Thursday, December 06, 2012

Drinking white wine in the sun.......

This is my first Christmas with no parents. A true Christmas orphan. I've not been big on Christmas for a while now. I have my reasons, I really do. This year feels different. Lonelier. I have no Mum or Dad to brainstorm the perfect gift for. So I keep buying stuff to keep that feeling at bay. Like I can buy my way through this season into the new year. Which I imagine will be all bright and shiny and full of happy, even though I know it will look just like the day before.

Don't get me wrong, I have my tiny family here, to keep me full of cheer. Hey! That rhymed! And I have an invite to see all my other huge family that I don't know at all, who would be really happy to see me, which is weird, but I think is cool. I'm so blue though, I don't want to infect anyone else with that colour. It seems terribly contagious, so I back out of things I should be moving forward into. Time moves by so quickly yet drags on into minutes.

I miss my Dad. I miss my Mum. I miss Max. But time will march on, and even though it's hard to see this keyboard that has suddenly gone all watery and blurry, I know I will feel better eventually. My Husband and Son will help with that. But right now I feel like a little kid.

Monday, August 20, 2012

I'll do it my way

10 rules helpful suggestions for living the good life.

  1. Don't hold grudges. If it's about something you can't resolve you can either let IT go, or let the relationship go. Nothing is worse than letting jerks live rent free in your head.
  2. Travel. Even if it is in your own backyard. Go somewhere new. try some food you haven't tried. Go be a tourist unashamedly.
  3. Say yes to opportunity. It's easier to say no to things that are slightly (or hugely) new and a little scary.
  4. Say no to things that make you unhappy. Don't make lame excuses, just politely but firmly decline.
  5. Walk somewhere. Go look at trees and flowers or even other people at least once in a while. 
  6. Do something nice for someone else. Hold a door, buy some flowers, pay for the guy behind you in lines coffee. 
  7. Have a pet. Even a fish or plant Talk to them. Give some love, get some love. 
  8. Have a hobby. Collect stamps, knit, do Sudoku, do something you enjoy every day.
  9. Make something by hand. Doesn't matter how small, make it with your own digits. 
  10. Walk around with a smile on your face. A positive outlook becomes a habit when you do this. Try not to look too deranged. A small Buddhist half smile is a good start.  
          Fake it until you make it.

These are of course only as helpful as you want them to be. Your mileage may vary.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

I'm cool, I'm calm, I'm gonna be OK.

I don't make New Year Resolutions. Never have, don't think ever will. BUT: this year I did do something rather out of character for me. I made a plan. A plan to become 10% more awesome by next year. Now that seems pretty loosey goosey right? Well tough tits, it is. I'm going to try to start a list of things I have done to try to achieve that rather gossamer pledge. And since I am stupid enough to forget to do this from the beginning of the year, this will be in no particular order and will encompass mine and everybody else recollections of it. 

-took candy to a pal who needed it. Really needed it. Dumb right? I doubt I would have done this a year ago. It would have gotten pushed to the "man I should have done that!" pile.
-found out my Barista's names. Besides Joel that is. I love them all those boys of coffee.
-ran up when my brother was struggling at my Dad's funeral and finished his eulogy for him. I wish I done it earlier, but the point is that I did it.
-learning more about being a Vegan from my sweet Christine that doesn't include me going on about butter. I have made leaps and bounds with this.
-self hair care. I used to do this, but have stopped in these many years. Now I am trying to go a full year without pro help with a fairly fresh (shaved it bald Jan 1) palette. Which is why I now have a half shaved head with hot pink hair. No way would Tam let me do this. On a different note, I think I should have been born with pink hair.
-learned to walk away NOT mad. Letting go of anger in the heat of it, is something I am really working on.
-learned to cross stitch again.Nasty sweary cross stitch. Oh yeah.
-set unloved fibre and yarn loose in the world for others to love. More of this to come too.

this is a work in progress.....

Monday, July 23, 2012

There is always something there to remind me....

More Dad memories

-he and my Uncle Jim got drunk setting up my dollhouse for my 3rd Christmas. My Mum was worried that it wouldn't be done, but it was. Santa drank ALL the Rye and ginger that year!
-he bought Birkenstocks when we first moved to Calgary and he came for a visit. He still had them when we were cleaning out his place last month. He also had shoes he got from my Uncle Jim when he died 20+ years ago. Oh Pops, shoe hoarder extraordinaire!

It was Lily's arbitrary birthday this last Canada Day. We had no idea when her b-day was just somewhere around then, so it seemed fitting to make it a holiday. Happy 3rd my girl!

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

I'm on the right track, I'm onto a winner...

Things I want to remember about my Dad.

-he got tossed out of the church he went to when we was 15. he hated churchy hypocrits.
-he loved liver. my mom wouldn't cook it, so he got it when he went out to eat.
-he went to the playboy club when he went to NYC. he bought my mom Gucci perfume, he said it smelled like money.
-he used to read the paper on the floor letting me sit on his back. that is why I learned to read when I was three. he loved the comics, or funnies as he called them. even the terrible ones.
-he grew kohlrabi in our backyard in Aldergrove. I haven't eaten it since.
-he got bit by a dog and that's how he started his desk duty on the ECP. he ended up climbing way up the ladder.he was NOT a yes man. that means he only got so far up.
-he took me to inappropriate movies when I was young. funny ones. he also loved sword and sandal flicks. the last one we went to see together was Beastmaster.
-he had a wicked sweet tooth.
-he loved my mom from the minute he saw her. the very minute.
-he was far cooler than he had any right to be. he was the best dad I could have asked for.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Raindrops keep falling on my head

That doesn't mean my eyes will soon be turning red. Right? I've starting watching all the "classic" movies from the 70's. I'm not alone in thinking the 70's were a bleak depressing black hole of decade right?  Not unlike this one. I jest I jest. The song up there is the first one I ever learned all the lyrics to. I was maybe 2. My Dad loved me to sing it. Seeing this movie brought me back to then. Think good thoughts for my Dad right now internets, he's slipping away I fear.

But there's one thing I know:
The blues they send to meet me won't defeat me.
It won't be long till happiness steps up to greet me.


Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Prairie Bistro Review -St Albert AB

We had the occasion to have a meal at the Prairie Bistro as a part of a wedding. The groom assured us he had never had a bad meal there and we were very excited at the prospect. We had a 3 course meal to look forward to!

 We sat down at 6.30 and had our drink orders taken quite promptly. I don't drink but my 2 companions at our table did. They were brought out quite quickly. My one companion was surprised the tequila he ordered was of the bottom shelf kind, but since he didn't specify what he wanted perhaps that is their default. Our server came by to take our dinner choices soon after but when asked if anything had come into contact with nuts (one of us has a terrible nut allergy) or had nuts in it she was flummoxed and just read/looked at the menu and replied it "looked like nothing has nuts in it, but wasn't too sure". No offer to find out, or check with the kitchen to ascertain the nut free status so it looked like we were on own at this point. My friend, buoyed by lots of post wedding drinks and a brand new EPI pen in his pocket decided to throw caution to the wind. Fortunately, it didn't happen that he needed it, but seriously? In this day and age who doesn't know about allergies? Especially the kind that kill you? Hmm.

For our first course we had all chosen the Creamy Forest Mushroom soup. It came at about 7.15 by which time we were all pretty famished. The soup was good, not terribly creamy, more of an emulsion of mushrooms, but it tasted quite nice. Our plates were cleared quickly and we were asked if we wanted more drinks. Since our party was quite small (I think there were about 20 adults and a table of kids) the restaurant was open for regular dining at the same time. We had 4 dedicated servers for our party and were spaced out into tables of 3 or 4 with the exception of the head table. The rest of the space wasn't busy at all. I think there were maybe 5 or 6 other tables in the whole time we were there. I make these notes to indicate that this was in no way a slammed Saturday night where everyone is in the weeds. It was QUIET in there. 

Our entrees made their way to our table about 8.30. That time in between was spent being asked if we wanted more to drink from the bar, and not refilling my water. Two of us had ordered the Rose Ridge Beef Tenderloin with roasted garlic potatoes, asparagus & mushrooms with red wine jus, and one was having the Roasted Chicken Supreme with toasted barley risotto, grilled green apple and dark chicken jus. When we ordered the beef we were advised that it would be medium rare. My favourite! We all tore into our food, really excited (and HUNGRY) to eat what looked to be a great meal. The first thing I do is to take a bite of everything to plan my attack. The asparagus was excellent. Crisp and buttery. The potatoes were mashed not roasted, and were completely drenched in horseradish which wasn't indicated on the menu anywhere. I'm not a fan of horseradish so those were segregated to the side. The beef itself was blue rare, which while I'm not crazy about is ok, and since we had been waiting for this course for over an hour there was no way I was going to send it back. I need food NOW. I guess the blue rare meat would explain why it was cold, but so was the rest of my plate. And both of my friends too. The one who had the chicken said it was ok (it looked very pink to me) but he'd still rather have a good diner burger., I noticed he left all his risotto to the side. I tried to eat as much of the tenderloin as I could, but the center 2 inches were bloody and cold and I ended up leaving them on my plate too. Our plates were cleared and since no one had quality checked us during our meal I thought our waitress would have asked if everything had been ok seeing all the food left on the plates. I know I could have said something right then, but come on, this was a wedding, I didn't want to be "that guy". Besides we were having a good time with or with out the food. 

Our desserts came out at 9.30. The boys had chosen Lemon Meringue cheesecake when the Pumpkin one on our menu wasn't available. I chose the Rosemary and Lemon Creme Brulee. The waitress brought out the cheesecakes and a berry crumble. When I informed her I hadn't ordered that she dropped the dish down onto our table and proceeded to go through her bills to see what was ordered. When she found ours, she said she be right back with the right order. I did try the boy's cheesecake and while it was light and fluffy I found it overly sweet, with no real lemon flavour. We had better cheesecake earlier that day at the Second Cup in West Edmonton Mall. The boys agreed and one of them left most of it on his plate. The waitress came back about 10 minutes later to tell me my order would take a few more minutes. The boys were finished by this point but were happy to wait to get mine. At 9.50 she brought my brulee out. It had these awesome pear jelly cubes with it that were pretty and tasted just like a fresh Bartlett pear! The brulee itself was quite silky and creamy. The rosemary flavour did nothing for me at all, and I left most of it. It was an interesting idea, but I think something like lavender or rose would have been much nicer. Too much savoury in that sweet was just plain weird. These dishes were never cleared off our table. We were offered coffee or tea but declined.

We decided almost 4 hours in this place was enough and wanted to get our bill and leave. This was a prixe fixe menu for 55$/person. We had to physically chase a waitress down to get our bill, which is ridiculous. The service was absolutely atrocious throughout our meal unless it was coming to the table to see if wanted more from the bar. The food was mediocre at best and at worst was inedible. The place itself is really pretty, and quite modern. The chairs could have been comfier for the time we spent in them, but I hope that was an aberration. I would never recommend this place for it's food or service. The 16% gratuity was added on, and was a joke based on our lack of service, It was an unfortunate end to a lovely wedding.