Saturday, January 31, 2015

How To Reduce Your Grocery Bill in Ten Easy Steps

Step 1.

Purchase a brand new Samsung refrigerator during your home renovation three years ago.  Have it break down multiple times over the past 36 months.  Call the repairman to fix it multiple times.  Be incredibly thankful your husband bought the extended warranty when you are told that the fridge cannot be repaired and will have to be replaced.  Have your husband feel concerned when he learns that a free replacement fridge does not come with free delivery, nor removal of the old fridge or the carrying in of the new fridge.

Step 2.

In your spouse's bid to save the $150.00 door-to-door delivery charge, have a friend help move the somewhat working refrigerator downstairs to the furthest reaches of the garage.  This, you are told by your husband, is merely a stop gap measure as the appliance store in North Vancouver has agreed to drop off your new fridge (free of charge) as "soon as there is room for it on a delivery truck going up to Whistler".  This impending 'piggyback' delivery, your husband assures you, will happen very quickly.  If not quickly, at least at some point in January.

Step 3.

Tell your husband that this is the dumbest idea you have ever heard of.

Step 4.

Try to convince your husband to pay the god damn $150.00 delivery charge and get the new refrigerator asap.

Step 5.

Have your husband assure you that this cost saving measure is a good idea.

Step 6.

Have your husband tell you that the delivery will happen any day now.

Step 7.

Figure out, in short order, that having your refrigerator in a cold basement garage is a GIGANTIC PAIN IN THE BLOODY NECK.  Find out that you would rather not eat than go downstairs and get food from it.  Find out you are eating less and as a result your grocery bill is going down.

Step 8.

Borrow your son's beer fridge to pinch hit while waiting for the any-day-now delivery of your new appliance.  Have this baby fridge freeze whatever food you put in it.  And by 'food' I mean a small tub of yogurt and a tiny jar of jam.  That is all it will hold.  And also freeze solid.

Step 9.

Realize you must have another receptacle upstairs to hold some of your perishable foods because you refuse to go downstairs to the garage one more time.  Press your camping cooler into action.

Step 10.

Remind your husband that it is now the final day of January and the new fridge has not yet been dropped off.  Have your husband concede defeat.  Listen to him say, "Maybe this wasn't a good idea after all.  Let me see if I can find a friend with a truck."

Consider yourself warned truck-owning friends...


Joe's newest batch of fermenting cabbage (which resides in my bathroom due to the heated floor keeping the temperature at an even 20 degrees C) is infused with seaweed, kale, tarragon and pea shoots.  All I can say is "NUMMERS!"

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Robbie Burns Day!

 Selkirk Grace 
by Robert Burns

Some hae meat and canna eat,
And some wad eat that want it:
But we hae meat and we can eat,
And sae the Lord be thanket.

It has been exactly one month since Christmas Day.  And that can only mean one thing.


While most Scots tucked into a proper Burns supper of roast beef and mashed potatoes, Joe and I enjoyed all beef hot dogs and potato pancakes around our fire pit.

A sincere apology to Burns fans everywhere.  We had no Scotch in the house, so we had to pinch hit with a bottle of Irish whiskey.

After we finished eating our delicious Burns supper, we piled a bunch of scrap lumber from our old fence onto the fire.  Just as I was about to launch our Christmas tree on top of the blaze, a local firefighter (who had seen the huge column of smoke from the road) sauntered around the corner of our house into our backyard asking if we had a campfire permit.

"Permit?  We need a permit?"

Seems that we now do.  And not only that, we can't burn lumber OR tree prunings.  Only aged firewood.

Oh, for Pete's sake.

He let us go with a warning.  We promised to get a permit the next time we have a backyard fire.

But man, we gotta a whole lotta fence panels yet to burn.

And in other breaking news:

While I was searching for a bottle of Scotch in Joe's booze cupboard, I noticed SIX JARS OF RASPBERRY JAM hiding in the corner behind some port and amaretto.  What the hell?!?!

My work here is not done, people.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Family, Friends, Food and Fun

It has been a 4 F kind of holiday.  Family, friends, food and fun.  Sixteen days of mirth and merriment.  So much mirth and merriment.


“I sustain myself with the love of family.” - Maya Angelou

Our first Christmas gift of the season was having Molly arrive home for eight whole days.  

We got together with Joe's parents, grandmother, aunt and my mom for an early holiday luncheon.

Our kids with their incredibly adorable 99 year old great-grandmother.

Paige's boyfriend Jordan celebrated Christmas with us.  We ventured up the Sea-to-Sky gondola for a snowy walkabout on Christmas afternoon.

Christmas Day coma.

Molly's boyfriend Jordan (yes, both girls are dating boys named Jordan) flew in from Boston to spend a couple of days with us in Squamish.

We got together with some cousins we don't get to see very often.


We are blessed with so many good ones.

 Joe worked in the Medical Genetics department at the University of British Columbia in the '80s.  We got together for dinner in Vancouver with some of the old gang.  It was wonderful to spend time with these smart, generous and funny friends.

After re-connecting with this family a couple of months ago, we had a super-fun reunion on December 28th.

 Happy New Year everyone!

Ringing in the New Year with these gals.

We were lucky enough to spend an evening with the English couple we exchanged homes with two summers ago.  They were in Squamish visiting their children.


All celebrations call for for food.  Lots of food.  And this holiday was no exception.

 A memorable meal with friends: Chinese hot-pot.

 Christmas Eve oysters.

 HonestlyI could live solely on appetizers.

 Christmas Eve potluck.

 Joe wowed this crowd with his cocktails, Margharita pizzas and espresso drinks.

Another memorable meal with friends: Swiss raclette.


We had F-U-N in spades this holiday season.

We have recently adopted the Newfoundland tradition of Tibb's Eve.  We donned these wacky hats from some vintage Christmas crackers and enjoyed a few drinks on December 23rd.

Singing Christmas carols is a holiday must.

Surprising Joe with this painting by artist Luchia Feman was a highlight of my holiday.  Joe fell in love with 'The Lollipop King' when we went on the East Side Culture Crawl back in November.

We played 'Heads Up' several different times, a fun game by Ellen Degeneres that is downloaded onto a cell phone. 

Fun is wearing high-heeled boots while walking on snowy trails in the forest.  Fashion first!

If this photo doesn't say 'fun', what does?

Fun is trying to drink a cup of coffee on Christmas morning with a cranky black cat wrapped around your neck.

As much as we could, we ventured out into the great outdoors.  Joe and I always have fun when we are in nature.

And now the house is quiet.  The tree is down and the fridge is empty.

Christmas has come and gone and the new year is upon us.  We both go back to work tomorrow.  

It has been a marvellous time full of family, friends, food and fun.  A 4F holiday indeed.

May your 2015 be filled with happiness and good health for you all.