Day 19 – January 19th

National Popcorn Day (and Get To Know Your Customers Day but… ) !

Christina and I decided to celebrate this day by eating all kinds of junk food! We usually just eat salads and wine!

So I got some cookies and ice cream and made ice cream sandwiches.

I popped the kernels on the stove top using coconut oil and melted some butter with Sriracha sauce to douse the popcorn in.

Then, once we had all our unhealthy snacks in order, we put on a movie.

“Going Clear: Scientology and The Prison of Belief”

Would you believe I already saw it?

I relearned that a lot of people are insane.

This is what we looked like to all the internet hackers for about an hour and a half

Duncan really likes popcorn in case you were wondering

Because I didn’t have to overexert myself celebrating on National Popcorn Day, I decided to revisit National Rubber Ducky Day. I felt really guilty about skipping it because I really like Rubber Duckies and came across some Rubber Duckies pretty much the next day.

So to commemorate their hard work and sacrifice, I took a moment out of National Popcorn Day to honour them.

Namaste

 

 

 

Day 18 – January 18th

The evening of National Winnie the Pooh Day contained one of those moments when Sarah’s death hits me like a tonne of bricks.

It happens from time to time. Well, that’s an understatement. It happens all the time, really. A lot of times when I’m driving… for a couple of reasons.

Sarah always stopped at amber lights. I think of her every time I stop at one. She was  so cautious. She would slow down even when she only sensed it was going to be amber soon, instead of stepping on the gas to make it through, like I do. She was just so patient and never in a rush. It’s what made her an excellent mother and teacher.

When her death was still ‘fresh’ and the radio in the car was on, I would think ‘oh she hated this song’, or ‘oh she loved how Rowan loved that song’. Then came a period when a song would play, and I would wonder was it out before or after she died- had she ever heard this song? Now I am at a stage where I know definitively that she hasn’t heard any of the new songs on the radio. And I just think about that. How she’ll just never hear whatever stupid top 40 song is on at the moment when I’m driving around. Other people at the stop lights are mindlessly bopping their heads along to Rihanna and Calvin Harris and it just feels so overwhelmingly wrong.

It’s all consuming and takes everything in you to just breathe.
It is a struggle to ‘celebrate every day’ when  most days you are just trying to get through it in one peice

Forever and ever.

Winnie The Pooh sure dropped a lot of wisdom for a guy with no pants.

Earlier this day I made sure I celebrated National Gourmet Coffee day because (non dairy) lattes are one of my favourite things.

The lovely barista at Elysian Coffee, Tzoalli, made me my ‘usual’  almond cashew latte.. and let me photograph her!

 

She apologized for the un actualized latte heart art – almond cashew milk isn’t easy to work with. Classic case of ‘what’s inside that counts’. This latte was exactly what I needed so I couldn’t be arsed about what it looked like!

Once I was jazzed on caffeine, I went home and tried to sort out my National Peking duck Day dilemma (I am not going to eat a duck, sorry). I was looking for a vegan restaurant or recipe that would enable me to honour the day somehow  when I noticed…

A PEEKING DUCK. Sneaky Ducky.

I also discovered this on Amazon Prime

 

It was $24 for a flat of these. I really thought about it. But made the right choice by just allowing the Peeking duck to peek and calling it quits on this particularly emotionally draining day

 

 

Join me tomorrow for National Popcorn Day!!

Bonus : My husband James sent in a photo of his gourmet coffee of the day

Beautiful

 

 

Day 17 – January 17th

January 17th is  National Bootleggers Day National Hot Buttered Rum Day!

What a delightful combo.

It was a rainy day in Vancouver so no lengthy walk for myself and Duncan -he has an aversion to getting wet. A real wuss, truly.

I can’t say I enjoy the buckets of rain that were pouring down nor the gloomy grey sky overhead on this particular Bootlegger and Hot Buttered Rum Day but I powered through.

I decided to celebrate bootleggers by bootlegging a movie about bootleggers off the ol’ interweb.  I’m sure Al Capone appreciates the irony.

When I searched ‘best bootlegger movie’, Lawless came up as a must see. I had never heard of it despite it having a star studded cast and being written by NICK CAVE !

Nick Cave is a real hero of mine so I chose that movie…to steal… well stream, whatever.

So this movie was about three bootlegging brothers who, naturally, have all kinds of violent run ins with the law and the mob. The brutality all escalates nicely to a shoot out in which they all get shot really badly but (SPOILER ALERT) survive.

It had Tom Hardy! That guy is huge! Physically! He like took up the whole shot whenever he was in one. He is like 4 feet wide.  This photo doesn’t do it justice! It was insane. He must have been shooting Batman or something around the same time because it was just ridiculous. He is always great in movies even if he only ever really grunts or makes all the words that he is supposed to be saying sound a lot like grunts (Mad Max, Warrior, Legend, Batman whatever, The Drop). I really love the guy, but I bet he’s hard to live with.

Oh yeah! Here’s a throw back to when I went as his character ‘Bane’ for two years of my life

It also had Jessica Chastain. She’s awesome because she recently got in a twitter feud with a baseball player about birth control. Low down : http://www.refinery29.com/2017/01/136149/matt-garza-jessica-chastain-birth-control

She is all the way right and Matt Garza is a total moron.

Shia LeBeouf was in it too. I literally have nothing to say about him!

And there was all sorts of bloodshed! Murders and beatings and torture ! So it was pretty good, I guess. I mean, it satiated my bootlegging needs for the day despite its toxic masculinity, homogeneous cast and gratuitous female nudity.

Onwards to hot buttered rum. I have never had hot buttered rum before and it was one of the more unappealing holidays of this year long agenda. I am not a rum or hot butter fan. However this warm cocktail did become a lot more attractive after watching everybody in Lawless drink moonshine out of mason jars and gagging over and over.

 

To make it you need

  • butter
  • brown sugar
  • cinnamon
  • cloves
  • nutmeg
  • dark rum
  • hot water

I combined what I felt like sensible portions of all these things. Then Duncan came in to the kitchen to give me a hard look for leaving him behind in the living room sleeping alone

Christina had never had it before either. We both agreed it wasn’t bad but we will never drink it again.

The End.

 

 

 

Day 16 – January 16th

The third Monday of January is decidedly Martin Luther King Jr Day. This year it fell on January 16th. Although I am Canadian, his impact and importance is not lost on me. I don’t really have the words right now to articulate what his legacy means to me and how important the work he was able to do during his short time on earth was. I can’t believe right now, in the United States, they are commemorating this brave, intelligent revolutionary on one day and inaugurating a sexist, racist potential rapist four days later. So much progress has been made yet not nearly enough.

Rest in Power, sir.

It was also National Fig Newton Day  & Nothing Day.

I chose to merge the two by eating nothing but fig newtons for the entire day.

This was a terrible idea. Mostly because fig newtons, themselves, are terrible.

Duncan didn’t think so though, god love him.

Hope it doesn’t make him die.

My day started with one for breakfast. I hadn’t really ever eaten one before. Weird, I guess. They tasted as I anticipated. Like processed, packaged food. Mmm.

I brought the pack to school. I deliberated about sharing. I thought it would be a totally weird food item to present to the class.

“Hey guys, anyone want some fig newtons?”

“Gee, Jennah,  you sure like fig newtons”

“No, not whatsoever”

Then having to eat nothing but fig newtons for lunch in front of them.

I also was worried about my supply. What if everyone said yes? That would deplete my ration tremendously. I imagined running out and having to go back to the grocery store to buy more just to get through the day and having the same cashier (Carlos! From Cuba!) and him remembering me buying them yesterday and him saying “Gee you sure like fig newtons!”

To him I would just say ‘yes’, though, as there’s 0% chance of him surprising me with a box at school sometime and me having to feign delight.

So I opted to keep the fig newtons, and this project in general, to myself. At least for now.

At lunch I pulled two out and ate them inconspicuously enough. That’s all I could handle.

I did have a London Fog coconut milk latte with a class mate after school though.  This gave me the sustenance needed to get home and get to work on a paper about Jungian theory and the role assessment plays in it. I have no idea what I wrote and it definitely wasn’t long enough. I’ll blame it on Fig Newton delirium.

When the paper was all pumped out, a feeling of complete starvation came over me. I decided, then, to ‘celebrate’ and to break my Fig Newton fast by making myself and Christina some lovely burrito bowls. We then carried on with the celebrations by knocking back a few bottles of wine.

No more fig newtons for me, ever. Unless, like,  in post apocalypse kinda situation and they are all that’s in a mystery bunker I discover and I hadn’t eaten for weeks and I’m drinking my own urine too and stuff. Maybe then.

Tomorrow though, will be National Hot Buttered Rum Day & Bootlegger Day. Sounds booze fuelled- my kinda day.

 

 

Day 15 – January 15th

Duncan really took a shine to his hat from his cowboy costume from yesterday, so he decided to celebrate National Hat Day by wearing it for a second day in a row.

 

Ravishing.

It was also National Strawberry Ice Cream Day.

Strawberry ice cream was Sarah’s favourite when we were little. I liked chocolate and our mother would buy Neapolitan to make things fair. I guess that makes sense as I reflect now as an adult but it pissed me off tremendously as a child. I didn’t like the other flavours absorbing all the chocolatey goodness. I never really voiced my dismay though cuz ice cream is still ice cream.

Kathleen and her sister Molly surprised me with a delivery of a jar of Earnest Ice Cream, a Vancouver based creamery. They were also wearing hats, as they have taken to this project like women to hats…. and ice cream.

It was Strawberry Balsamic! Sounded very glamorous. I felt like a Kardashian.

Just like the Kardashians.

We all indulged and shared with Duncan. A very thoughtful surprise on an otherwise uneventful day.  I think Sarah’s absolute favourite strawberry ice cream was those strawberry short cake ice creams that come on a stick. I wish she was here to celebrate. I wore her hat today and just enjoyed the moment.

Day 14 – January 14th

Happy National Dress Up Your Pet Day & National Vision Board Day (& National Hot Pastrami Sandwich Day) !

It was a crisp, sunny day here in Vancouver city. Duncan and I had a run through Kits beach and the most part of the seawall. A lot of energy was burned indeed.

I brought him home, tuckered out. He usually howls when I leave, but he just stayed put on the couch with his eyes barely open and a, “you don’t need me to come with you, do you ?” look on his face.

I darted out to the nearest dollar store  to get some Bristol board for vision boards! … and glue sticks and markers and stickers.

Duncan had mentioned he wanted to go with something subtle, yet elegant for Dress Up Your Pet Day, so I picked him up this classic glitter cowboy hat. Just his size.

He enjoyed every minute of the photo shoot

Truly

 

Then Christina came home and we got to work envisioning our future. We had limited collage material. This is a regret.  I should have done a better job hunting and gathering supplies. I felt my visions of the future were limited to alternative health flyers and the stickers that Kathleen had gifted me.

We set the scene according to a how-to-vision-board blog post found on Pinterest. It told us to

  • clear off table space
  • gather all crafting and collage supplies
  • arrange your healing crystals around your work station (obvi)
  • light candles
  • sing to your angels

We followed all these steps and added some more! We included:

  • drink a couple bottles of wine
  • order some vegan pizzas in retaliation of National Hot Pastrami Sandwich Day
  • take a few clamazipans, for good measure
  • put on some trance music to incite visions

I’ll reiterate here that I felt limited by the collage supplies and add fuzzy from the wine-clamazipan medley.

But I think I can buy into the laws of attraction – if you envision something you will receive it – plan for your dreams concept. However I just really can’t get behind looking at a sheet of Bristol board with stamps and stickers and magazines modge podged  on it everyday to achieve my wishes.

Chrissy was a real wiz at it

Her board was well organized and strategized. Much like her life. Probably why she’s highly successful in her chosen field of geology, despite her complete lack of knowledge on magic gemstones and healing crystals.

Mine was considerably less organized and much more dog focused.

Another day, another thing I never did before !

Hopefully my future does entail more dogs and bags of money !!!

Up next is National Hat Day and National Strawberry Ice Cream Day!

 

 

 

 

 

Day 13 – January “Friday The” 13th

So January 13th was National Sticker Day, National Rubber Ducky Day, National Blame Someone Else Day, & National Peach Melba Day.

I was gifted an assortment of stickers for this particular day by a blog-supporting friend. I decided to put some letter ones on Duncan, spelling ‘Duncan’ and it was gonna be great. However as soon as the camera came out, he had a hearty face scratch and they flew off everywhere.

So plan B was to celebrate a little pride. I put some rainbow flag stickers on him. We started small

Then went for broke

Thanks Duncan. Everyday is a celebration when you’re around.

Then Duncan and I had a nice peruse around the neighbourhood taking in our favourite street art stickers

We both thought this was in keeping with blog content! Also in the background is a Elysium Coffee Shop. This sticker was definitely telling me something – get an almond cashew milk latte, it whispered, you’ll regret it and totally be out of synch with my philosophy.

We got a latte.

Then we saw this one

This one had a lot less meaning for us. Sometimes life is like that.

Then we had a strut around 4th avenue looking for peaches and rubber duckies.

We turned up empty pawed and empty handed, respectively.

I blame Obamacare for this, and in turn, more specifically, Obama himself. That took care of National Blame Someone Else Day.

Thanks Obama.

I didn’t let him stop me completely though.

Peach Melba is a grilled peach with vanilla ice cream and a raspberry coulis. En lieu of the dessert due to lack of peach sources (WHO INVENTED ALL THESE FRUIT HOLIDAYS IN THE DEAD OF WINTERS????????) (…probably Obama *eye roll*), I made a cocktail that I will graciously share with the internet.

You will need

  • 2 oz peach juice
  • 1/2 oz raspberry coulis
  • 3 oz sparkling wine
  • raspberries

To make the ‘coulis’ I boiled about a cup of water, 1/3 cup of sugar, and a thing of raspberries until it was a pot of mush. Then I  poured it through a strainer to get the ‘juice’ and discarded the rest.

Added the coulis, then the juice then the sparkling wine to some champagne ‘flutes’ and a raspberry as garnish and voila – National Peach Melba Day in a glass!

 

Side Post:  I want to boost this initiative sparked by Ashley Roche back home in Newfoundland in memory of Justin Tobin, the angler fish I mentioned on Wednesday

#randomactsofjustin

“Do something kind for a stranger, tag a friend to do the same and think about our boy Justin. 💛 

Document your act, it’ll make Justin and those who loved him smile.

My heart is a little bit bigger after Monday night, I now have a piece of Justin implanted in there.

When Justin was a little boy his mom told him to go make friends and he said he took that advice for the rest of his life. No matter where I went with Justin we would always run into a few people he’d stop and catch up with. If you were ever one of those people I can tell you that he sincerely wanted to know how you were doing. Those chats he would have in passing weren’t to be polite, he really cared about everyone.

He had more friends than anyone I’ve ever met, they were all so important to him. He would do anything for his friends. And I really mean anything. His smile was infectious and his laugh was booming. His kindness knew no end. Not just for his family or his friends, he was kind to everyone.

Since his passing so many people have reached out to me, telling me that if there’s anything they can do to help they’d be happy to. And there is. I’d like you to do a random act of kindness in Justin’s honour. Whether it’s pay for a strangers cup of coffee, shovel a neighbour’s driveway, help someone out in whatever way you can. Because that’s what Justin did. Every day. Even in his last months he was still insisting we bring his leftovers to panhandlers. Justin did so much for so many people, so lets do some random acts of kindness in his memory.

I called him red, he called me brun. The impact he had on my life is immeasurable. Even as I write this, I want to call him to get his thoughts. Missing him hurts, and I wish I could hear him say “and that’s what’s up!” as he does that finger snap thing. But I know he’d be so stoked to know we all did something kind with him in our hearts. ” – A.R

I did a few special things yesterday and held him (and Ashley) in my thoughts. Encourage everyone to partake!

Join us tomorrow for National Vision Board Day, National Dress up Your Pet Day, National Hot Pastrami Sandwich day! Guess which one isn’t happening for all the money in the world!

 

 

Day 11 – January 11th

I’m still not over eating an oyster yesterday. But alas, no time to dwell for today is National Milk Day! National Splash in a puddle with a Friend Day! and National Unicorn Appreciation Day!

Milk is gross so I made a vegan alternative using Cashews and Hemp

How I made my Homemade Cashew & Hemp Milk:

  • 1 cup of cashews
  • 1/2 cup of hemp hearts
  • 6 dates
  • 1 litre of filtered water
  • pinch of sea salt
  • splash of pure vanilla extract

Soak all the above overnight then blend

I have a Vitamix blender in my life now so it blended perfectly creamy smooth. In the past, I would strain the milk after blending to remove the ‘grit’. Vitimix obliterated it.

After having some delicious (cashew) milk & cookies, Duncan and I went on the hunt for a puddle to splash in.

He wasn’t too fussy on the proposition and he may not have partaken but he was nearby for emotional support

So for me, everyday is Unicorn Appreciation day – I have two of them ‘hugging’  tattooed on my arm forever ever… well I guess all tattoos are temporary aren’t they

DAY 10 – JANUARY 10th !!!

Why hello again

Welcome to Day 10 of my 365 Day Celebratory Journey

According the National Day Calendar it was National Bittersweet Chocolate Day, National Cut Your Energy Losses Day, National Oysters Rockefeller Day & National Save the Eagles Day.

On the 9th of January the world lost another gem of a human to cancer. I met Justin Tobin only once but our encounter was so impactful, I am not quick to forget it. His enthusiasm and positivity in the face of a terminal diagnosis was absolutely mind-blowing. He was a person who actually glowed. He was 28 when he was diagnosed and lived to be 31.  A year less than my sister.  He reminded me of this little hopeful angler fish.

I wanted to hold Justin’s family in my heart today as I tried to mirror his sense of fun and  go- get ’em not matter what attitude.

So I started my day by opening all the dark chocolate bars I got for Christmas and posing them amidst some bittersweet chocolate chips and pure cocoa powder for a wee photo shoot. What a time.

It was all well and good till I got cocoa powder in my camera lens, but I digress

I snacked on chocolate all morning. Chocolate is my favourite. I am a true chocolate person. I don’t like desserts that aren’t chocolate. I’m committed to chocolate loving. And so celebrating this wasn’t bittersweet in the least 😉

I then spent the rest of the day dreading the evening reservation at Rodney’s Oyster House in Gastown. This is because oysters are fucking putrid but I decided I would eat one today.

I have always been fascinated by oysters and the fact that people would eat them. They look disgusting. I figured there had to be more to it. As a vegetarian, I don’t eat seafood but, because of the concept of the blog, decided to go for it nevertheless.

A gaggle (that means about 8 right?) of supportive women came to bear witness to the ordeal. They all love oysters. I just…like…can’t wrap my head around it. My friend Kathleen, a fellow vegetarian, came as well and ate one with me too. Here we are having a horrid time:  Down the hatch

It was exactly as I imagined it. Fucking gross as fuck. Like, I can’t even. A truly rubbery, slimy, chewy, grizzly, ugly, revolting food. Thank god for wine.

I’m so glad that was over. I’ve decided it’s not really a ‘celebration’ if you are full of horror for an entire day in anticipation of the holiday at hand. Rockefeller Oyster day definitely caused me to readjust my concept. I really want to be happy. I am trying to choose happiness instead of the gloom that I find myself in… or perhaps am choosing to put myself in.  Eating an oyster did not make me happy. Not. What. So. Ever. I love trying new things, as much as the next person. Perhaps even more! But I am going to learn to draw the line with this project from here on out.

It was also National Cut your Energy Loss Day

So here I am slaving away on my blog by candle light with the heat shut off.. still eating dark chocolate.

As for National Save the Eagles Day, I tried to find a local/nearby Eagle conservatory to donate a few bucks too but all the websites seemed very sketchy. So instead I put on ‘Hotel California‘ and called it a day.

Thanks for reading.

Day 9 – January 9th

I was up super early today thanks to jet lag from the four and half hour time zone difference I am adjusting to. I took some pictures of the terrible state of affairs that my desk was in because it is National Clean Off Your Desk Day.

I am presently sitting at my freshly cleaned table that is used as a desk with Duncan on my lap, sipping my Apricot cocktail and listening to soothing forest sounds  ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OdIJ2x3nxzQ ) trying to unwind from the stressful day that I had.

It was my first day back at school. I had missed the first session back due to flight drama so here I was, a day ‘behind’ in Art Therapy class. I struggle with the group art therapy sessions that we have to do because I really don’t feel comfortable with the other people in the program. Quite frankly, the others all seem to have very basic, non tomultuous lives that are intangible to mine. But today, I was prompted by my instructor and I ended up disclosing Sarah’s death for the first time to these people. And it went exactly as I had anticipated; no one could knew what to do or say, so no one made eye contact and spoke to me thereafter.

Immediately after that, my husband calls saying our crazy tenant is moving out because she is convinced the house is going to get broken into again despite the elaborate alarm system that has been installed. Her dog sets it off regularly and she is convinced this is never the case, but rather the same guy who originally broke in, back to get her laptop. Right.

This is very stressful financially because Vancouver is outrageous to rent in. It’s not like the blog money is rolling in. Without the rental income we are completely screwed. James was livid but had to end the phone call abruptly because he had just arrived at the hospital and was about to get an update about Melvin’s condition.

So I spent the whole afternoon class going out of my skin about what the news could be about his treatment options and about our financial ruination…

HAPPY NATIONAL STATIC ELECTRICITY DAY, NATIONAL CLEAN OFF YOUR DESK DAY & NATIONAL APRICOT DAY!

I came home and called two of my best fellow landlord friends. I put them on speaker phone while I methodically cleaned off the desk. They assured me tenants always do this, two months notice is plenty of time to get a new tenant, they are willing to help with photos and showings, etc etc. With each favour and piece of sage wisdom they offered, a piece of desk debris was put away somewhere it belonged. As the ideas of how to solve the problem poured in, the accumulated layer of dust and glitter was wiped away. The metaphor was strong in this one.

I decided, based on sound advice, to take a load off of James plate by contacting the tenant myself. I wanted to let her know what James is going through and to ask her to deal with me from here on out regarding the matter. That went relatively well. She’s still quite crazy and still moving out but I am honestly glad to be rid of her because she was a nuisance.

After this I went to Whole Foods on an Apricot hunt. They are not in season nor genetically modified to be around despite that. So I managed to find Apricot juice by Ceres.

 

 

I came home, mowed down on the macaroni and cheese I picked up as well, and then whipped up this elaborate National Apricot Day Cocktail:

  • 1ish oz vodka
  • 2 oz apricot juice
  • top with Perrier
  • frozen mixed berries

 

Could I have added a sprig of rosemary or some elderflower extract? Probably.  Maybe lemon or used brandy instead? Sure could’ve. Shaken it? Garnished it? Rimmed it? You bethca.

At this stage in the day, however, I just really needed a drink and National Apricot Day offered me that opportunity. So thank you, National Apricot Day! I’m on my second one now and feeling no pain!

It’s really hard to celebrate when things are so god damn awful but vodka totally helps. As for National Static Electricity Day, it can go fuck itself, I’m going night riding at Cypress!

(photo by Meg Robichaud)