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Three Days After Self-Isolation Ended

31 Mar

I have been back in the world for 3 days now and my biggest wish is to go back in self-isolation.

Sounds crazy doesn’t it?

The world is different, which sounds dramatic, but it is. There are way less vehicles on the road, and more joggers on the sidewalk. I think gyms might want to be careful, this experience might convince people they really don’t need a gym to stay in shape! lol

My first day out of self-isolation I headed to work. On the few times I had been out during my self-isolation I had never gone faster than a quick walk; I like walking but I really missed driving. On my route to work I passed by a Covid-19 Emergency Response area that was being put up and guarded by RCMP. Not gonna lie, it made me super anxious. I was alright until then, so ya know, a whole 10 minutes in to my drive.  Seeing those tents, which look so innocuous on the video I took the next day, made me freak a little.

I’ve watched outbreak movies, I know what those white tents mean!

I know that just because my self-isolation was ending things were not better, heck, we haven’t reached the peak of horrible yet, but it felt that my being allowed out again meant things must be ok. I know that’s stupid, it’s just how it felt. Seeing what they were prepping for really brought it home to me that things are not ok. Which intellectually I had known but now felt deep down.

Which has done nothing for my anxiety levels the last three days. I’m not normally a super anxious human, and am fairly decent in the emergency situations I have been a responder to, but this, nuh-uh, I’m not enjoying how this is making me feel.

My first shift back was an evening shift which means I got fed dinner. Now remember, I get spoiled at work by the food, and that first dinner back was no exception!

March 31b

Crab cake with asparagus, yam fries, side salad, and pumpkin pie for dessert. Can’t go wrong with that!

In amongst the anxious moments normal things are happening also.

Like the plants I re-potted. I took them to work that first day back and they now live on my window sill. They join the African violet that was re-potted prior to my self-isolation and that a friend at work took care of for me while I couldn’t. The middle plant doesn’t look like it is doing well in this picture but it has opened it’s leaves a lot since settling in and seems ok. I don’t know how to tell if they are happy so I’m going by the premise that they aren’t dead so they can’t be that miserable.

March 31c

There was a surprise on my window sill when I got back, someone is trying to grow an avocado…

March 31d

She came and got it fresh water and I have added it to my list of things that need tended to when I’m at work. We don’t know if it will grow but it doesn’t hurt to have a random project on the go.

There is also the new dog that moved in while I was away that is scared of everyone and everything.

March 31a

Poor little guy. I hope he settles in soon…mostly because I want to pick him up and cuddle him! lol

A friend at work had his birthday yesterday and was kinda bummed because he originally had a trip planned for it, which obviously hasn’t happened. So we got him a cute cupcake and a couple other treats to try to cheer him up.

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For the most part that’s been it. There is no such thing as a social life right now, so I go to work and come home. I had a Netflix Party with a friend yesterday, we watched a movie together. It was a lot more fun than I thought it would be thanks to the chat feature on the side of the screen. Will definitely be doing that again!

I’ve had one trip in to a grocery store (for the above cupcake) and don’t want to go back. People weren’t spacing themselves very well, I was definitely closer to people than I was supposed to be, or was comfortable being, and all I could think when I got out was I want a shower. Which is exactly what I did, as soon as I got home I jumped in the shower and realized it did not take long for me to become a germaphobe.

The only fun thing I have to look forward to for the remainder of the week is that tomorrow is April Fool’s Day and a friend and I planned a bit of a trick on a third friend at work, I can’t wait to see the result!

Be safe out there everyone, wash your hands, and stay at least the length of a hockey stick away from people, or if you want to be extra careful, the length of a moose, cause that’s how we measure things in Canada! 😉

 

Self Isolation Day 13: Almost Done

27 Mar

Today is my last Friday in self-isolation, who knew 14 days could go by so slowly! Fridays are one of my regular days off so I spent today doing things I would normally do on a Friday.

Laundry, general tidying up, cuddling the cat, chillin, running a quick errand…

Yup, you read that right, I went out in to the world! Freeeeeeedom!…sorta…

I had an errand that had to be done before the weekend that I classified as essential, which means I got to go outside! I chose to walk to the shop and even though it was rainy, and a tad chilly, it was lovely. There was hardly anyone around, which I guess proves in my neighbourhood social distancing and self-isolation is being done, or everyone had left the neighbourhood so it just appeared that way lol I think that a lot of people were around, tucked safely inside their houses, as on my walk there and back I saw a decent number of people popping out on to their front steps for a quick breath of fresh air, and who can blame them?

day 13

I hadn’t realized until I got outside that the cherry blossoms are in bloom, so pretty.

It was eerie walking to the shop and passing all those closed businesses. I understand and support them being closed, and even judged this one shop that was open that I don’t think could classify itself as essential, but the more closed signs I saw the more I wondered where all those workers are and what they are doing and how they are coping with their work being closed. I hope their employers are treating them well during all this.

The shop I went to had tape on the floor in each aisle, showing you how far apart you need to stand to be at a safe distance, like there is really a safe distance?

day 13a

They even had these barriers put up so you and the person working at the counter can’t breathe on each other, or really see each other. There is a little cut out for items to be passed through, and bags on your side so you can bag your own items. I wish I’d gotten a picture of that but in the moment it seemed rude to take one.

After I got home normal Friday things commenced. I started laundry, put the items I bought away, called my mother for cooking advice. What strayed from the norm is instead of deciding the cooking was too hard and ordering in I actually followed through and cooked. Again. This is almost becoming a habit!

I made Tuna Broccoli Pie, almost. That is what it was supposed to be, and I did follow the spirit of the recipe but (1) I cut it in half because it makes two pies and there is only one of me and (2) I didn’t have enough broccoli so I used different veggies.

Oh, and (3) I only had white cheese so instead of a lovely orange cheese layer on top mine looks sickly and gross because I used too much white cheese, but hey, use what ya got!

I got the recipe from my mom, I asked her for a recipe that uses a frozen pie crust as I have a bunch of them in my freezer and I don’t have the ingredients needed to make a dessert pie. Growing up we used to eat this, I want to say frequently but I really don’t know how often she made it. It is one of those dishes that you can eat hot but it is just as good cold so it is great for left overs. I mostly remember eating it cold in the summer  with a side salad. I intended to replicate that, only eat it hot, but then I realized I don’t have the fixings for a salad and can’t pop out to buy them so in the end all I ate was two slices of the pie.

The ingredients are: egg, milk, miracle whip, mustard, flaked tuna, vegetables (I used broccoli, snap peas, and beans, all chopped up), the pie crust, and of course the cheese for the top. You can skip the cheese if you don’t want it.

Ok, now I want you to brace yourself because it does not look good at all, but it really does end up being tasty, I promise!

day 13b

All you can really see is that I put too much cheese on top and the vegetables are sticking out. The crust browned beautifully!

I was so sure it was going to taste gross because (1) tuna, and (2) my mom cooks way better than I, recipes she makes that taste great I try and they flop, so my hopes were not high.

Which means I was even more pleasantly surprised when I took my first bite and liked it enough to not need any condiments for it, and even went back for a second slice! It’s always nice when dinner turns out to be edible, especially when you use a hot commodity ingredient like an egg!

Self Isolation Day 12: A Day of Leisure

26 Mar

I slept so much of today away I would consider it a waste of a day, except I had nothing to do today soooo not like I missed out on something by sleeping.

I initially woke up at 7am, which is disturbing, so like any sane person I rolled over and went back to sleep. With Striker’s approval of course! I figured I’d wake up in another couple hours but not quite, I ended up waking up around 2pm!

Now, I could try to justify this by saying I haven’t been feeling 100% and my body obviously needed to rest. Or that because I did so much physical stuff yesterday, when not well, I paid the price today. Or it could just be because I am lazy. I’ll let you pick!

I wasn’t able to work today thanks to system glitches so I basically did nothing. Well, if you consider cuddling a cat for the majority of your day nothing, which I assure you neither Striker or myself do.

Taking a break from my lap to sleep on the ottoman.

I did try a new to me beer with dinner but didn’t like it so poured it out. A waste of beer I know, an act that should be illegal, but no way was I ingesting all those calories if I didn’t love the taste!

Just not for me.

It is with a heavy heart I report I am now out of beer. Guess I’ll be moving onto wine!

Random Updates:

I’m now on Season 4 of Criminal Minds and still loving it. I decided I have to stop being online as much because I keep thinking it’s a good idea to buy stuff. Oh, and my Golden Oreos are almost gone, which means I soon will have absolutely no reason to get up and may wither away in bed perpetually.

How is your self-isolation going? Broken into the junk food yet?

Self Isolation Day 4: Cooking Happened

18 Mar

Well, it’s always good to know for sure the smoke detector works, right? Mine, in case you were wondering, works perfectly, maybe even a little too perfectly.

I realized today, on day 4 of avoiding humanity, that I don’t need to have a quick bowl of cereal or oatmeal for breakfast but that I could take my time and make something. I intended to make egg on toast but somehow that changed to pancakes.

When I organized the pantry yesterday I pulled out an open box of Aunt Jemima pancake mix. I left it out because there was not much left in the box, so today when I saw the box on the counter it felt like pancakes were meant to be. The universe told me so!

However, according to the box you need 1 1/4 Cups of the mix and I only had 1/4 Cup. A tad short. Instead of doing math to figure out how much I had to cut the milk and egg down to I topped up the mix with Kodiak Cake Mix.

In total I used one cup of combined pancake and kodiak mix, one egg (because why not?) and almost one cup of water. In retrospect I should have either used less water or more kodiak mix, or even just cut the egg I suppose. But I didn’t, and the end result was the runniest pancake mix I’ve ever seen.

I am a fluffy thick pancake type of person and what I got was these…

Possibly the thinnest, most pathetic pancakes every created.

They were however edible and not being a person who likes to waste food, they were my breakfast.

I worked for a while, then went for what may become my routine mid day walk, only this time I went on a trail instead of to the library and grocery store. There’s this outdoor pool I pass that had some very happy birds in it.

The ocean is a very short distance away but some prefer the pool I guess.

After I got home and worked some more I had to start thinking about dinner. I’m used to being fed at work and this whole making all my own meals thing is not something I’m enjoying. I figured on making some mac ‘n cheese but logic dictates I hold out on that. If I cook that today, on day four, then what happens on day 12 when I’m out of all the quick stuff and am forced to ya know, cook for real? I won’t have a choice! And who knows, maybe by then places won’t be delivering, then I’ll really be screwed.

So, I dug in the freezer and came up with something to cook, like a grown-up!

I made a jalapeño cheddar burger, with all the toppings, and fries, because every good burger needs fries.

I thought the burger would be spicier than it turned out to be but that’s ok because it tasted good and I’d rather the spicy food be tasty than be so spicy there is no flavour, ya know?

I don’t take good food pics, deal with it.

So yeah, four days in and I realized the folly of ordering in take out daily or cooking all the super easy food first. I also learned that super thin pancakes set off the smoke detector if you’re not careful. 😂

It’s A Hard Day For A Cat

7 Mar

Today has been such a hard day for Striker.

He stole my chair, pillow, blanket, and heating pad.

First I was here, on a day I’m usually at work, ruining whatever plans he may have had.

Then I kept getting up and down from the living room chair, ruining his afternoon nap, because of having to do things like switch loads of laundry, go to the bathroom, make something to eat. Ya know, normal things for me but useless activities from his point of view.

To make everything even worse I had the nerve to leave the apartment, without his permission, to buy groceries. I took longer than normal because I chose to walk to the store instead of drive, something I didn’t tell him because I didn’t want to face his wrath.

Now I’m back and instead of immediately settling down so he could cuddle on my lap I made dinner, and insisted on eating it! So rude I know. This of course delayed his evening nap.

Seriously harsh day for him.

For me though it wasn’t so bad, I did get to end it with a slice of homemade carrot cake which was delish.

Mmm, can’t go wrong with cake!

I will of course pay the price for eating the cake instead of providing cuddles, most likely punishment will come in the form of being jumped on in the night but hey, we lose an hour of sleep tonight so one less hour for Striker to get his revenge!

Revamp the Week

2 Jan

I had this whole epic plan for how the first week of 2020 was going to go. I had errands to run, was going to recalculate my budget, stock up on healthy foods, meal plan for my work lunches, workout multiple times in the week. In short, I wanted my first week to be a perfect example of how I wanted all the rest of my weeks to go.

Oh how the universe must have laughed!

In comparison to how I intended the week to go it has been a bit of a fumble.

I worked an hour and a half late on Tuesday (my first day back to work after being away for Christmas), which means all the grocery stores were closed by the time I got off work. So no grocery shopping for healthy food! I had limited foods in my apartment, thanks to being away, so I ordered take-out for dinner, which made me sick and had me missing a day of work Wednesday. Sigh. One day into 2020 and already I’ve used a sick day, lame!

I did manage to meal prep the most boring of all meals on the Monday, so I’ve at least managed to take healthy lunches to work. Phew!

However, because the grocery shopping didn’t get done Tuesday or Wednesday I spent the time after work Thursday when I would normally be at the gym exchanging a pair of runners (that’s a story for another day!) and finally getting my grocery shopping done. And can I say I deserve a gold star for not buying any cookies even though they were on sale! Gold. Star.

By the time that was done it was home time for me, which is where I am now, cuddling with the cat.

I semi worked on the budget. And by semi I mean I filled in a 52-week savings challenge I’m taking part in. If all goes well I’ll have $2000 dollars saved by Christmas – which fyi, is 357 sleeps away…not that I’m counting…😉

So yeah, the week hasn’t shaped up like I intended it to, but that’s ok. Once I realized it was going a tad sideways I revamped my expectations for the week. No way was my week going to be all about clocking gym time and eating healthy and working on my budget, I had things to do to clear the way to working on those items. So instead I have made this week about prepping in general for a return to normal life. It has become about getting things in order, so next week I can exercise after work, and have a tastier (but still healthy) meal prepped for my work lunches, and have time to sit down and do the math (ugh, math) that comes with going over the budget to see what I need to change for this year.

It’s no biggy, revamping the plans you had made doesn’t mean you failed, it just means you have a better idea of what can be accomplished in the time frame given and you reprioritized what needs to be done.

So maybe, all-in-all, not a bad start to the new year?

Circle Craft Holiday Market

12 Nov

I finally got to go to the Circle Craft Holiday Market! It is a yearly market downtown that is always held on a long weekend. I wasn’t able to attend in the past because I was working but my days off have changed and when my friend asked if I wanted to go I didn’t even pause to think, I just said yes!

A Holiday Market? Hell yeah!

I went in with a budget, which I’m pretty sure I went over. I went in with the plan to buy Christmas presents, I mostly bought stuff for myself. I went in with a plan to buy a healthy meal at some point in the day, instead I ate all the samples.

Suffice to say, the day didn’t go as planned, which I’m glad about because the fun was spontaneous, I like the stuff I bought, and the samples were free!…which in my version of math helps offset the cost of oh say, the necklace I bought… 😉

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It was definitely not crowded, I guess most people went on the first and second day it was open? I like that it wasn’t crowded, no fighting to see the displays, easy to walk around without getting bumped, it was much more relaxing than some of the Christmas events I’ve been to. Plus, it was inside so we were cozy warm. 🙂

 

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One of my favourite booths was a company called JusTea. It is a Vancouver based, family run business. They go to Africa a couple times a year and source all their tea from there. The tea is all ethically sourced, and some of them are picked (or is the right word harvested?) by a woman’s co-op. Each tin has a picture of one of the farmers on it, so you can see who was making your tea leaves. The teas smell amazing! I kept taking deep inhales of the teas like I was trying to get high from them or something lol but really, it was just because it smelled that good. There was a fruity tea called Purple Rain that not only smelled delicious but had a taste to match. In the end I bought African Breakfast, which is their version of an English Breakfast or Orange Pekoe. It is a mixture of different tea leaves which gives it a more complex taste. Each tin also comes with a hand crafted spoon that took 9 hours to make. 9 hours on a spoon, talk about a personal touch! The gentleman manning the booth mentioned that when you want to buy more you can go to their store and they will sell it to you in a compostable bag, so you can refill your already existing tin, and not create garbage when throwing out the bag. Why doesn’t every company do that? That little touch makes me love them even more. Here is their website if you want to check them out: https://justea.com/

Another great booth is abeego, they sell reusable beeswax wraps that you can use to keep your food fresh and protected, whether it is covering the top of a bowl of leftovers you have in the fridge or wrapped around the sandwich you’re taking to work. I actually own a set of these, they were a gift, and I haven’t used them yet because they kinda freak me out. Instead of buying any at this booth I just grilled them to get a better understanding of how they work and I am kinda amazed. The beeswax has antibacterial properties so you don’t need to worry about your beeswax wrap touching your food. Like you see in the picture you can wrap it around the cut end of a vegetable (their sample is a cucumber) and it will keep the end fresh. You can take your cheese out of the plastic and wrap it in a beeswax wrap and the cheese will stay fresh and mold free longer. They are fairly low maintenance for care, rinse them off using cold water, use a mild dish soap if you really want, then let them air dry. They can be rolled or folded for storage. An important thing to remember is not to get them hot, they are made out of beeswax after all, and what does beeswax do when it gets warm? It melts. So if you’re putting hot left overs in a bowl and want to use the beeswax sheet to cover the bowl, wait until the food is room temperature before covering the bowl. Pretty easy right? Oh, and when they finally reach the end of their life, which is when they stop sticking to surfaces or itself (this can take a year or more to happen) you can either compost it or rip it up and use it as a fire starter when you next go camping. Which for me will be never, so compost it is! I’ve gone from wondering “what the hell I am supposed to do with these beeswax wraps?” to “I can’t wait to use these!” Super glad I stopped and talked with them. Oh, and they are also locally made and ship anywhere so if you are interested their website is: https://canada.abeego.com/

I bought myself a necklace I absolutely 100% do not need, but really wanted, and apparently wanting it mattered more in the moment than needing it lol

Again, a Canadian made product, well, work of art really. The holes in the charm are the Capricorn constellation, my constellation. It is simple, and pretty, and I can see myself wearing it often. She also had a necklace I’m regretting I didn’t get a picture of that is the word fuck, dangling down so you’d have to turn your head sideways to be able to read it if you were looking at someone wearing it. I actually also really wanted that one, but since I spend the majority of my time at work, where I would not be able to wear it, I opted for the one I could actually wear and enjoy on a daily basis. Go figure lol Rachael, the artist, has a lot of beautiful pieces, and since Christmas (and other holidays) are coming up you may want to check out her website at http://www.laughingsparrow.ca This was my most expensive purchase at the Market, and while I wish jewellery didn’t cost so much I can understand why a hand made piece, that is sourced from sustainable materials can’t be cheap. You get what you pay for, and I feel I got something great that will last.

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The other edible things I purchased are a jar of Pink Grapefruit & Champagne preserve, which I will instantly make less fancy by putting on toast. I don’t know how to describe it other than delicious. The Preservatory is a business out of Langley BC, they focus on small batch artisanal preserves, and lemme tell ya, they are good at their niche. I have seen them in a shop called All of Oils in Surrey BC but hadn’t tried them until they offered samples. Man am I glad they offered samples. Their website is: https://thepreservatory.com/

Sweet Thea is a bakery out of Langley BC, they are where I got the cookies. I know the package says I bought Ginger Crinkle, and I did, but if you notice, not all the cookies in the bag look the same. That is because the friend I went with bought a bag of Chocolava cookies and we swapped three for three. I honestly don’t know which I like best. Normally I’d be saying of course the chocolate cookies, but the ginger is also incredibly good. They are soft cookies, both types, and just so decadent. We split one of each cookie in half so for our first cookie we got half of each and while normally I am that person to keep dipping in to the cookie package, I didn’t reach again. Not because they weren’t good, but because they were so satisfying I didn’t need more. I didn’t even know that was possible, did you? You can find their website at: https://www.sweetthea.com/home The lady we bought from wasn’t as friendly as people at the other booths but I’m going to assume that is because it was nearing the end of the day and she was probably tired after a long three days working the market. We may have gone at a quiet time but I’m sure the other days were much busier.

That deceptively simple Lemon Square package is hiding an amazing lemon coconut  square inside. That small square is meant to be cut in to four pieces! The flavour is so strong, not in a bad way, that you don’t need more than a small square to satisfy you. Well, in theory, I am not cutting and sharing that square lol  Here is their website: https://thelemonsquare.ca/

And lastly, Whiskey Marmalade by Blaire’s Confectionery. They are a company in Kamloops BC that makes Scottish treats. They had various types of marmalade, shortbread, fudge that isn’t fudge (apparently in Scotland it is called something different), and probably other yummy items that they didn’t have at the booth or I didn’t notice. Hey, I can’t manage to see everything ya know, especially when I am sampling shortbread and fudge that isn’t fudge lol Their website is being redesigned right now and when I tried to go to it was directed to check out their page on Facebook so if you want to find them I’d search for them there. I didn’t sample the marmalade, I hate marmalade, but I thought my brother might like it, so I got it as part of his Christmas present. Don’t worry, he doesn’t read my blog so no ruined surprise for him! I also wanted to buy the fudge that isn’t called fudge but couldn’t bring myself to spend $10 on a food indulgence…says the woman who ended up buying cookies and a lemon bar *rolls eyes*.

Can a couple pieces of art be anymore Canadian than a beaver in a canoe or a mama bear and cubs in a canoe? I’m thinking no.

So there you have it, an afternoon of wandering the booths, buying stuff, hanging with a friend, and enjoying my first Christmas activity of the season. Only 42 more days until Christmas!

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