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Archive | July, 2015

Harrison Dragon Boat Race Festival July 25, 2015

29 Jul

This past Saturday was the Harrison Dragon Boat Festival, held at (in case you didn’t guess) Harrison Hot Springs. The race is held on a beautiful lake. This means clean, heavy, choppy, water – it’s pretty much awesome. πŸ™‚

2015-07-26 12.00.59There are four races in a day, which is average for festivals. The day and most of the night prior it was raining and not cold exactly but not warm, ya know, cause of getting drenched every time you went outside on account of the rain so we all prepared for a rainy race day but lucky for us when we woke up it was overcast and windy but not raining, yay! πŸ™‚

The paddler’s village is on the beach so we all lugged the stuff we would need for the day the whole 5 minute walk from the motel to our team’s tent and settled in for a day of awesome.

Our first race started fairly normal, the teams lined up, madam caller gave us the mark to go and boom! We are off! Then all of a sudden we weren’t because another team rammed their boat in to ours! Fyi, this is not normally a contact sport so yeah, not cool.

Since the team that hit us never came over to apologize we don’t know for sure why it happened, I am going on the assumption it was an accident since there was no reason for them to do it on purpose.

Let me set the scene for what happens when dragon boats collide…the boat with the most momentum tends to go over / into the second boat so the dragon head and part of the boat actually ends up inside the other boat. Since there are people in the way this generally means the dragon head hits or goes over top of a paddler, or two, or three…and sometimes hands and paddles get squished between the boats. Sometimes boats tip, sometimes they don’t, there are a lot of factors that decide that.

Here is a video of multiple dragon boat crashes, you can see how there are a lot of different reasons for boats to flip. Just ignore the propaganda type text that is talking about dragon boating lol oh, and no, none of the crashes shown are our crash, I don’t think it got caught on video which is too bad really, it’d be fun to see!

So yeah, we got hit, at first we kept paddling but we got the call from the water marshal to stop so we did, then once the boats were no longer connected we were told to keep going so we are hmm, maybe halfway through the race and have to start from a dead stop while the other teams had kept going (well, except for the boat that hit us). Basically we just dug in and gave it everything we had and then some to stay in the game. It is amazing how motivation and adrenaline can help boost you lol For that race we ended up coming in second place, I know right?! You’d of thought we’d be last but nope, second. πŸ™‚

The water referee saw the collision and recommended we file a complaint with the officials so we did and they took 6 seconds off our finish time. That kept us in second place finish for the race but that’s ok, it’s still a good finish, especially considering the collision!

The remaining three races seem a bit anti-climatic compared to the first, no more collisions, no more drama, just normal racing. We placed first in races two and three which put us in to the medal round for Division A Rec which is awesome and terrifying all at once.

Part of me was all “how’d we get in to A Division? We’ll never medal in A Division, dammit, why aren’t we in B Division?” but I think that was just my nerves talking. I know how we got in to A Division, we earned it, and we were going to show everyone there we earned a spot in that medal race by kicking ass! πŸ˜‰

There was a bit of nerves, a lot of encouragement being shared amongst the team, reminders that we know what we are doing and we’ve been doing great all day so just keep it up then before you know it we are lining up for the race and there is no more time for nerves, no more time for doubt, no more time for anything but focus, determination and control. Relying on training and technique and muscle memory, relying on our steersperson to keep us safe, relying on our caller to keep us motivated and in the game, relying on ourselves and our teammates to get us to victory!

So how did that race go you ask? Oh you know, fairly well, we only came away with the GOLD MEDAL!!!

The Twisted Hips Won Gold!

The Twisted Hips Won Gold!

You can see me over to the right wearing the black baseball cap. πŸ™‚

2015-07-26 12.04.14

After the festival was over we all went back to the motel, we were in a bunch of suites but congregated in one as it was the biggest. All the normal things happened after that, people showered and changed, we all kept our medals on, went for dinner at a local pub, got congratulated by random strangers (fellow dragon boaters and non-dragon boaters) as we walked through the town, then we ended up back at the motel to celebrate (aka drink and revel in our victory lol) πŸ™‚

The next day those of us that stayed overnight (which was most of us) went for brunch where I had the most amazing omelette ever, Mmm! and we slowly started to drift back to our vehicles. We all car pooled to some degree so don’t go thinking 22 people all drove up there individually! πŸ˜› You could tell that nobody wanted to leave even as we were all saying how we should leave because the goodbyes kept being drawn out, excuses were found to take pictures, people lingered for ages until finally we all went our own way. You’d think we were never seeing each other again or something when in reality it was Sunday and we were going to see each other at practice on Tuesday lol

Our last race weekend group selfie…

Some of my awesome team!

Some of my awesome team!

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The Spider Invasion

18 Jul

Spiders and I are not friends. In fact I pretty much hate everything about them. Their creepy 8 legged bodies, how they crawl so quickly over any type of surface, how they have no respect for my personal boundaries and how they seem to think being anywhere near me is an ok thing to do.

So imagine my surprise when I came home last night from work, went in to the bathroom and discovered that some evil, conniving, trying to drive me insane mama spider decided my bathroom was the absolute best place to have her eggs hatch. Yup, my bathroom, countless baby spiders…everywhere…it was not pleasant! *shudder*

spider 3

I don’t know much about spider birthing patterns, all I vaguely know I remember learning from Charlotte’s Web which I read as a child and only kind of remember. What I remember is Charlotte had a crap tonne of eggs, she died when they hatched, or right before, or right after…somewhere around the time they went from eggs to spiders she died so I have forever combined the two events in my head. In my world mama spider picks a spot she thinks is safe for the eggs, leaves them there, if she is lucky she finds a pig to watch over them, then dies as they are born. Is this correct? I dunno, shrug.

What made a mama spider think my bathroom was the perfect spot to leave her eggs I do not know but I sure as hell wish she hadn’t cause oh wow, anywhere near me is not a safe place to be if you are a spider.

After standing in shock for a minute or so I went in to full attack mode.

Me vs the spider babies!

There can be only one victor!

Aaaaand since I pay rent here I vote for me being the winner…just sayin! πŸ˜‰ lol

Here is something you may not know about baby spiders, they share their web. Yup, that’s right, their web. What does this mean? This means that if you take a tissue, squish a baby spider, then remove the tissue from the wall with the intent to throw it out you actually end up pulling a super fine and delicate web away from the wall with the tissue, that webbing is covered with other baby spiders so you end up trailing webbing covered in baby spiders with you as you attempt to discard the tissue. Yeeeah, that happened. The baby spiders panicked and started climbing the webbing, aiming for my hand, my hand! So of course I panic and decide instead of trying to throw it out in the garbage I’m gonna dump the lot of them in the toilet and flush but the movement of my arm causes the web to sort of float backwards and instills in me the fear of them getting on me, or falling, or jumping, or dropping, basically of becoming free in the bathroom and scattering and me having to try to kill them all before they disappear in to nooks and crannies of the wall / baseboard. Ugh.

Something else about baby spiders? There are endless amounts of them. Endless! I don’t know how many I killed but the genocide seemed to go on forever. After squishing all the ones I could see I then sprayed everything with chemical cleaning products, scrubbed the bathroom down and went to have a cup of tea, finally able to relax…well, relax while constantly feeling creeped out and thinking I felt a spider web or spider on me. Thing is, when I went to the washroom a couple of hours later there were more of them! All over the place, again! So back in to attack mode I went, sigh. After killing the second wave of them I wasn’t sure what to do. Obviously the cleaning chemicals weren’t keeping them away, or killing them, which had been my hope. I didn’t know where they were coming from so not like I could go to the source, all I could do was keep killing them as they became visible. But I had to relinquish the field and go to bed which would give them a whole lot of hours to repopulate my bathroom. Not cool.

This morning when I got up the absolute last thing I wanted to do was go in to the bathroom. I reeeeally didn’t want to see how many had come in to the bathroom while I had been sleeping but not like I could seal off the bathroom and ignore it forever so in I went. I had to immediately start killing baby spiders, again, which was expected, sigh. There weren’t as many as I had feared there would be but there were still way more than I was comfortable with. They were on the wall, the sink, the cupboard door, the other wall…I wouldn’t be surprised if they crawled over my toothbrush during the night the sneaky little brats.

Twice more before leaving for work did I have to go in there and kill! kill! kill!

spider 2

When I came home from work tonight I immediately opened the bathroom door to see just how many more I had to deal with. At first I didn’t notice any and got stupidly optimistic that I had either killed them all or the remaining ones decided to go elsewhere but then I stepped farther in the bathroom and realized that they were still there, just staying closer to the corner of the wall where they are harder to spot, well, except for an assault team which was on the far wall making their way to who knows where. All the visible ones were quickly dispatched to wherever spiders go when they die and I decided all this killing earned me some ice cream…yeah, I don’t really understand my logic either but oh well lol

Now it is nearing the time I should be going in to the bathroom to wash up for bed and all I can think is how I really don’t want to have to deal with more spiders, they are creepy, and en mass they are mildly terrifying because what if they figure out they could all attack me at once? I’d never be able to kill them fast enough! It’d be like when the little people took down Gulliver in Gulliver’s Travels, he didn’t stand a chance! Great…now I have images of myself tied down and at the mercy of baby spiders…should be interesting dreams tonight… πŸ˜‰

gulliver

Big Boned

10 Jul

Here is a conversation that happened this evening at work:

Him: Yeah, I’m from around here, well, now I live in Sechelt but I grew up in this area, went to such-n-such school, blah blah blah

Me: Oh, hmm, that’s nice.

Him: So are you from this area? Where did you go to school?

Me: No, I moved here from Edmonton.

Him: Oooooh! An Albertan girl! I could tell you are from Alberta because you’re so big boned. Yup, a big boned girl from Alberta.

Me: *stares in shock* What?

Lady who over heard convo: You should stomp on his foot, while wearing heels.

you said what

I excuse myself from the situation and go do something else. He follows about 5 minutes later and laughingly apologizes, but the kind of apology that means diddly squat because you know he doesn’t actually mean it, he doesn’t think he did anything wrong and while pretending to apologize he infringes on my personal space by trying to put his arm around me and be all chummy.

What. The. Hell?!?!?!

youre mean

I’d like to say I responded with a scathing remark but I was at work and had to stay professional so I had to appear to shrug it off and go about my business. I’d also like to say I promptly forgot about the insensitive jerky comment and it didn’t bother me but that’d be a big fat lie. It is still bothering me now and it has been hours, not a couple of hours, more like 9 hours. *sigh*.

I know that only I can give permission for other people to affect me but ya know what, what he said affected me and I don’t care if it is me giving him permission to affect me, or low self-esteem, or deeply buried anger because I couldn’t respond, or years of learned responses to how men treat me but whatever it is, it is affecting me, and I don’t like it.

What gives this guy, this guy that I met for the first time this evening the right to not only comment on what I look like but to comment in a negative way? Since when do our social norms allow anybody to do that without some sort of consequence? Oh wait, it’s been ok for, well…as long as I have been alive. *double sigh*

What the hell does “big boned” even mean? Is that another way of saying “fat”? Or is it a specialized way of saying “fat”, is it supposed to be more politically correct? Maybe it is the female version of “husky”, I’ve heard guys described like that, “oh he has a husky build” like he is a breed of dog or something!

I just don’t get it.

The whole situation makes me so angry. Angry that this guy seemed to think what he did was perfectly ok, angry at myself for not responding in a stronger way, angry at men in general because I can only aim so much anger at myself before I have to deflect it elsewhere and well, men in general are an easy target if I pretend they are all like this guy.

Ok, calming down now…

After work I was restless, I wanted to do something to work off my annoyance but on my drive home I found myself a bit teary eyed which is so not like me. That stupid little man had made one comment and it had me questioning all kinds of things about myself, what I look like, how I was dressed, what I ate today, how active I have been, am I bigger than I thought, am I big boned? Even though I don’t really know what big boned is supposed to mean I couldn’t stop wondering if I am that, is that what people see when they look at me, someone big boned? A big boned Albertan girl?

Since I finished work at 9:30pm and there really wasn’t much to do I came home, cuddled with the cat and made the conscious decision to not let how I was feeling affect my eating plan. I am doing Weight Watchers and the last thing I want is for some bump in the road to derail my weight loss. Normally when I am upset I either (1) eat everything! or (2) eat absolutely nothing, even if I am legit hungry. What can I say, I go to extremes. If I didn’t eat anything when I got home I’d be under eating for the day, if I ate the entire tub of Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream that was calling my name I’d be waaaaay over my food budget for the day so I stuck to the plan, I made a healthy-ish snack, ate my points for the day (that is a Weight Watchers thing, if you count calories it would be like me saying I ate my calories for the day) and well, that was it. I didn’t let my emotions control my eating (or not eating), I didn’t derail my weight loss plan thereby making myself feel even worse about myself because of this comment and I will hopefully wake up tomorrow feeling better about things, cause time is supposed to heal wounds right?

Does time also heal anger because I still want to punch that guy in the face, or put on a pair of pointy heels and stomp on his foot, better yet steel toed boots!

kill you

Brownie Strawberry Trifle

3 Jul

This my friends is not a healthy living friendly desert…consider this a fair warning! πŸ˜‰ It is however quite tasty sooooo if you’re willing to eat outside the boundaries of whatever diet, or healthy living plan, or life change you are currently following than read on!

You will need:

– brownies (yeah, you’ve gotta make those)

– 1L (12oz) Cool Whip (I used Light Cool Whip)

– 1 135g (5oz) package of Vanilla Instant Pudding

– 2lbs fresh strawberries

Instructions:

Bake brownies. You can use your own recipe or a brownie mix, whatever floats your boat.

Slice the strawberries, seems fairly obvious and yet it is mentioned in the original recipe so I thought I’d tack it on here also.

Make the pudding, once it is set fold in the Cool Whip. You’ll need a large bowl for this. It makes what the original recipe refers to as a custard. This is not technically a custard, duh, but who am I to judge the original recipe person? Well, ok, I am judging a little bit lol

Once the brownies are completely cooled cut them in to small pieces, I tore the brownies in to small pieces instead of cutting them because that’s how I roll over here. I’m sure Martha Stewart would not approve. πŸ˜›

Put half the cut brownies in the bottom of your trifle bowl, pour half the custard on top of the brownies and spread it around so all the brownies are covered. Layer half the strawberries on top of the custard. You can stand up some of the cut strawberries around the edge of the dish so it looks prettier, ya know, if you want, no pressure to make this presentable or anything…

Repeat the layering. Brownies, custard than strawberries.

The original recipe also wanted you to melt chocolate chips and drizzle it on top, I chose not to do that because I thought it would be sweet enough and I was right. Not saying it wouldn’t be an extra level of delish with the melted chocolate, and I’m sure it would look even more impressive but I liked how it looked with the fruit on top, easily seen, not covered by anything and hey, I’m making it so I get to make these oh so important decisions. Ooooooh the power of me!

Here is how it turned out…

Chocolate Brownie and Strawberry Trifle

Chocolate Brownie and Strawberry Trifle

I added some raspberries to the strawberry topping because who doesn't like raspberries?

I added some raspberries to the strawberry topping because who doesn’t like raspberries?

Side view!

Side view!

A couple side notes:

– Keep the trifle in the fridge until it is time to serve it, otherwise the custard melts and stops looking so pretty.

– I doubled the amount of brownies I made, so two batches instead of one, which turned out to be a good thing because it took one entire batch for each brownie layer. Depending on the size of your trifle bowl you may also need to make two batches of brownies.

– I did not double the amount of Cool Whip or Vanilla Pudding used. I realized once it was too late I probably should have, especially when I had poured half of it on for the first layer and I was struggling to get all the brownie covered. You’d never know it from the picture though, shrug. When eating the trifle the ratio of chocolate to custard was a good one so flavour wise it turned out I didn’t need to double the Cool Whip and Vanilla Pudding, just be prepared to use slices of strawberries to help cover thin custard coverage areas.

– I did not use the entire 2 pounds of strawberries, despite my going to all the effort to clean, and destem, and slice them. I used a good chunk of them, as you can see. The way the hidden layer is placed is identical to the top layer, only minus the raspberries so not like I skimped in the middle with my strawberry usage. But hey, rejoice, this just means extra strawberries for you!

– I added the raspberries on a whim because they were on sale and because they are a personal favourite. I had originally intended to make a little design with them but I was running late so I just popped some on where there was space between strawberry slices. I didn’t get to use them all so oh gee, I have leftovers of those also, what a shame! πŸ˜‰

– The original recipe is from an American site so the quantity of everything was a little off to the size of things here, except for the strawberries because, well, I don’t know why to be honest. Normally I do all the conversions before I go shopping so I know what size packaging to look for in my grocery store but I didn’t this time so I winged it. It turned out ok.

– I would recommend making the brownies the night before, I made them the morning of and it seriously cramped my style. I had everything else all ready to go and I was stuck waiting for the stupid brownies to cool completely, it took forever and that’s with me living in a basement suite apartment!…In case you don’t get the significance of that, my place is always cold, it will be 29C (84.2F) outside and I will be inside wearing a sweater and sweat pants with a little throw over my feet. It’s like I live in the place that summer forgot.

I calculated the Weight Watchers Points Plus points for the trifle, a portion of my trifle comes out to 12 points. If you make it I would recommend calculating your own points because you will be using your own brownie recipe, and may be using only one batch of brownies, or maybe you doubled the amount of custard, or perhaps you decided to drizzle the melted chocolate, who knows! Β Then there is always the trifle bowl size to take in to account…The point is this strikes me as a desert where every person’s version will be slightly different which means so will the nutritional information be. But that’s ok! This is a super easy recipe that is also super easy to personalize, which makes it great for everyone, enjoy! πŸ™‚

Oh, the original recipe can be found here

Canada Day!

2 Jul

Ok so depending on your time zone I am a day or longer late with this, oops! I’d apologize, which would be oh so Canadian of me πŸ˜‰ but the reason I didn’t write anything on Canada Day was because I was busy celebrating Canada Day and if I hadn’t done something to celebrate Canada Day than I wouldn’t have anything to write about now, would I? That’s right, that is my logic and I’m sticking to it! teehee

logic

July 1st is Canada Day, in case you didn’t realize that from the above paragraph lol It is a day filled with hanging with friends and/or family, food, some form of alcohol, proudly displaying a flag or maple leaf or at least wearing red & white, and fireworks. Whether those fireworks are the official display put on by your city or some cheap ass stupid ones your neighbour’s kids set off in the park down the road well, whose to make that distinction?

Canada Day is the one day of the year we are unapologetically Canadian. We don’t refrain from wearing something with a maple leaf on it while in our own country because it is tacky, we don’t shy away from sharing videos on YouTube that say how great we are (though most of those videos say how polite we are lol), we jokingly embrace the stereotypes that are out there and eat something maple flavoured, or order the poutine, or wrap bacon around something and claim it is a legit meal. Our large cities have family friendly activities that include our military showing us simulators that they use for training, you can sit in a tank, or wear one of the backpacks the soldiers wear to see juuuuust how heavy it is (which fyi, I tried, they are ridiculously heavy!). It is the one day of the year we allow our Canadian pride to show…although we are still fairly understated about it, shrug, but ya know, that is just our way…sorry! πŸ˜‰ lol

This year I went to a friend’s place for a bbq and just general hanging out. It was a fairly chilled event which was nice because it was a roasting hot day and none of us felt like doing anything super active.

There was video game playing, on an old system, so really it was retro video game playing lol We were playing on an N64 and I can’t remember the games names, they were games I had never played before and oh wow did I suck lol Luckily I was with nice people who didn’t make toooooo much fun of me πŸ˜›

After game playing there was the food! πŸ™‚

For dinner we bbq’d kabobs…

Dinner!

Dinner!

We actually had a lot of kabobs, I just forgot to take a picture until they were almost all eaten, oops! They had chicken or pork, corn, red and green peppers, zucchini, red onion, pineapple and baby potatoes on them. Three of us made a little assembly line to put them all together, my section had the stabbing of the zucchini, peppers and corn which you’d think would be ok except I stabbed myself in the palm of my hand when putting the skewer through one of the corn pieces, sigh. It is a very me thing to do lol πŸ˜›

Then there was dessert! I brought it, thought I’d try a new recipe. My only goal was to have the finished product look somehow patriotic, so I wanted there to be red and white incorporated in to the dessert. Sounds stupid I know but meh, I was baking it so I get to pick things like that.

I made a brownie and strawberry trifle…

Chocolate Brownie and Strawberry Trifle

Chocolate Brownie and Strawberry Trifle

I’ll do a separate post with the recipe for the trifle, in case any of you are interested in giving it a try. πŸ™‚

Because this is my Canada Day post will I put a video about Canada, and of course, being a Canadian pride video it is made by a beer company *rolls eyes* πŸ˜› I like the video though, it shows how we are a multi-cultural country and how if we all work together good things happen, least that is my interpretation of it. πŸ™‚

Aaaaaand here is another video about Canada, just because…it is a song instead of a commercial if that makes it anymore enticing for you…oh and there is an astronaut in it! Who doesn’t like astronauts! πŸ˜‰

I know July 1st was yesterday, and a lot of my readers aren’t from Canada, but regardless, I hope you all had an awesome Canada Day (even if it was just a normal Wednesday for you lol)! πŸ˜€

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