need to leave earlier to get to work. Training and orientation will be provided in October.

2) donate socks and underwear - New, clean socks, underpants, undershirts and bras are needed for men and for women.

You can see me if you know me, or call or email the church: 604 939-5513 or office@sauc.ca

question: have you always been sure of where you will live, what you will eat and who will be there for you? Do you have warm, dry socks and clean underwear whenever you need them?

mompoet - share life's sweetness

Saturday, September 19, 2009

the cove

Fiona, and my niece Maya and I saw The Cove last night. It's a documentary about a town in Japan where fishermen trap and kill dolphins. They sell a few to "dolphinariums" for dolphin shows and swimming with the dolphins. The rest are slaughtered, and the meat sold in Japan, labeled as whale meat.

The movie is fascinating, sickening and saddening. The footage of the dolphin kill is blessedly brief but heart-rendingly awful. Along the way, we learn about whaling, politics, culture and commerce and about the relationships people have with the big, intelligent mammals who swim in our oceans.

There's a website with information about what to do to help stop this practice. Here is the New York Times movie review.

It's still in one theatre in Vancouver (Granville Cinemas), and I guess it will be out on DVD soon. You should see this.

question: did you know?

mompoet - sad and mad about this

weird wink wilkinson

Fiona's school will present Little Shop of Horrors for its musical this year. Here's a sample from the 1986 movie.

question: have you seen the real ending?

mompoet - thinking this is going to be very good

Thursday, September 17, 2009

so which is he?

wrestling with Kurt Cobain

Next Thursday I'm going to be part of a show called Mashed Poetics #2 - Nirvana Nevermind

Thursday, September 24, 9:30pm
Cottage Bistro 4468 Main Street Vancouver
$5 - $10 sliding scale admission

There's a band, Lithium, that will play all of the songs from the Nevermind album. Each song has been assigned to a poet, who will perform a poem inspired by that song. The band and poets will alternate through the evening.

I have drawn the song, "In Bloom." It's second on the album, so I think that means I will be second up. I have the CD Nevermind, but admit it has not been on my frequent play list. I respect what it stands for, and the impact it made when it came out, and how it is a classic with lasting appeal, but the style of music is not really my favourite. When the album came out I was listening to Raffi and Fred Penner with the kids. Anyway, I thought, "this will be interesting, and I like a challenge." So here is what I have learned through my experience with Nirvana, listening to the songs, reading up about the band and the life and death of Kurt Cobain:

- I like this album very much
- I still don't understand most of the words when I listen, nor do I trust the online lyrics for the songs
- I don't know if I like Kurt Cobain

I'm moved by the passion and the roughness of the sound, mixed with addictive elements that I don't even know how to describe. I can understand now why it is "all that."

So I wrote a poem, which I am keeping under wraps until the show, but will post here after. I recited it to Fiona in the car today. She looked at me and said, "whoa." So we'll see.

I think that this will be an amazing evening of music and poetry. Even before I have heard the band, I totally admire the musicians for taking this on. If the other poets' experience of listening, feeling writing is anything like mine was, I admire it too.

Wish me luck. I have sure not wrestled Kurt to the ground, but we have made a closer acquaintance than before.

question: do you listen to Nirvana?

mompoet - finished wrestling for now

sunshine coast ladies weekend

I spent the weekend with my lady friends in the mansion on the rock at the Sunshine Coast. Here are a few photos - more later.

We had an excellent time there, including a cooking marathon inspired by the movie, "Julie and Julia."

question: do you have a wonderful place that you love to visit?

mompoet - loving the mansion on the rock

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

don't you love

the sound of the rain through an open window, just 5 minutes before you know you have to get out of bed? The blankets are warm and the air is cool and fresh, and there's that sound of car wheels shushing by every so often. Even though you can't see it, you know that the street lights sparkling on wet pavement are promising something new.

question: do you like the rain?

mompoet - you know I do

Julie and Julia

I like pretty much every movie that Meryl Streep has ever been in. (except maybe that white water family abduction one) I loved Julie and Julia. Meryl Streep plays Julia Child. It is just a delicious movie about love and food and doing something with one's life.

Now I want to cook things with butter, but instead I am cooking things with fruit and vegetables. I did take my 2 ounce hoard of butter out of the freezer and offer it with corn and new potatoes for our supper on Monday (salmon fillets and green beans rounded out the meal). It is better tasting than margarine, and in reasonable amounts, better for us.

On the weekend, Cathy has promised to cook boeuf bourginon We have been discussing all week how you pronounce it. Looking at the movie, it seems to be a simple but delicious beef stew. Cathy has actually looked at the recipe, so I am sure it will be delicious. Cathy will cook this for us at the mansion on the rock. It's our annual ladeez weekend on the Sunshine Coast, which consists mostly of food, wine, staying up late, beach walks, laughter, wine, good books, music, deck-sitting, hot tub, and now, with boeuf bourginon.

I have a few more movies on my catch-up list, but they'll have to wait until after the weekend.

question: have you seen Julie and Julia?

mompoet - life is delicious

Monday, September 07, 2009

goodbye hello!

On Saturday, our neighbourhood held a goodbye party for our wonderful groundskeeper, Joe Cordeiro. Joe has worked for our strata corporation for 30 years. He takes care of the lawns and shrubs, mows the lawns, blows the leaves, and in the winter he shovels and salts the slippery hill that is the road out of the complex so we can go to work and school. Joe works in the blazing sun, pouring rain and chill temperatures. He is a quiet guy, always ready with a smile and a wave for any of us, willing to chat, but fully devoted to getting a lot of work done. Joe will be 65 years old this month, and it's time for him to move on. We will miss him fiercely.

At Saturday's party, we met Joe's wife, Mari, and Joe's 3 daughters, their partners and their children. Joe has lots of people who love him at home and here where he has worked for so many years. We honoured him with gifts, cards, a big banner that everyone signed, and more handshakes and thank-you's than anyone could every think to receive in one evening. There were speeches and a few tears, and also wine, and Portugese music, and everyone's best potluck dishes. It was a neighbourhood party for a neighbourhood guy.

Joe's replacement was hired early in the summer, so the two could work together for a couple of months. The strata also voted to hire a full-time handyman, so in a way, we hired two guys to fill Joe's shoes, althought not really but yup, really. We all wish Joe the happiest of times in his retirement. And Maria, if he drives you nuts trying to wash the dishes, just send him over to us. We'll give him a lawn chair and a glass of wine and he can watch us mow our lawns. We might even let him use the leaf blower, for old times' sake.

On Sunday evening, Andy and I went to Thundering Word at Cafe Montmartre on Main Street. It was the 2 year anniversary of Wanda Nowicki and Bill MacNamara's revival of T Paul Ste. Marie's amazing spoken word and music open mic night. The place was jammed with good people, and the stage spilled over with able artists, each sharing a 10 minute set. Wanda featured, with her lovely Wanda Nowicki group, singing some jazz pieces from her new cd, and also some selections by her favourite songwriters. It was great to see Wanda performing. It was an evening of mostly music (you never know which way it will go at TW), with some spoken word. Of particular note: David King's song-telling - stories told to the rhythm and mood of classic big band music, and Bryant Ross's wonderful gritty and heart-felt storytelling. It was good to renew my acquaintance with TW and honour the work of Wanda and Bill, and Bill's lovely wife Diana. They have sustained T Paul's vision, and created a warm and creative evening of performances. TW is a good thing.

Now it's Monday, Labour Day. We'll say goodbye to the summer and hello to the school year. The kids are almost ready. I feel like I'm turning a page from lazy evenings of supper-sometime-nobody's-going-anywhere to a renewed calendar-conscious sprint-through-the-week way of doing things. I will iron my clothes tonight and pack my Tuesday lunch before I retire, so I know I'll be ready for anything.

question: were there any goodbyes or hellos for you this weekend?

mompoet - to everything there is a season

Saturday, September 05, 2009

marie ishikawa photography

My friend and co-worker, Marie Ishikawa, has opened an etsy shop. Here photographs are exquisite. Watch her shop as she adds images.

Marie is a member of my Artist's Way Cluster. We meet each month to check in about our art. We are painters, writers and photographers. I have purchased a bunch of Marie's photo greeting cards. Everyone who has received one loves it.

question: do you make art? do you buy art?

mompoet - I know, that's 2 questions for the price of one. There's a special today.

Friday, September 04, 2009

mostly plants

I have been thinking about eating this summer. I have always considered myself a healthy cook and eater, but I have been thinking and trying to be even more this way. I read In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan, and it made a lot of sense to me. His message is boiled down to this: "Eat food, not too much, mostly plants."

So I have reduced but not eliminated my chicken, fish and meat intake, and ramped up my fresh fruits and veggies. I have tried as much as possible to stop eating multi-ingredient manufactured foods. If it has lots of packaging, ingredients I can't pronounce, or makes outlandish health claims on its excessive packaging, I do not eat it. I didn't eat a lot of that stuff before, but now I pretty much don't eat it. I don't miss it.

Cooking fresh and clean takes a bit more work and thought, but it is so tasty and nourishing. I have lost weight and have better energy and I just feel generally happier and better. It feels good to be truly hungry before I eat, and to satisfy that hunger with something that is really worth it both in terms of flavour and nutrition. I am packing my lunch more frequently and enjoy food shopping and cooking more than I did before.

A favourite source of recipes is the New York Times, ever since my Dad began sending me recipe links. Now I find out that the Times food columnist Mark Bittman whose Minimalist recipes are the greatest (he wrote the 101 salads article) has a book too. So now I'm going to read Food Matters.

Maybe I'll share a recipe or two as I go, or a foodie photo feature. mmmmm

question: what do you like to cook and eat these days?

mompoet - giggling at the thought of eating in a way that reduces greenhouse gas

back to school

On Tuesday, schools open and the kids and young adults go back. It's a bittersweet time of year for families. By now, we are pretty much ready for the routine to resume. The students in our homes are missing their school friends, and looking forward to some of their classes and all of their other school-year activities. There are new clothes, new school supplies, new teachers and programs. On the other hand, we feel sad about letting go of the sleep-in mornings and relaxed pace of summer living.

Fiona begins grade 11 next week. Alex will return to university, this year to a one-year documentary film-making program. I think they are both happy about what they will be doing. We also have my niece Maya in our extended family of students this year. She has moved into Burnaby to live at my Mom and Dad's place, and attend university near where they live.

I feel happy and optimistic about this school year for the kids. We have enjoyed an excellent summer, and look forward to good (if busy) times this fall. The kids are growing up. Andy and I are growing into our role as parents of young adults. We are all well, and enjoying each other.

At work, I am heading to the end of 2 years in a temporary assignment, wondering if it will be extended yet again. I'm actually good at it this year! I'll take a few courses through my employer, and continue to develop new skills through my experiences on the job. I'm looking forward to my ladies weekend on the Sunshine Coast, possibly seeing my sister and her family again at Thanksgiving, and the fall season of plays, movies and poetry. I am also happy about cooking this fall. I've had so much fun eating "mostly plants" this summer. I know that the fall harvest will bring new ingredients and inspirations.

September is more like new year than January in a lot of ways. All in all, it has been a happy year. Now it's time for another. Happy New Year!

question: what changes happen for you in September?

mompoet - mostly the same routine, but it's one I love

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

food is my favourite thing most days

I have been chopping, slicing and chewing my way through this recipe list all summer long. Check it out. I haven't found a bad one yet. 101 Salads for the Season - some truly unusual combinations, all simple and delicious.

question: what's your favourite salad?

mompoet - I keep going back to peaches, tomatoes, chilis, cilantro, red onion, and lime juice

more anniversary celebration

When we returned from our holiday, Andy's brother Dave and Dave's sweetheart Pam treated us to supper Seasons in the Park to celebrate our anniversary. It was an awesome treat - such a gorgeous view and truly wonderful food and wine. Dave and Pam are so generous and lovely to be with.

Here we all are, smiling and happy and shining. The dessert was the silliest part of the evening for me. It's called "Little Brownie Mountain." It came with a special message.

question: have you shared a celebration recently?

mompoet - showered with blessings and ever-grateful

time for some words

Fiona remarked to me last night that I have not posted my blog for quite a few days. Looking back, I see that she is right. I have neglected blogging for a while. The few posts that I have put up since returning from Mexico are all links or photos. I guess I must have taken a vacation from blogging too.

So here I am, and I will try to play catch-up and get reconnected with the blog and my blog friends.

Today is a Wednesday and I have the day off work so I can make my annual trek to the PNE. Fiona's dancing school will perform there on the community stage in the afternoon. We'll arrive shortly before her show time, enjoy the show, then spend the rest of the afternoon and the evening at the fair. My favourite things there (in no particular order) are: the farm barns, the Super Dog show, any human performers, the prize home and people-watching. The parts that leave me cold are the rides (lineups are too long at fair time, and the ride duration is shorter than when it's not fair time), most of the fair food, and the marketplace. Did you know that you can buy a hot tub, or get your teeth whitened at the PNE? I sometimes like to watch the demos of miracle cleaning products or super-pots, but I lump that under "any human performer" more than actual sales. I will visit my friend Rhonda, who will be at the marketplace selling Arbonne skincare, not because I like the marketplace, but because I like Rhonda. Andy will come straight from work and meet us there. After the dancing, Fi will take off with her friends and join us at the end of the evening to go home.

As for the fair food, some people love the little donuts, the corn on the cob, deep-fried Mars Bars and foot long hotdogs. I find most of the fair food to be overpriced and not as good as you think it will be. I pack and refill my own water bottle, and search for something at least slightly nutritious and palatable when it's mealtime. Usually, I end up with a salad roll from the Vina Vietnamese restaurant stall. If I have to get 2 meals, I go back to the same place later and get wonton soup. There's also pretty good Indian food at Curry in a Hurry, but it's pretty rich, so really good only if I have someone to split it with. I have never figured out the appeal of Jimmy's Burgers or cotton candy, and I think that the caramel apple is an abomination from another universe.

The fair doesn't change much from year to year, but neither do I, because I keep on enjoying it. It's at least worth the price of admission, so I come back. Usually parking costs more than getting through the gate, but that's another story.

question: what are your most and least favourite fair foods?

mompoet - going to the fair