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Thursday, April 29, 2010

Down This Street

Down This Street....

A Coyote did run....

And He ran as fast as he could. (So fast and so shocking that I did not get to take a picture.)

Down this street.....

Is a tree with some {fake} monkeys in it.

It is called a monkey puzzle tree.

(aptly named.)

Vancouver keeps me on my toes.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The Indian in The Doorway

Though not as enchanting as the childhood favorite, "The Indian in the Cupboard,"

my story at least has the "creepy," factor you can't get anywhere else.

First, not to be derogative, but we're talking Dot not Feather.

Okay.

So, I was cooking in our kitchen {duh,} the other day, and had the sliding glass door open.

Ian had run out to get milk or something, so I was home alone.

Suddenly, I hear a knock and a "hello!" at our open sliding glass door.

I peep my head around the corner and see a large Indian man, turban and all, standing in my door.

{secretly grab large kitchen knife...try to think of where cell phone is. Thing "will my neighbors even care if I scream for help?}f

I go up to man and say hello, using my body presence to kind of push him back out of the door way and out onto the front porch.

He, through broken English, explains that he is looking for a new home and would like to tour ours.

Uh....

I explain our house is not for sale, and point to the Realtor signs just feet away and say those are for houses in the complex, but not for ours.

He doesn't really understand me and waits expectantly for his tour.

I say, "no tour, our home."

And close the sliding door.

And lock it.

And bolt it.

And pray for Ian to return.

(strange man hangs around for about 15 Mississippi's until he ambles off.)


See? Not as cool as the book, but definitely more creepy!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Lonsdale Quay

The other week I got a chance to explore Vancouver all by myself.

I hopped on a bus, then hopped on the SkyTrain, then hopped on a SeaBus (ferry,) to cross over into North Vancouver into a cute little market area called Lonsdale Quay {pronounced Key for all of us Americans.}

It was great to get alone, spend time in God's Word, and enjoy His creation on a beautiful sunny afternoon!

I sat out on a dock looking at real live tugboats. I also saw an otter right between the dock and the boats!
There was a shipbuilding yard too, which was interesting to see!


Lots and Lots of boat parts!


I headed inside the market to hunt down some sweets. Flowers were beautiful!

Now, this picture has a background to it. As I was taking a picture of the flowers, this lady and her daughter were standing at the ice cream stand nearby. The mom was YELLING at her 3/4 year old going "what flavor do you want?! Just tell me and I'll get it for you!!!" and the daughter was completely silent.

Stubborn little thing.

I could say the same thing for the mom though, I looped back by 20 minutes later and that mom was STILL there, trying to reason with her little girl!


There was fresh produce....

Like this Dragon Fruit!

Deli Counters, cheeses, breads, soups, culinary supplies, and fresh fish! This place had it all! (except, not a bookstore...bummer)


And the people watching....

It was excellent!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Week 16- Project 365

Made my first lasagna....ever! It was so good, and has lasted all week! What a great source of leftovers. When I make it again, I'll actually follow directions and not top the whole thing off with noodles....they dried out.

Also, another first...homemade cinnamon rolls! I made PW Cinnamon Rolls as a treat for class, and they were delicious. The one batch made a little more than 5 dozen! They have this great mocha ish icing that sets them apart.


Oh, sweet boy. Ian and I got to babysit for the J man while his parents went out on a date. I can't wait until we get to do this again!

Our front porch. I came home and slept after work on Thursday so I didn't take any good pictures. Boo.

Haha, I like this picture for some reason. Little Emma's legs framed through the playground equipment.

Another view from our front door. It will be really lush in a month or two! Did you know Vancouver is actually classified as a rainforest? Crazy.

My towel hook broke. :( I had to super glue it and this picture resulted.

Photography Thoughts And Other Whatnots

I was reading an article today from MCP about how annoying it is when people ask you what camera you use, implying that the only reason your photos turn out the way they do is the equipment that you use.

Also implying that as soon as they get their hands on the same equipment they will have pictures as good as yours.

And, I have to agree.

Not that I have a ton of experience with that or anything, seeing as I'm not very good, but after recently posting some favorite pictures on FB I was immediately asked what camera I had.

Ummm.

Yeah, it was strange.

To prove my point a little bit, there is a girl, also on FB, who just got a camera that is 3x more expensive than mine and she has been trying her hand at the whole photography thing. And, even though her camera is AWESOME and would totally rock my world, her pictures aren't amazing.

It almost pains me to look at them. (that sounded way more horrible than I meant, please continue reading!) I mean, I can see how great the picture would be if the ISO was lowered, F stop adjusted, or SS messed with.

{remember, I'm not at all talking about how this person is or is not a great photographer, I'm just making a point that the camera doesn't make the pictures great or not.

With all of that said....

I'm so tired of my lens!!!!

I feel so limited in what I can or can't take!

Haha. I'm a walking contradiction, aren't I?

I REALLY want this baby:

From Amazon.

It's inexpensive, it has about the same focal length as the kit lens that my camera came with (which, I really want a bit more, but oh well,) but the great thing is how low the aperture can go. I love getting the "haze," look and bookah in my pictures, but my lens stops at 5.6 ( boo .)

Anyways, that's it for now on my whining. Sorry about that. I've just noticed I've become alot less interested in taking pictures in the past two weeks because I

a.) never carry my camera with me

b.) there is no people around us when I DO have it

and I'm feeling a bit discouraged. Maybe I'll work up the courage to ask some of our friends to let me do a photo shoot with them.....


Friday, April 23, 2010

Lunch Break

Our schedule is starting to settle into a routine of sorts.

We get up, get ready, head out to the SkyTrain, and commute to work. We're at training for about 3 hours, and then we're on our own.

Some people bring their own lunches or go out to eat, but since we are on the econo plan this month (and let's face it, probably every month,) we've been trying to eat at home leftovers and other such things.

Today, I was on my own, as Ian was heading downtown to do some work and I had offered to babysit for a family so they could go out and get some work done.

And, being the introvert that I am (not of the shy variety, but of the "I draw my strength and energy from my down time," type,) I was thrilled to have an hour or so to myself...with no hubby in the house!

I had lasagna for lunch (that pan is lasting forever!) watched an episode of The Office online, read a chapter in my book for work, contemplated loading the dishwasher/doing dishes but quickly vetoed that, read some blogs, blogged (and while doing so discovered Ian's keyboard has a malfunctioning letter 'i.'

Glorious.

Can't wait until the next time I get to have some "me," time!

So, the question is, are you an introvert (drawing your energy from being by yourself) or an extrovert (drawing your energy from being around other people?)

Just wondering :)

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Published

My big sister is amazing.

Really.

She's like the Martha Stewart of our generation.

And she looks like a living Barbie doll, so, she's got a one up on MS.

Her website, Sugar-and-Butter, is amazing, and filled with all sort of great cooking tips and recipes.

And now she's legit, because she got published!

Better Homes and Gardens used her "Blondes Have More Fun Blondies," in their recent all dessert publication.

Great job sis! Can't wait to see all that you achieve next!

Head on over to Sugar-and-Butter.com to see more!

SMILES

I thought I would try my hand at I Heart Faces challenge again! This week, smiles.



(click to make large)

K was playing coy with the camera but I finally captured her smile on the SkyTrain in Vancouver!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The Great Book Dilemma

Alright, ya'll.

I'm really struggling.

I want to read.

I mean, I WANT to read.

But I am at a loss on how to go about it.

You see, I've had the same 4 books in my suitcase for the last 8 months that I have just avoided like the plague {How to Read a Book, Tales from the 1,001 Nights, Great Expectations, and Prayers of the Faithful.}

I just don't want to read those!

Sure, since we began moving around we have read other books and packed/sold/given them away, but as a whole, I've struggled with not wanting to read since the beginning of the year.

Strike that. Not wanting to read what I had on me since the beginning of the year.

I do have books that I really want to read. I want to finish the other 6 books in the No. 1 Ladies Detective Series. I would like to read the book The Hunger Games by Suzanne Clavette. Love & Respect tops my charts and The Three Musketeers has been calling to me.

However, I don't have any of those books with me.

Canadian book stores are few and far between and one of the big differences here is the price in books. 19.99 for a normal paperback fiction book. Almost double what we would pay in the states. Sheesh.

Plus, we don't have any leftover weight room on our luggage for our next move.

Boo.

So, we've looked into the local library here and I'm really just trying to stall my desire to read for another 3 1/2 months but I'm not sure how long I can hold out!

Next up...see if Amazon delivers to good ol' Canada.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Week 15- Project 365


Pray*Give*Go* That's kind of our motto around here. My "jewelry bowl" broke in the move. So it's now a knick knack bowl until I convince Ian I need THIS pottery Barn jewelry box.

Uggh. I hate that the focus wasn't right on this one. Stupid monkey harness. I love the look on her face and her bright green jacket!

Ummm, yes. This is how I hang up my laundry to dry.
Please, no questions.

Hmph. This picture makes me *feel* like I'm in the NorthWest. Which I am. So that's good.

She's one of my favs to photograph! Great smile, vibrant personality. Fun.

Heather's blondies.... Immediately after this picture was taken, I picked up the pan to move it to a different spot with more light....and dropped it all over the floor. Molten chocolate and peanut butter pieces sprayed everywhere. It was not pretty.

I was just upset that I couldn't get my good picture!

So...Yes. I really didn't want to touch my camera today, but seeing as I "committed," to it and all, I snapped a picture of our baking chicken. LOL. Not very artsy, I know. But you can see the horrible effects of the Canadian brand of Fantastic on glass. Yup. I have no shame.

Monday, April 19, 2010

That Time I Threw Up in My Coach Bag

Canada is, um, neat.

A little different at times

(for instance, what the heck is up with their stick butter? It comes in a huge mambo jambo 4 pack that is fused together. Odd)

But, for the most part, very similar to the ol US of A.

We're getting used to some different parts of being a city dweller {compared to the suburban life I've lived for the last 23 years,} such as loud neighbors, no AC, and public transportation.

Ugh.

Public Transportation is the bane of my existence.

Vancouver has a very good system. Sky Trains (elevated subways) run every 2-3 minutes and they are clean and well policed. The bus routes are numerous, well laid out, easy to figure out, and have very helpful drivers.

We usually have a conversation with a driver just about every day.

Even when we know what we're doing.

It ends up going something like this:

Me: Good morning!

Him: Good morning, eh!

Me: Mmm, Hmmm! (flash my bus pass,)

Me again: Thanks!

I know. Not funny. And not really a conversation.

But talking with strangers is a BIG deal for me.

Oh, right. The bane of my existence.

I can deal with the cramped quarters.

I can deal with the interesting mix of languages and cultures.

But you know what I DON'T deal well with?

That interesting mix of aromas from the variety of cultures.

That paired with the constant stop and go of a bus.

It got so bad that the other day, during our hour long commute, I REALLY thought I was going to be sick.

So, I tried to be resourceful. I mapped out my escape plan.

Sure, I might bump into that Indian man and trample on the {extremely} tiny Chinese woman, but at least I wouldn't throw up on them!

Then the bus stopped and let in another 8 people.

Awesome.

My escape plan was now null and void.

What would I do?

There was only one option.

Use my Coach bag as a barf bag.

Oi.

Had I stooped to this?

Is this what transportation had done to me?!

Would I REALLY use that gorgeous mahogany leather bag for such a hideous moment?

What had I come to?

In the end, our stop came before I lost my lunch.{Huzzah!} I patted my bag and told her it was going to be alright, slipped on my big sunglasses and waltzed into the nearest Starbucks.

Because a girl doesn't often have such a crisis in her life and I needed something to soothe my nerves!

*Disclaimer* I apologize if you thought, from the title, that I actually would throw up in a Coach bag. Sheesh, I'm not a savage. *

Week 14- Project 365

Umm... I am my own muse? Not really sure. Oooh, but I have straight hair here! What an anomaly.
YUM. Grandma's sugar cookies? Check. Vanilla Frozen Yogurt? Check. Fresh Strawberries? Check. Deliciousness? Check!!
Arrived. Exhausted. Waiting on luggage to be delivered from airport.

Because "Fantastic," was already taken? Not really sure. This stuff doesn't hold a candle to our USA amazingness though. And if you spray it on glass it melts the glass. Perfect.

Dresser! I love that little bird. But I hate birds in real life. Seriously.


AHHH! I'm in love with this picture! That impish grin was the result of her not letting me take her picture..but I got one!The city! From Stanley Park. We'll need to go back there soon and go roller blading, or kayaking.


Friday, April 16, 2010

A Tour of our House

Our company is providing housing for us during our brief stint in Canada. Furnished housing, mind you, with all Ike@ furniture and kitchenware.
Our bedroom is a one bedroom, one bath first floor apartment in a town home style community, so our front door looks like it leads to a 3 story town home, but the rest of the people's door is on the back of the building...if that makes sense. The place is brand spankin new (less than a year,) and has only had one other resident from our company before.

We tried to pack things in our crates that would make each room feel like home, so the assorted items, besides the furniture themselves, are things we brought with us!

Our bathroom! That shower curtain was one of our last purchases...I just love the paisley.


Our kitchen table, with our (dark) bathroom and lit bedroom behind it.

Our family room. We love the red chairs and the "fireplace," but the couch has GOT to go. It is ridiculous. And uncomfortable. And ridiculously uncomfortable.


Our pictures on the mantle and our phone (attached to a Vonage line,) make it feel very cozy!
Kitchen Right

And kitchen Left. We really like the kitchen, but the stove sets off the fire alarm every time, and that's become a real annoyance.


My "Brittney," jar Mrs. Angela got for me as a reminder to save and spend money on myself every once in awhile. I've already gotten several 2 dollar coins in there!

Eventually our kitchen will be that Mediterranean blue with a bright green accent. Not the walls, just the art, countertop decor, etc. That green bowl is a part of a nesting bowl set that got cracked in the move :( I just finished gluing them back together again, and sadly, it didn't heal the bowls. Now to make a decision on what to do with them for the next move.


I forgot to take a picture of our (messy) room, but here's what's on top of our dresser! A wedding picture and a decorative bird. Also, my jewelry "bowl," but it got crushed in my luggage and is falling apart now.Our closet!! Finally a place to hang our clothes. Not that we have alot.

I hope you enjoyed! Sorry the pictures were poor quality- I took them late at night after unpacking the first night.