Day 44 – February 13

Monday was Family Day in British Columbia – which meant I didn’t have to go to school for a second Monday in a row (oh Smonday, I’ll never get over you). This worked out well because I was actually down and depressed from the long, booze fuelled and emotionally charged weekend.

I spent the majority of the day catching up on blog posts, napping and not doing any of the pending assignments that were much more important.

It was also National Tortellini Day and Eat an Italian Dish Day ( a little reminiscent of the Cream Cheese Brownie Day and Have a Brownie Day falling on the same day of last Friday)

Well you don’t need to tell me twice, National Holiday curators

Apparently there is a pasta called tortelloni which is a bigger version of tortellini which makes me think the Italians need to calm down.
I busted out a some cheese tortellini with basil tomato sauce at lunch time – y’know, to catch the ultimate lighting

I could photograph food all day

I should probably buy some fancy equipment and get around to installing photoshop on my computer

This was another just-get-through-the-day days. A celebration in and of itself.
I did make it to night skiing for a few burns down the hill though, despite being completely out of it

Cheers to that and onwards to Valentine’s Day

 

 

Day 42 – February 11

Having had a few too many drinks the night before, among other things, I awoke with tremendous regret as well as a head ache. But I decided not to cry over spilled milk, for it was Don’t Cry Over Spilled Milk Day.
So in attempt to feel human again, Christina, Duncan and I went for coffee and donuts at Cartem’s, which was completely off script of any National Holiday Celebrations for the day. It was just a couple of hungover bitches getting their carb binge on.

Duncan wanted in on these too, which, if you have been following along, has become a sort of a plot crutch for me at this stage of blogging.

(I’m one with The Force, yada yadda  yadda)

Once re-humanfication was complete (if only), I thought I best get some official celebrating done.

It was White T-Shirt Day which apparently carries a lot of political weight and has something to do with strikes and union disputes in America somewhere.

I thought, in true T. Swift fashion, to disregard the struggle of the working class and don this white Taylor Swift shirt that has no political sentiment whatsoever (… I mean if you take “1989” to just mean the year she was born and not consider for a moment the Tiananmen Square Massacre). Doesn’t get much whiter than her!

Later in the evening, I managed to score some mini York Peppermint Patties at the drug store for National Peppermint Patty Day.

 

I ate a few but felt the need to augment the level of celebration around it.
With that I did a quick little water colour sketch of Charlie Schulz’s Peppermint Patty and Snoopy. Wikipedia states that “Peppermint Patty is noted for her persistent habit of profoundly misunderstanding basic concepts and ideas that most people would consider obvious, then blindly ignoring any counsel against her latest fixation, which leads to ultimately embarrassing situations for which she blames everyone who warned her.”

Sounds very Presidential.

Although I don’t relate to her on a cerebral level, I did have a revelation, while painting, that my frumpy-men-shirts-and- Birkenstock aesthetic  may very well have been adopted straight out of the Peppermint Patty Fashionista Manifesto

 

Then Christina and I watched Magic Mike XXL and made plans to go to a stripper convention our next vacation… but also to not wear good clothes because they would get ruined by all the whip cream, chocolate sauce and getting tossed around.

 

Day 41 – February 10

I’m a colossal brownie fan and have been eagerly awaiting National Cream Cheese Brownie day since Day 1.  It was National Umbrella Day as well.

Umbrellas are one of those things that everyone in Vancouver has that no one in  St. John’s has,  like leaf blowers and dim wit. Umbrellas are entirely useless in St. John’s because the wind flips it inside out, without fail, and the rain is usually falling sideways. All in all, they are more trouble than they are worth.

Duncan and I went for a little walk in the rain with an umbrella and then came home to serenade each other with Rihanna .

Next up was making some brownies.

I’m not one for following recipes so they were disastrous to say the least

But I managed to take some pictures to prove I did it and would rather put the entire debacle behind me – onwards to (Pre-made) Peppermint Patty Day!

Day 40 – February 9

February 9th is National Bagel, Pizza and Toothache Day.

I’m going to have to come clean here. I knew Boy Scout Day and Kite Flying Day were gonna be weak on the celebration scale, and I also think having a Bagel and a Pizza on the same day is excessive… so I snuck in my Bagel a day early.

It was great- Granville Island Farmer’s Market has a cute little bagel making kiosk – made fresh all day.

I got a sun-dried tomato one, toasted with plain cream cheese.

And you know what? I wish I had ordered two.

Back to the future: I have been fighting off a cold (quite vigilantly, if I do say so myself) but I really wanted to email in sick to my practicum placement on this particular day. However I also felt obligated to see a certain client I am dealing with and knew it would affect our progress if I missed a session, so I powered through and went in.
After spending the whole fucking day there,  I found out that kid wasn’t even in school today- THEY were sick. Luckily it was (National Bagel Day), National Pizza Day and National Toothache Day, so it really nothing else mattered.

Christina and I were supposed to go out to dinner with friends (and have pizza)  but they got stuck on the highway all day because of avalanches … classic. So when those plans got cancelled, we decided to order in because we like wearing sweat pants as well as drinking wine at a faster rate than most restaurants can keep up with.

We went with Virtuous Pie vegan pizzeria because it is simply the best
We ordered three because we are pigs

 

We got Stranger Wings, Super Funghi and  Kim Jack!
Our poor highway stranded friend, Ashley, did eventually get to Vancouver much later and came by to eat our left overs.

I didn’t pursue National Toothache Day because it was simply too weird.

Day 38 – February 7

National Send a Friend A Card Day!

National Fettuccini Alfredo Day!

And Tuesday!

A Day where I have no school, no practicum and no work !

I had grand visions of going to a cute stationary store near our apartment and picking out a few cards with Duncan after having a run around Kits Beach.

But a few things happened that made me make alternative decisions.

First thing on the beach, a couple of Japanese tourists were Face-timing family back home (I presume) in a crouched down position.

Duncan managed to barge through them from behind and in a single leap land on the man’s lap and photo bomb the live feed, giving them the start of their lives.

They did see the humour in it.

Next up was a mom with a baby strapped to her chest and a toddler at her side at waters edge. Now Duncan loves toddlers so of course he lunged for him nearly knocking him right into the February sea. Luckily the toddler took the spill sand-ward and no one got soaked.

Mother was rotted.

And then finally we encounter a young artist, sitting on a log with his sketch book and supplies spread out accordingly, staring at the sea.

Duncan, with Magic Mike like agility, jumped onto his lap, splaying oil pastels and pencils everywhere. The artist did get a kick out of it, but that was the end of Duncan’s reign of terror.

I leashed him up and aimed for the card store. En route I noticed Duncan was no longer on leash. The clasp had broken. So I tied it on and just headed home.

 

Once home I realized I didn’t want to leave again. So I used what I had on hand which was some pretty cute origami paper ! I looked up how to make ‘cards’ and found instructions to make these hearts

Three Hearts for three people! I won’t say in case they are reading – it won’t be a surprise!

When the cards were folded and enveloped, stamped and posted, it was time to focus on the star cause for celebration this particular day – Fettuccini Alfredo. 

 

I have never ever made Fettuccini Alfredo before and honestly don’t think I have ever really eaten it before.

I researched some recipes and decided to make a fusion of the best ideas

  • 1 pint whipping cream
  • 1 brick of cream cheese (full fat)
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon nutmeg
  • salt & pepper
  • 1 cup Parmesan cheese
  • fresh basil

Sautee garlic, diced in butter. Then combine rest of ingredients. It will thicken like cray so be vigilant and don’t make it too early in advance of serving.

 

 

I bought two packages of locally made fresh fettuccine

I also prepared some Tofurkey chicken and Chrissy made a salad

We had Kathleen, Graham and Molly over and hit the wine. It was delightful and we made drunken plans of renting a river boat in the summer.

They also brought me a card in honour of  National Send a Card to a Friend Day!

So cute!!!!

 

Day 37 – February 6

Another day, another chance for Vancouver to prove its incapacity to deal with snow.

There was a lot of hype about this snow day – my pretentious chiropractor assured me Monday was going to be ‘the worst day yet’. I had received an email the night before from the director of my school saying that school will likely be closed.

It wasn’t. A lot of other stuff was shut down though.  I was really looking forward to having the day off so I was sulking about having to go in when the storm didn’t play out as horribly as planned. But then I saw through one of my fellow holiday celebrators Instagram account that Monday February 6 is SMUNDAY ! The official day to call in sick to work or skip school in the UK and the day after the Super Bowl in USA!

SO I DID! I just did it. Emailed in to say I wasn’t well and not coming in. I just couldn’t fathom being in that building seeing the same people I’ve been holed up with all weekend again. Just couldn’t do it. Plus I gotta do whatever holiday is presented to me so, onward ho!

Duncan took to Smunday (or Smonday) like a fish to water… or a bulldog to napping!

With a whole new day ahead of me I got to work catching up on blog posts, getting school assignments started and some even finished, and eating some froyo for National Frozen Yogurt Day!

Kathleen graciously agreed to partake in celebrating this particular day with me. We deliberated about going to Menchie’s but ultimately decided to support a local small business that was actually closer to where we live. Scoop! on 4th !

It’s not quite as DIY as Menchie’s and other froyo vendors of that nature – the counter attendant handled all the froyo dispensing- no getting carried away and ending up with a 40$ bill

They had toppings galore and you could serve yourself

Quite fancy indeed

 

I went with Chocolate Hazelnut frozen yogurt and added Oreo, brownies, yogurt chips, marshmallow sauce and salted caramel sauce.. and a few sprinkles to enhance the photogenicness of it all

Kathleen followed suit more or less- looks like she wailed on the coconut and chocolate almonds

We were really cold and eating frozen yogurt in February in a ‘snow storm’ after emailing in to school ‘sick’ is pretty ridiculous, I must say

It was really good- and yogurty 

And then to really top off Smunday, Christina and I went to Mount Seymour for some $10 Ladies Night Night Skiing!

 

 

Skipping school was the best thing I’ve done so far on this celebratory journey, if I’m being honest.

 

 

 

Day 36 – February 5th

For breakfast I had a banana with Nutella because it was …

World Nutella Day!!

This was pretty much the highlight of my day. It was all downhill from there.

My “Advanced Counselling Skills” Workshop Part II rolled out shortly afterwards.  I was completely dreading it. When I arrived at school, everyone was complaining in whispers about how much they were not enjoying the content. I found a great sense of joy know everyone was suffering as badly as I. One classmate didn’t show up, another left part way through saying they didn’t feel well, and another had a ‘family’ thing to attend to. So the class was whittled down to the courageous few who plodded forward with the draining and deranged activities we were forced to do.

Here is a sentence from the article we had to read to prepare for the course:

“A mythopoetic inquiry is a kind of ‘soul tracking’ by way of footprints of the emerging autonomous images from the unconscious that present themselves symbolically suggesting that developing the ability to see symbolically and that this way of seeing could allow the possibility of loving one’s fate: a secret way of seeing.”

So like, yeah.

It was SUPPOSED to be National Shower with a Friend Day and Christina had booked us a hotel at Harrison Hot Springs and a few of us were going to go and get out of town and have massages and facials and drink wine and lounge in hot tubs and take glamour shots and have a great time …

…but nooooooo I had stay here and go explore my unconscious using charcoal and ink and found objects

There it is everybody – the abyss that is my soul. Happy Nutella Day !

 

 

Day 34 – February 3rd

Well today was a shocker
It snowed! A lot ! In Vancouver ! In February!
Apparently it’s supposed to be spring by the end of January. Schools were closed, flights delayed, busses off the road, total pandemonium !

I didn’t have school or work but plenty of school work.
But I decided to err on the side of complete negligence and not do anything productive in that realm.

I put everything into National Women Physician Day ! National Carrot Cake Day! National Wear Red Day!

I trudged through the snow (barely ankle high but still warranting everything in the city to shut down more or less) to my chiropractor appointment. I supposed she is a doctor and may count, but she is the snobbiest person I ever met- I kinda love it it’s a riot, but the last thing I want to do is inflate her ego any further. It would be dangerous.

I chose, rather,  to celebrate my ‘Woman Physician’ back home in NL – Dr. M. I often think if Sarah had had Dr. M as a doctor instead of all the incompetent, unconcerned, criminally negligent, lazy practitioners and specialists that over saw her health, she would still be alive. Dr. M leaves no stone unturned whenever I have had the slightest of ailments. She even humoured me with a follow up ultrasound on a benign breast lump I have after Sarah died just to give me additional peace of mind about the matter.  She listens, doesn’t speak condescendingly, and doesn’t dismiss, all the while being super fast, as her waiting room is always blocked

Dr. M also came though big time with the note that allowed Duncan on the plane with me. I can never thank her enough for that – without it there was no way to get him here (Air Canada doesn’t allow bulldogs of any sort in cargo or baggage because they are high risk of dying while in air apparently).

I got this photo of Duncan in this quintessential Vancouver location printed:

And a thank you card

and wrote a little note and put it in the mail. Hope it doesn’t weird her out!

As I said earlier it was snowy af out and the city was all out of whack. I took it as a great opportunity to stay indoors and celebrate National Carrot Cake Day by baking one from scratch – is there any other way to bake?

So Carrot Cakes are my maternal grandmother Nana Byrne’s claim to fame. She makes the best carrot cake and even baked one for Terry Fox (my absolute hero) when he ran through her town. Now I have never made one with her or even overseen the operation. But I do know she used a jar or two of carrot baby food in her recipe. It was the ‘secret’ element. I could’t find any baby food that was carrot only so I got a mango apple carrot one.

I scoured the web to find one that had that but couldn’t see any so I just sort of made up my own recipe through an amalgamation of other recipes and my own guesses about what would work – I am really good as far as I’m concerned.

To make a carrot cake the way I did, you will need:

  • 3 eggs
  • three carrots grated
  • 1 pack mango apple carrot baby pureed food
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 heaping teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 heaping tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1 heaping tablespoon nutmeg
  • 4 teaspoons vanilla

I combined these well using brute strength and a whisk. I didn’t have a cake pan so I made cupcakes. I baked at 350 for just shy of 30 minutes. Our oven is very hot here so I checked on them obsessively.

When cooled I iced them with frosting I made by combining :

  • 1  8oz brick of cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup of butter
  • 4 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups of icing sugar

Again I used my whisk to mix this. I didn’t get the thick ‘whipped’ consistency I am sure I could have gotten with my $400 Kitchenaid stand mixer back in my beautifully equipped kitchen in Newfoundland that’s now being used by a high end call girl who doesn’t know how thermostats work.

The yield of my labour was 12 super moist, deliciously carroty cupcakes with thing but delicious cream cheese icing

It’s true – they were delicious – these guys thought so!

After writing cards and baking cakes I realized I had almost missed the easiest thing to celebrate- Wear Red Day!

I felt so dumb ! It was almost too easy

I pulled my favourite sweater out of the closet and hauled it on. Took a few selfies from the front…

 

…and the back

I met the man that would become my husband in this sweater. He told me he had a dog that looked just like it growing up – Jim Jim. The rest is history.

Next up is National Homemade Soup Day!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 33 – February 2nd

So today was National Heavenly Hash Day and Groundhog Day.

I discovered, through one of my newfound Instagram friends, that it was also National Crepe Day so I decided to go with that ( I had ice cream yesterday with the Baked Alaska and I was dreading eating more. And, well, Groundhog Day has been done… over and over …and over  😉 )

Thursdays I go to an elementary school and therapize a bunch of kids. It was an exceptional day on that front- made some breakthroughs with these little people. But when the last bell rang for the day, it was time to get down to serious business.

There is a cafe about three blocks from my house called Crepe Cafe. It doesn’t allow dogs despite having a water bowl inside and several large French bulldog statues on display (above left)

So after ordering a Nutella Strawberry Banana crepe (is there even any other kind?) I was swiftly kicked out for bringing Duncan inside by the teenage crepe master who looked remarkably like the lead singer of  the most aggravating band in world, Mariana’s Trench

So Duncan and I dined outside thanks to that guy … and food safety

I was sort of expecting that getting a crepe at a place that’s called Crepe Cafe was going to send me into the next crepe dimension

It didn’t

Duncan is still honing his Jedi mind tricks

As I ate that unremarkable crepe, I felt really depressed. It is sad ‘celebrating’ every day alone with your dog …who isn’t even allowed in most places (I wasn’t gonna pull out my Emotional Support Animal letter for Mariana’s Trench back there). I have a nice big house and an amazing husband and a whole other cute dog on the other side of the country and here I am eating crepes, alone outside, for blog content. The whole point of a marriage is to celebrate life together. I had a bit of an crepe induced existential melt down, dear readers, I must admit.

This photo really captures the doleful sentiment of crepe day

I went back to my apartment and pacified myself by watching The Thin Blue Line… well part of it. I got really agitated part way though with the hill billy accents and the repeated referencing of the defence attorney as ‘the lady lawyer’,  so I ended it early to put myself out of misery

YAY Crepe Day!

 

 

Day 32 – February 1st

 

February 1st marks the beginning of a whole new month of celebrations!

National Get Up Day,  National Freedom DayNational Baked Alaska Day & National Serpent Day!

National Get Up Day has something to do with skating, but I decided to interpret it to mean ‘get up’. Which I did, first thing.

Now National Freedom Day is an American holiday celebrating that time Abe Lincoln (my birthday twinsie) outlawed slavery. Thank goodness for that. It is also the start of Black History Month. Check out Donald’s latest speech to learn alllll about what it’s like to be black : Absolutely riveting

Now, for all you fine folk who think Canadians only claim to shame was our complete mistreatment of our indigenous peoples (genocide, residential schools, bum land trades, forced sterilization, germicide, etc), boy are you in for a treat!

We indeed had slaves! Mind you, Wikipedia likes to call the amount of African slavery “insignificant” (and then quickly point out that the native nations enslaved each other).

So the idea is that if it isn’t that many, it doesn’t really count.  We get to be holier than thou towards our American neighbours forever because we didn’t use as many. I’m just beaming with Canadian pride over here.

I read all about it here

They faced the same shit and some even fled to the freed states in America from Canada.

Found this – so sweet, having a clearance sale because he’s heading back to the motherland…

In French and English, all Canadian-like!

So that’s how I celebrated American Freedom Day, by taking the time to learn about Canada’s true history using Google.

That brings us to National Baked Alaska Day !

I was really looking forward to this one because I have never had it before and was completely mystified.

Baked Alaska is cake or crust, ice cream and meringue. It all goes in the oven at some point and the ice cream doesn’t melt, by the grace of god, I presume.

So I did a graham crust, baked that. Then layered on the ice cream. I froze the ice cream and crust together then got to work on the meringue.

I combined 3 egg whites, a dash of salt, a dash of cream of tartar and about 1/3 cup of sugar and got to whipping. I don’t have a stand or hand mixer so it was all ‘elbow grease’ as they say, which is just a revolting idiom for ‘hard fucking manual labour’. So I whipped and whipped and whipped. And whipped. And whipped.

I can’t believe I hand whipped meringue. Holy fuck. I feel like I could win Chopped now… Chopped Canada at the very least. When I got my ‘soft peaks’, I layered the meringue mixture over the ice cream layer, sprinkled some additional graham crumbs on top

Then I put it in the over under the broiler for about 5 minutes

Magic

It was pretty good

The ice cream was completely melted so I guess that wasn’t quite right.

It was also quite substantial. I had no one to share it with and it’s not a dessert that ‘keeps’ so I had to let Duncan in on the action.

But I had to be careful – he’s a puker…

Oh and it was Serpent Day but idgaf. I hate snakes ever since everyone attacked Taylor by flooding her Instagram with the snake emoji that time Kim released the secret recording of Taylor agreeing to some of the lyrics in Kanye’s song but not the lyrics she was upset about (“I made that bitch famous”) (… which is sooo not true, for the record, get over yourself Kanye) (she made you famous, if anything, give me a break) so it proved nothing but Kim fans are all total losers and need to get lives and ruined Instagram completely for like 2 weeks. So rude.

#teamtaylor

Just kidding – I hate teams- I think everyone should win

Join me tomorrow for more ice cream- National Heavenly Hash Day… as well as  Ground hog day!