dreaminghope: (Flying Demon Girl)
We flew today!

We were out the door by 5 AM and at the park in Tsawwassen by 5:45 AM.

Very picture heavy. )

Incredible! I got two really good launches with short flights and one or two more launches that probably would have worked on a mountain but there wasn't enough space off the hill for me to get really in the air with them. I also had a few disastrous attempts: several times I forgot the release portion and the wing got ahead of me and collapsed, a couple of times I forgot to keep running once the wing got up, and once everything went wrong and I face-planted! I've got a scrap on my cheek and I nearly gave myself a black eye.

Craig and I were a team (taking turns on their smallest wing) and we did have some trouble getting going. The wind conditions weren't perfect, as there was some gusting and some cross-breezes, and being the lightest flyers, we were getting tossed around a bit and I think we had more false starts than everyone else. We didn't get in enough practices to get consistent in our launches. Russ did better and had some great launches. He could've gone on today to the next phase (Discovery Solo), but he wasn't feeling 100% sure of his launches and decided that he'd rather wait, do "Slope Soaring" again with Craig and I and then probably go on, hopefully with both of us too. Russ' teammate today was on his second "Slope Soaring", so that's not unusual.

It was a lot of work: lifting the wing, fighting the wind, running to get up speed, and hauling it all back up the very steep hill. We would do three or four launches, then switch with our partner and serve as their wingman for their turn. That involved laying out the wing and helping to get all the lines straightened - lots of running around. My legs, arms, and shoulders are achy. I've got some abrasions and bruises on the insides of my arms (not as bad as the ones from the tree course day though). It was worth all of it though, for the moment when you are running as hard as you can, towing the wind behind you, and suddenly your churning legs aren't touching dirt anymore and the wind is carrying you and your heart seems weightless from the success and the joy of flight and you can hear the other participants behind you, cheering you on.
dreaminghope: (Flying Demon Girl)
I am so sore.

My pecs hurt. My shoulders and abs hurt. My back, arms, and thighs all ache. My arms and shins are covered in nasty bruises. I'm having trouble lifting the laundry basket and every time I get off the couch, I groan. I beat the shit out of myself yesterday, and it was worth every bit of pain I'm feeling today. Lots of pictures with the story. )

dreaminghope: (Cute but Deranged)
My Most Annoying Personality Trait

When I first get into work on Sunday mornings, I turn all the highlighters cap down, make sure the pens and scissors are in the correct slots in the desk organizer, flip the ruler so it sticks out the left side of the file holder, and return the stapler, post-it notes, and calculator to the correct spots. My Friday assistant always shifts things around when she uses my desk; I need everything in its place before I start to work.

***

"I have a plan. I always have a plan."

***

It was like something straight out of a Judy Blume novel (Otherwise Known as Sheila the Great, to be exact):

"Everyone take two pieces of paper and write your name on them both. On one, write Good Things and on the other, Bad Things, or Not So Good Things, if you prefer. Then we will all write about each other’s best qualities and worst qualities on the sheets."

I took the leader's Bad Things paper first and wrote on it in my big handwriting: "I think this is a passive-aggressive exercise and if you have anything to tell me about my personality, you can tell me to my face." As we all grabbed papers at random in the half-hour that followed, I always knew who had that paper because they would look at me and chuckle.

At the end of the exercise, I stuffed my papers into my purse unread. At home, I dropped them into a desk drawer and forgot about them. I came across them months later while looking for something else.

I don't remember anything from either page except for one Not So Good Thing entry: "Sometimes you get a little 'my-way-or-the-highway'."

"Just a little?" I asked.

***

"There is a plan. Don't fuck with the plan."

***

I am going to start training a new assistant at work tomorrow. Wish him luck.

Orange highlighter for the customers with changes to their deliveries. All the grocery codes are written in black ink: a four letter code, one space, a slash, one more space, then the next code. Circle them in blue highlighter. Notes to the customers are highlighted in green; packing instructions in yellow; packing instructions in pink. Bin counts in blue pen. Office notes in red pen.

I have very specific ways of doing every tiny task. I always have a reason for doing things the exact way I do, but sometimes my reasons don't seem important to other people. I seem controlling and obsessive...

***

"Just stick with the plan, and everything will work out perfectly."
dreaminghope: (Bee Faerie)
Monday morning. Breakfast isn't until 8 AM, and I packed most of my scattered sarongs and glittery bits the night before, but I'm up before 7 AM anyway. I leave all of my cabin mates mumbling in their sleep - they all made it back to the cabin last night; some for the first time all weekend - and grab my towel and head for the swimming dock. It's empty; the first time in years that I have gotten the dock to myself.

I sit for awhile, wearing only my cloak, and watch the mist race across the surface of the lake and the sun reach above the tree tops. I probably look meditative.

When I finally drop the cloak and slip down the ladder - fast; if you stop halfway, the cold water on your ass or breasts may convince you not to get in at all - it's simply because I can't sit still a moment longer. I do a shallow but rapid breast stroke back and forth to warm up and to out-swim thoughts of Pagan politics and bad pick-up lines.

It takes a dozen short laps, but I finally relax into the water and the trees and the sky and the mountains.

Finally, I get cold. After floating for so long, my body feels heavy under the relentless downward pull of the air. I feel like I weigh twice as much when I pull myself up the ladder as I did when I went down it.

Friday night. This is my twelve time at this Gathering, making me an old-timer here. It's like a family reunion; a very dysfunctional family reunion. It's the fourth year that this camp has been at this site and the paths, lit by long strings of Christmas lights that twist off into the woods to temples and lairs and docks and grottoes, are familiar. I even remember some of the tricky sections where the roots seem determined to twist the ankle of anyone not paying enough attention.

Saturday. We're still arriving, mentally and spiritually, to this place out of place. I hang out in the shade, too lazy to go to any workshops. I catch up on gossip and share some dirt of my own.

I envy the person I was my first year at this place, when I arrived alone amongst the Pagans as a naive seventeen year old and found a sense of community. Some part of me is still that sweet and naive.

A new friend calls me "Snow White" and teases me that little birds sing just for me and squirrels frolic at my feet. I think of a certain Snow White scene from "Shrek 3".

I say something a little nasty about a difficult member of the community and get rewarded with a big laugh. It's funny because it's true, and because it's sweet little me that said it.

Don’t mess with Snow White.

Saturday night. Or Sunday morning; I'm not wearing a watch. There's a fire, hot in the cool night, warding off the damp and the exhaustion. The drummers are maintaining a beat well despite scotch and wine and beer. I dance in the circle of dirt between drums and fire until I'm too hot, then I remove my shirt and dance some more. My hips know the beat my hands can never quite find. All around, the shapes of other dancers and the drummers' hands in the firelight. Through half-closed eyes, I see the half-round moon rise above the trees and shimmer on the lake.

As the night wears on, some of the drummers leave the fire, and the less experienced drummers left stumble more often. I begin to feel the ache of my legs from the length of time I've been dancing. An hour, two hours? I've lost track. I trance out and return over and over, never quite reaching the other state but always close. My body flirts with the drummers, trying to re-create the rhythm when they falter.

There's need and desire in the night, and it isn't all mine.

A young woman - 21, she says - with a carrying voice and too much to drink tries to lose her virginity. She pursues one man for several hours, flattering and teasing awkwardly, even as he tells her over and over that he is not going to sleep with her. He tries to spare her feelings, but she simply does not stop until he actually leaves the fire on an invented errand. He leaves her on the lap of a sweetly monogamous man who tries to soothe her ego only to find himself on the receiving end of her attentions. He talks about his wonderful girlfriend a lot.

Two people at the far side of the fire dance around each other, gradually becoming intertwined. They leave for the shadows before the rating reaches X, though she is topless.

An intoxicated pirate rawly propositions a friend. It seems that he'll take any to his bed, but none seem eager; we laugh at him in the morning, both for his behaviour and for his well-deserved hangover.

Sunday morning. Around the campfire, people cradle their coffees and their heads. I get a few (mostly mock) glares for my cheer. The young woman from the night before pokes at the embers and casually drops that she did get someone to bed the night before, though she doesn't say who. I fill a large garbage bag with cans and bottles and carry it to the main lodge. I pass a cabin mate who is heading to bed.

Monday morning. The closing ritual is simple and bittersweet, and followed by a whirl-wind of packing up our own cabins and the rest of the site and trying to say good-bye to as many people as possible. Garbage and recycling gets gathered up and all the Christmas lights and tent decorations are bundled into plastic bins. From magical space to just another children's camp in just a couple of hours.

Some of us caravan off site and meet at a White Spot restaurant in the nearest town. Over burgers and milk shakes we start processing, decompressing, and planning for next year.

It takes time to pull myself out of the Gathering mind space. My spirit feels heavy under the relentless pull of the real world. I feel twice as heavy coming out as I did going in.
dreaminghope: (Thinking Zoey)
It is one of those gray and rainy Vancouver days that makes you wonder why you chose to live in a rain forest. At the coffee ship, two women of a similar age were sitting at opposite sides of a long table meant for three or four people. One woman nursed a tiny child; the other gazed vacantly at nothing in particular.

The mother sounded like she was continuing a conversation out of habit, not desire: "No grapes or peanuts; nothing that may have mold on it. One cup of coffee a day is OK, but no wine or beer; nothing fermented. I can have all the rice I want – lots of brown rice and vegetables – but no cheese; absolutely no cheese."

She paused. Her companion nodded almost imperceptibly. The silence stretched on for a long moment.

"Soy is good. I can have lots of soy milk. But no soy sauce; nothing fermented, you know?" the mother continued.

Not even a nod this time, but she didn't seem to expect one. Her companion looked out at the rain. The mother looked at her baby.

I wonder at the story of these two women and how they came to be having this non-conversation on a Monday afternoon. Perhaps they are friends just having an off-day, or maybe they are sort of new friends who don't know each other well. Maybe they had a fight, or they are old friends trying to reconnect even though they don't seem to have anything in common anymore. Maybe they have known each other so long that they are just bored with each other.

I feel very blessed that I have many friends who would at least pretend to care if I was to start listing the foods I can and cannot eat.
dreaminghope: (Cute but Deranged)
There's a story about me from my university years that has been told over and over in the years since I graduated: the story of a million muffins.

When I was in university, I was a typical student with a typical schedule: too much reading, too much writing, too much studying, too much coffee, too much stress. I did have a somewhat unique coping method when it all became too much: I baked muffins; a lot of muffins.

Depending on who is telling the story, I baked six dozen, ten dozen, or fifteen dozen muffins at a time. I may have made six, twelve, or twenty different kinds: cornmeal, cranberry and chocolate, mushroom soup, lemonade, and more. My freezer is always stuffed full, but only some tellings include the detail that each muffin was individually wrapped and labeled before freezing. Some remember that I looked a little manic as I baked; some remember how I pushed muffins on everyone who walked through my door. Some watched me bake. Some saw the overflowing freezer. Some ate the muffins. Some just heard the stories later and retold them.

The story of a million muffins has been an amusing anecdote, a way to summarize my personality, and a teaching tool. As the latter, it was used as an example of one way someone coped with stress; it may also be serving as a cautionary tale of what happens if you don't create more normal coping mechanisms for yourself.

I don't remember how many muffins I made at any one go, or how many different kinds. I don't know how often I went into muffin-making binges. All the story-versions are mixed together in my head, creating a new memory. The story isn't just mine anymore.
dreaminghope: (Waterbaby)
I suppose it started with Cora. As the Friday set-up of the biggest event of my Pagan year proceeded magically smoothly, Cora wandered up the path to the Temple where I was contemplating the lights that had to be strung back down the path.

It was her first year at the Gathering for Life on Earth. It was her first experience with the Pagan community. She was there alone. She was completely my opposite in all those things. I decided to play "adopt a newbie", and get some help with my lighting task at the same time. Cora, Jeff, and I strung lights for half an hour or so. When we were done, I think Cora was relieved to be dragged around the site and used in our opening ritual rehearsal. It can be hard to be new in such a tight-knit community.

This was my eleventh Gathering. I've gone every year since I was seventeen and had to have my parents sign a consent form. I'm definitely an old-timer in that little community; we could only think of three or four people who've been going as long and as consistently as I have. This year, I felt all those years as I guided Cora around and kept having reasons to tell stories about past Gatherings.

"At my first Gathering, I decided to take advantage of the clothing-optional option. I was laying on the docks feeling very brave because I was topless. Then Jay walks up. Jay's much older then I, male, overweight, and completely naked. Jay decides to make me feel welcome in the community with a little conversation. Now, picture this carefully: I’m laying down, propped up on my elbows. He is standing. It felt like the longest conversation I'd ever had."

"Let me tell you about why they don't have divided Men's and Women's Mysteries anymore. At my first Gathering, the women finished their ritual on time. They went to the fire pit and started the chant that was supposed to call the men down from their ritual. And we chanted and drummed, and drummed and chanted: Pan, Odin, Baphomet, Cerrnunos, Osiris. After twenty minutes, we moved closer to the men’s area to try to get their attention. And we chanted and drummed, and drummed and chanted: Pan, Odin, where are the men? Where are the me-e-e-en?. It was about forty-five minutes of constant chanting. And that's when they stopped doing the Mysteries."

It was my favourite Gathering so far, and I was deeply honoured to share with Cora and some new folks from my own Tribe the kinds of moments that were highlights for me in past years.

We did the opening ritual. I'd run one opening ritual before, in my third year. My tribe did me proud this year too. The lines were loud and clear. The drumming was energetic. That magic happened: as the spirals of people coiled around each other, the chant spontaneously became a call and response that echoed through the field: All life! / One tribe!

Around the campfire, the drummers were going, and we chanted (we all come from the Goddess, and to Her we shall return; like a drop of rain, flowing to the ocean…) as [livejournal.com profile] misselaineeous danced topless, firelight and moonlight. She was a beautiful Goddess, with the fire before her, the lake behind her, and the drum and the chant moving through it all.

I partied in the forest, in our Grotto. I sang with James to The Last Saskatchewan Pirate and kicked up dust doing kicks to the chorus. I taught Cora how to dance with her hips. I drank of Deb's strawberry vodka, which is simply the most heavenly beverage ever. I served out tequila shots.

I floated naked in the lake, watching dragonflies and damselflies chase and mate in the sun.

I listened while the elders of my community gossiped. Prudence calls the famous Starhawk "Mimi". She also knows the dirtiest, filthiest songs, and is very willing to sing them in exchange for sangria. And she reportedly knows 350 verses to That Old Time Religion, though she only sang about a dozen before we ran out of sangria to bribe her with.

We've watched Ryan grow from a bump to a very sweet and bright seven year old. [livejournal.com profile] xtalforge gave him a piggyback ride, after Ryan stole his sunglasses. As they trotted back across the field to us, Ryan let go to push the huge sunglasses up his little face. [livejournal.com profile] xtalforge said: "You should hang on! I'm not very reliable." For some reason, that struck [livejournal.com profile] edableme as so funny that she ended up spitting lemonade all over the people opposite her at the table.

I got to see wonderful people I see all-too-rarely outside of the Gathering, such as [livejournal.com profile] gerimaple. And I got to hang with my fellow Twinkies – we had t-shirts and everything!

I wish to publically thank my wonderful opening ritual participants, most of whom who also slaved away to load and unload the truck at both ends of the Gathering, and did more then their share of set-up and take-down: [livejournal.com profile] xtalforge, [livejournal.com profile] misselaineeous, [livejournal.com profile] cinnamonsqueak, [livejournal.com profile] bob_lazar, [livejournal.com profile] edableme, [livejournal.com profile] fruitkakechevy, [livejournal.com profile] grayson100, [livejournal.com profile] grinningthefool, [livejournal.com profile] rythos42, [livejournal.com profile] straw_berry_red, [livejournal.com profile] tareija, [livejournal.com profile] vcooke, [livejournal.com profile] paganjoy, Jeff, and Jamie.

I give up: there's no way to effectively summarize this magical weekend.

It was beautiful.
dreaminghope: (Default)
We went apple picking in the pouring rain today. Saturday was beautiful: sunny and warm and golden green and orange. Today, it rained long and hard, but it was the day we could go, so off we went. Ten people, three cars, returning with many pumpkins and many pounds of apples, and a fair amount of mud too.

[livejournal.com profile] gerimaple, you were missed, but you probably would have miserable; we got pretty wet. Strangely enough, it was raining in Abbotsford too. ;)

The apples aren't as beautiful looking this year (they are a little warty), but they are huge and tasty. I predict a lot of pies and crisps in our futures. Russ and I probably have 40 pounds of apples in our kitchen (some for other people, luckily) and I think there are 6 pumpkins in our basement.

I love apple picking. The thick mud slipping under my boots, the wet leaves dripping on my hands and face as I search for the best looking apples, the smell of apples and damp vegetation and the fabulous company. There are so many people I don't see nearly enough of, and it was great to catch up with everyone and laugh and goof around.

Now, if I make the big eyes, will someone bake a pie for me?
dreaminghope: (Firelight - Cinnamonsqueak)
The next post in my many posts about renovating my house simply must be one about my family and community, without whom nothing would be done.

I cannot believe how much time, effort and energy people have been putting in. I am deeply touched and incredibly grateful for all of it. I cannot express how awed and humbled I am by the work other people have been willing to offer. I had workcrews of up to nine people in my house at a time, all putting in amazing efforts.

Though I've tried to thank everyone as we go, and I plan on thanking everyone again at the house warming, here's my list of heroes* so far, in no particular order:

My heroes )

Please, please tell me if I forgot anyone or any major tasks. I really want to remember everyone's hard work and I want to keep a record of how far this house has come and what it took to do it.

A huge, public thank you to all these people. I expect there will be more thank you lists before this is all done.

*Please don't hate me if I forgot to thank you for something, but please do let me know so I can keep records of the work that went into this house.
dreaminghope: (Working Zoey)
Good weekend, but crazy.

I honestly don't remember Friday night. No idea what I did.

Saturday: Cleaning, packing, baking. Then off to Topless Wish Faeries, which was wonderful and fun and magical and exhausting. Maybe more on that later in its own post. Then to Illuminaires after that, until way later then I should've stayed up.

Sunday: Cleaning at Shannon and Dallas' old place. Their new place is gorgeous - congratulations guys! Then Silver Spiral Lammas in the evening.

Had a little nervous breakdown on Sunday night, just getting overwhelmed with all the moving, Gathering and work related things that have to get done in a very short amount of time. Russ calmed me down, and we got a lot done Monday night, which helped a lot. I also managed to get some Gathering stuff done, so everything remaining on that is actually dependent on other people finishing their stuff first. Hopefully that'll all get done on Wednesday night.

Just an apology, partially in advance: I'm not on LJ much these days. I read about four days worth of posts today, but hardly commented on anything. Then I'm away for the long weekend, and my home web access moves to the new house on August 5th, while the computer may not move for a couple of weeks. All in all, I won't be a good LJ friend for the next couple of weeks.

OK, I'm going back to packing.
dreaminghope: (Zoey)
Today we had a beautiful park ritual by [livejournal.com profile] cinnamonsqueak (in the gorgeous summer-like weather), which reminded me about how much I have to be grateful for and how much I like myself (something all too few people can say), and how much I love being with these people. I feel very appreciative and appreciated. I love that ED says she always feels better after spending time with me, no matter how bad her day/week/month is going: that made me feel great! And I loved hearing other people say good things about themselves and each other.

It was very beautiful and touching; thank you [livejournal.com profile] cinnamonsqueak!
dreaminghope: (Sexy - Cinnamonsqueak)
Last night was a great Sin City - good music, lots of energy, lots of dancing, lots of familiar faces.

[livejournal.com profile] tareija drove - thank you! - and we got there early enough that we were only in line for about 15 minutes, and that only because of back-ups at coat check and the need for more change at the door.

Our group looked fabulous, of course.

ED looks so great in her corset - I am increasingly eager to get mine, but we only went fabric shopping yesterday, so I must be patient. And she got hit on, which always makes her night... apparently front-less skirts are her "look".

[livejournal.com profile] tareija borrowed a negligee from my closet and some leather from [livejournal.com profile] xtalforge's collection, and looked awesome. Too bad your hair wouldn't stay up... I'm with [livejournal.com profile] xtalforge on the beauty of your back! But you still looked great.

It was the first time I'd seen [livejournal.com profile] darianhawke's much discussed army costume. My verdict: he was one of the hottest men there last night. Girls, some second opinions on this?

[livejournal.com profile] cinnamonsqueak: You looked so cute in your cat outfit! I hope the time you had inside was worth the wait in line.

I got some compliments on my outfit, some from complete strangers, which is always cool. I went as a bumblebee. I pulled out my poor bodice (see icon), tightened it up as best as it can be tightened, and had black and translucent striped thigh-highs, a short yellow crinoline (with black-light-responsive white lace trim... very neat looking on the dance floor), and had little homemade wings and antenna on springs on my head. For next time I wear it, I want to find knee-high black and yellow striped socks and I want to trim the wings in black-light-responsive ribbon.

I, unfortunately, am a dumbass, so even though I left my digital camara on the table, I didn't get any pictures before leaving. And by the time we got home at 4 am, we were all too wrecked to want to have pictures taken.

Our car load left about 15 minutes short of closing the bar, to avoid the rush at coat check, then went to the 24 hour Knight & Day restaurant. I didn't really sleep until 6 am because of my darling cats. But I did get about 4 or 5 hours of sleep after 6, then had a latte, so I'm doing OK now.

It was a good night.
dreaminghope: (Sexy)
Last night [livejournal.com profile] misselaineeous and ED and I went to a fundraising party for one of [livejournal.com profile] misselaineeous's employee's theater group.

It was a Moulin Rouge themed event, so we all had an excuse to pull out the finery that usually only comes out for Sanctuary and/or Sin City. My (commercially bought) bustier is pretty broken - the thin plastic boning is now permanently curved in and does not really provide any support - so I was even more envious then normal of ED and [livejournal.com profile] misselaineeous's beautiful corsets. But ED and I are trying to meet tomorrow to get her started on custom-making me a corset, so that's all good.

We danced a bit, but the highlight was really the entertainment provided by the theater people: a goofy, 10 minute, rendition of Swan Lake by three men in leotards, an amateur burlesque dancer who kept up a funny running monologue about how unprepared she was, and a reverse strip-tease into a snow suit!

I love getting dressed up for things like this almost as much as I love going to them. In daily life, I wear lots of comfy clothing: t-shirts and sweaters, jeans, long skirts, walking shoes. I never really do my hair or put on any make-up. So it is fun to get all dolled up, put on some mascara and some heels. Last night I even wore my wig. Here's me as a red-head!
dreaminghope: (Happy Bug)
So traumatizing to turn on the Internet yesterday morning and have an LJ error message... glad to have my fix back!

Friday: Cleaned my office. It made me feel better about the state of my apartment. When the dust bunnies are big and thick enough that you can pick them up and drop them into the garbage can, you haven't been cleaning enough! Also, I unplugged everything, untangled all the wires, zap-strapped them into tidy bundles, and re-plugged it all. As part of this process, I made a disturbing discovery:

Everything in my office, except for one light, was plugged into one electrical socket. From that one socket emerges a heavy-duty extension cord. At the other end of that cord is a surge-protector. Plugged into the surge-protector is another surge protector. That one socket and two surge-protectors power two monitors, two computers, one printer, a CD player, a couple of speakers, a space heater, the ADSL modem and several pieces of unused equipment.

It appears that previous office managers, upon finding that a piece of equipment is obsolete, wouldn't unplug and remove it from the office, but would dump it behind the computer tower and find somewhere else to plug in the new piece of equipement. The one time they may have actually removed an item, they left the extension cord it was plugged into plugged in!

Friday night: I changed clothing and got cleaned up at the office, then hoofed it to a quick bank appointment. Deposited money into my RRSP, had a quick sandwich, then headed downtown. I met my boss and my co-workers at a pub, had a drink, watched them have several drinks.

Then, we headed to see Rain - A Tribute to the Beatles - Dan, my boss, got us all tickets as a Christmas present. It was lots of fun. The guys in Rain are very talented (they should be; they've been pretending to be the Beatles longer then the Beatles were the Beatles), and there was a large range of Beatles' music presented, along with appropriate costuming and lighting. And a lot of people in the audience were right into it: singing along, dancing in their seats, etc.

Saturday: Slept in a lot. Hung around the house, reading. I was feeling a bit off, head-achy, so I didn't do much.

Saturday night: Jamey came over to do some work on our computer, then we hung out, drinking lattes and watching Around the World in 80 Days on pay-per-view, then talking until Russ got home from gaming at about 1 am.

Sunday: After a nice pancake breakfast, Russ and I went downtown to the "Taboo Sex Show". It wasn't great, though it was amusing to see how much some very crappy sex toys and badly made fetish wear costs. Upon returning home, Russ immediately pulled out his sketch book and started designing some leather accessories, to be made properly.

No good deals on vibrators, so I'll go back to Womyn's Ware this week... my old vibe is making a horrid squealing noise.

Now I am full of sushi, hanging out with Russ!
dreaminghope: (Happy Bug)
Since we were just learning to use our new camara, there weren't many good pictures from New Year's.

Here are the few good ones.
dreaminghope: (Happy Bug)
Ah, there's egg nog and rum in my kitchen, shortbread on the table, mandarins on the counter, and chocolate everywhere - the "holiday season" is on!

Saturday, Russ and I went out for one of my favourite Christmas traditions: buying toys! Every year we buy a few toys for one of the toy drives. We went to the Drive's independent toy store, It's All Fun & Games, and bought a knitting kit and book, a book/kit of board games, a Playmobil boat for a very young child, a kit to make your own super-bouncy balls and a Lego/Technic thing.

It is so much fun to prowl the toy store, especially when not having to worry about whether or not a specific child will like the toy you've chosen. Russ and I chose things similar to toys we loved as children, hoping that some other child out there will feel the same.

We ended up going to a Toys R Us to drop the toys off, because they always have a drop-box and we couldn't find the Christmas Bureau office using the toy store lady's directions.

Saturday night was Jamey's Christmas party. It was nice. Her apartment was beautiful, complete with a tree. And Shannon and I managed to make very yummy Cherry Pies (warm cranberry drink and a shot of amaretto).

I'm done knitting the hats for my co-workers, and I think I am finished my Christmas shopping. I still need to get wrapping paper.
dreaminghope: (Giggle)
Perogy making got started at around 2 pm on Sunday. It was great! Ten people crowded into Russ and I's tiny apartment. Dough and lattes were made in the kitchen, rolling and cutting took place on the kitchen table, and stuffing took place on the coffee table. The bedroom was commandeered for storage, since that was the only room we could keep the cats out of.

We went through about 4 kg of flour and a dozen eggs. I won't even guess how many potatoes went into the fillings.

We had a variety of fillings, including goat's cheese, rosemary and walnuts (my favourite unusual filling) and cream cheese and roasted garlic (my favourite more conventional filling). After all eating our fill, we divided up the remainders. Russ and I have a couple of dozen very assorted perogies in our freezer. We also made too much cheddar and swiss cheese filling, so we have enough of that in our freezer for a couple more dozen perogies at a later date.

Homemade perogies are so much better then the store-bought ones!

We wound up with video games and discussions about group buying of various health foods through some of the distributors my company buys from. The last perogy-makers left around 10:30 pm, armed with a perogy dough recipe, full of plans to finish up their own leftover fillings.

Yummy!

The dinner

Nov. 14th, 2004 01:43 pm
dreaminghope: (Giggle)
Russ and I gave my sister, Elaine, her birthday gift last night: a four course meal for eight people. What a day! It was crazy and fun, but definitely not something we could do often.

The morning was shopping: produce, wine and last minute ingredients. Our main mistake was not eating anything before getting started. It is a miracle we didn't forget anything.

After a quick lunch, Russ made a run for some equipment (piping bags and sauce bottles) while I prepared our tiny kitchen (put away all clean dishes and unnecessary equipment, do the lunch dishes and get them put away). Then Russ made raspberry coulis, roasted peppers for the red pepper sauce, roasted garlic for the garlic whipped potatoes and made dark chocolate filigrees. I got to help by making the dark chocolate cups.

We packed everything up and trekked to my parents' house, where the dinner was taking place. We got there at about 4:30 pm. There, somehow, Russ got pulled together into a delicious and beautiful meal. Our guests started arriving at 7 pm, for wine and cheese. I think we sat down to dinner at 8 pm.

Russ did all the cooking, of course, since he is a fabulous cook. I helped with prep and did a lot of the serving.

I started clean-up at about 10:30 pm. I think Russ and I headed home at about midnight.

Our house is a wreck right now. The clean-up from the cooking is all done, because we cleaned up as we went, but Russ had been doing leather work for a last minute show all week, and I've been working long-ish days, so we've got leather scraps, equipment, paperwork, bills and all kinds of other things scattered in a thin layer over the entire apartment. And I don't think anything's getting cleaned or tidied today. Today is all about laying around.

Yesterday was very satisfying in that we took bags of raw ingredients and made something wonderful out of them (with minimal problems... except the exploding piping bag that sprayed chocolate mousse every which way). Today is very satisfying in that we do not have to answer to any demands except our own desires. All in all, a good weekend.
dreaminghope: (Giggle)
I love that at the party last night there was lots of random cuddling, hugging, petting (I was dressed in my cheetah shirt and matching ears, and kitties get lots of petting in that crowd), head rubs, etc. That it was OK to walk up behind someone and wrap your arms around them. That I didn't feel awkward or weird doing that or having that done to me.

I love that this morning I could hang out with a male friend who's wearing only my partner's underwear and a blanket, eat breakfast and watch TV, and have that not be weird or awkward either.

[livejournal.com profile] estrellada: I found your lipstick in my cleavage after you'd left the party. I entrusted it to Lisa to return it to you.
dreaminghope: (Firelight)

I cannot record it all. It is impossible to summarize the whole experience. But there are some random memorable moments here. )

There's too much! I'll have to process some more and maybe add more later.

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dreaminghope

February 2014

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