Adventures in Restaurants: One expensive outing!

It’s been almost four years since the last time I did a restaurant post. haven’t done one of these posts in a long time. When covid broke out, my province went into lockdown three times, and now that we’re heading into our third year of covid (let’s hope not), we did manage to go out a few times. Our big splurge was when we went to Ottawa for our anniversary. We booked a table at a very classy restaurant and the mean was incredible!

This was the most expensive dinner we’ve every had, but it was so worth it. You can see the pictures HERE.

We started with drinks (naturally); rye and coke and negroni with appetizers, and I was surprised to see that they didn’t have escargot on the menu, so I had to settle for shrimp and Hubby had a crab cake. Both were awesome.

Main course was steak and lobster for me, and stuffed rainbow trout stuffed with crab meat and baby shrimp.

Funny thing about this place, they serve sides in separate dishes, so we had sauteed wild mushrooms and roasted broccoli.

I had desert but the desert I will remember was a surprise from the chef, who learned (probably from our server) that it was our anniversary, so he prepared a special treat. We finished the meal with a glass of ice wine for me, and a B-52 coffee for Hubby.

Yes, I took a picture of the bill.

This was an important night for us. Not just because it was our anniversary, but it was the first time in almost a year and a half that we dared to go out and try to have a normal night, or as normal of a night as possible. I’m not sure how many more of these special nights we’ll have in the future, at least not ones that were this expansive, but it’s a small step toward the new normal.

Have you gone out for date night since the pandemic began? How did it go?

Random Question of the Month: If the world fell apart tomorrow, what would you miss?

I thought of this question the other day getting ready for work, and it’s trickier to answer than I thought. There’s so much that goes into our daily lives, so much we’ve come to depend on, and just assume it’ll always be there, but what if it wasn’t? What if all the technological advancements of our modern world disappeared? And by ‘modern’, I mean the era that began after WW2, otherwise we might as well go back to pre-industrial or even post Medieval periods of history . . .

But I digress . . .

What is the one thing you would miss the most?

For me, I think it would be doing anything online. Sure, I can still write with a pen (barely though. Have you seen my handwriting?), but the loss of instant communications or the ability to immediately look information up for anything whenever I wanted, is a hard thing to let go of. I would adapt, eventually, but considering in this scenario there is no power—which runs EVERYTHING in our world—it would take a very long time before forms of communication and information gathering would return.

I’d miss the interaction with my online friends, that’s for sure. I think I have more friends online than I do in real life. Not that this bothers me, I’m picky about who I hang with, especially in the time of Covid. I’ve come to know a lot of great people, writers, and non-writers alike. They ‘get’ me when very few people do.

It would hit me hard in the writing department. Do I really need to look up Every. Single. Thing? FOMO is a real problem sometimes, compound that over the last couple of years and I’m amazed I even THINK about not being online Considering what I write, I don’t think I could do research for any of it without the help of Google. I’m used to doing quick research for a few items as I’m writing. I don’t think a library could hold up to that, let alone have the specific information I need. Do they have pictures of dead bodies at the library? Could I access them? Would they let me access them?   

What about you? What would you miss? Let me know because this really interests me.

Random Question of the Month: What’s something in your fridge right now that should probably be thrown out?

Probably everything in the back half of the fridge.

There are three people living in this house with a small fridge, and each one has different eating habits. My mother tends to buy a lot of fresh food in packages, while I prefer whole foods and make my own stuff. Unfortunately, this means that things get pushed to the back. Once a week I try to go through the fridge, especially on garbage day, but some weeks that’s not always the case.

Because I work short shifts, I tend to bring finger food items to snack on. I don’t know how many old packages of cheese and meat I’ve had to throw out. I’ve gotten smarter though, only buying in smaller quantities and forcing myself to make it last.

I’ve never been a big fan of leftovers, and I don’t know why. It’s only been in the last few years that I’ve forced myself eat them. They’re good, and sometimes even more flavourful the second time around, but still things get forgotten. Especially after the holidays. There’s only so much turkey, stuffing, and mashed potatoes one can eat.

Our fridge is an old one. Pretty sure it was purchased in the late 80’s. I don’t think food items have gotten bigger, but I don’t understand how a fridge that once housed food for a family of six, can barely hold food for a family of three. We have tall, plastic cannisters we use for leftovers, and whenever we run short, I go rooting through the fridge to find the food no one has eaten in a while to throw out. Good thing we have a dishwasher too. Sometimes those containers are like science experiments.

I can’t be the only one that this happens too? Anyone else have this problem? Anyone?

Random Question: What was your most embarrassing moment?

What was your most embarrassing moment?

Years ago during the holiday season, our city used to have an event called Festival of Trees, where there would be dozens of Christmas trees elaborately decorated. It would last for a week, and the last day there would be a silent auction of the displays.

Every year hubby and I said we’d go, but never did. One year he bought tickets on the spur of the moment and I was so excited. The day came, and unfortunately, we had to work for most of the night, but he picked me up after work and we went right down. Now, I worked as a waitress so I was in my uniform and smelled like greasy food, and him being in construction, he was still in his work clothes and covered in crap.

Have that image in your mind? Good.

We walked into the building where the event was held and it was beautiful! The entire place was decorated from floor to ceiling and the trees were so beautiful, but it didn’t take us long to realize that we were standing out. Everyone was dressed so nice, and at first I thought it was a bit much, until we realized that he bought tickets for the night of the silent auction and the organizers had made it a black-tie affair.

Yeah. We were the ONLY ONES who weren’t dressed fancy. We felt so uncomfortable we left right away, and laughted about it when we got outside. Hubby is not a fancy dress person and of course he picked THE ONLY DAY. He said he didn’t pay any attention to the date, he just wanted to get tickets.

The event didn’t continued for a couple years after that, but at least we did finally go.

The Green Side of Life: Garden update August 2021

I set out to garden late in the season, and I’m still surprised I got anything in the ground, let alone growing, but it happened. I used the containers my mother bought last year again, and because I started so late, I didn’t get a lot of what I wanted so I had to start just about everything from seeds.

I have pictures, but because this post is very picture heavy, I’m posting them on Instagram and posted the link here.

My veggie garden:

Instagram link: https://www.instagram.com/p/CShEwtorvfQ/

This year I planted tomatoes, green peppers, squash, cucumbers, beets, and sweet potatoes.

Most of my plants are in containers. I do really well with them, but as you can see, the tomatoes just go nuts. I started all my tomatoes from seeds I got from a roma tomato. As you can see, they haven’t started to turn red. Next year, I’m starting them earlier.

Green peppers are doing well and I’ve already had a couple. Cucumbers were so strange. I started them by seed and all they did at first was just clump in one spot. I couldn’t get them to climb at all. My squash seems to only have male flowers, no female, but it’s still early so we’ll see, and my sweet potatoes are a bust. I don’t know whats under the ground, but I don’t think it’ll be nice. Beets are a bust too, and my strawberries that I had from last year gave a few, but I think I’ll have to seperate them and plant them in the ground next year.

Hubby’s Garden:

Instagram link: https://www.instagram.com/p/CShFDt6LXGo/

He did wonderful this year. He planted tomatoes, green peppers, squash, peas, eggplant and beans. He did a lot better than I did, especially with tomatoes and squash, and I’ve never seen beans like this before. I am so growing these next year. Unfortunately, we had some strong storms blow through and the last one blew over the beans, but you can see from the pictures that it was pretty tall.

Did you garden this year? How did you do? Anything you want to plant next year that you didn’t this year?

A Wiccan Journey: Stress, the Pandemic, and new beginnings.

The last year has been hard on everyone, myself included. At first I thought I was doing really great, and all the time off I had, I thought to myself, this would be a great time to focus on my beliefs and strengthen my practice.

I wish I could say that really happened.

Stress, it seems, was affecting me in ways I didn’t realize. All those months that I had to do full moon, or dark moon rites, I didn’t. The solstices came and went and I think I might have done one or two celembrations. Even at the holidays, when I had a good week and a half off PRIOR to the Winter Solstice, I didn’t. I was too tired, or not in the mood or whatever other excuse i came up with to validate not doing them. Even now, when things are slowly going back to the new normal, I didn’t plan anything for the first of August, and as I sit here writing this, it occurs to me that this Sunday is a dark moon. I wrote out a rite for this moon phase, wrote it out exactly one year ago, but as of yet, I still haven’t performed it.

I don’t want to use the pandemic as an excuse, and that’s what I feel I’m doing, but how do I push past the rut I’ve fallen into? Everone says small steps, I get that, but some days doing even the smallest of things is difficult. I don’t want my practice to feel like a chore, and I’m at a loss where to begin. My husband (a practising Catholic) hasn’t been to service in over a year, and even now he’s very hesitant about going anywher near large gatherings.

Maybe I’m overthinking this. Maybe instead of jumping in all at once again, I need to start small. Maybe do one little thing today, like stand outside in the morning and meditate for five minutes, or read one of the new pagan books I bought last year. Yeah, that might be the answer to overcoming this stress. Funny, you don’t realize you’re stressed until you see how it’s affecting your life.

I will keep you updated.

Random Question.

What’s the story behind one of your scars?

I have two scars on my lower abdomen from surgery to remove my appendix. They preformed a laparoscopic appendectomy so I don’t have the long scar that people generally think of with the surgery.

You can read for yourself what it’s about HERE.

The most interesting this is, the two scars I have not only show the incision, but the staples they used to close the incision. They kind of look like a long hashtag bent sideways. I’ve always thought they were cool, and at some point in the future, I plan on getting them tattooed.

From the Recipe Box: Eating healthy; a beginner’s journey.

The last year has been a hard one. My stress levels were pushed to the max, but out of all of it, were my eating habits. It didn’t surprise me when I got on the scale and discovered that I am a good ten pounds heavier than I was last year, and the weight gain is interfering with my work. Gone are my six hour shifts because I can’t stand on my feet for longer than three. I was heavy to start with, an the extra weight isn’t doing me any favours, so, I signed up to Noom.

Is it working? In a nutshell, yes. This is going to be a slow, gradual thing, but as they advertise, they teach you how to keep it off, and that takes some time. At this moment, I am 4.2 pounds lighter than I was two and a half weeks ago, but I have a long way to go just to get to my pre-pandemic weight. I’ll give monthly updates as it’s part of the program to be social about this journey.

Anyhoo . . . I thought I would share some recipes that I came up with. They’re simple and easy to whip together. This one is for a yummy fruit salad. I have a sweet tooth, so I need something that will be sweet enough to satisfy it, and still be low in calories.

Fruit Salad.

1 large mango

1 gala apple

290g watermelon

Cut into 1/2 bit size bits. Toss together in bowl. Keep in fridge. Will make four servings of 1 cup each of roughly 77 calories.

Mango is the sweetness I need, and I like gala apples for their crunch and added sweetness. Watermelon is good because it’s mostly water. I eat half a cup in the afternoon or evening, and do a full cup in the morning. The only problem I have is the mango ripens quickly and begins to taste and feel a bit off, but if you like them, you shouldn’t have a problem. I want to try different fruit combinations, and I will post here the results.

Summer is slowly coming to and end, and a lot of the fruit is going out of season. As much as I’d like to do frozen, I find it’s just not the same. Do you have a suggestion for a fruit salad recipe? Maybe made with autumn fruit? I can handle just about all fruit, except cherries. There’s something about cherries that they have to be eaten by themselves.

Writing Update: Friday July 30, 2021.

It’s been four months since I wrote an update. Work started back, and between that and a few non-writing projects, I forgot about my blog. I think there will be random blog posts going forward. There’s just not enough time during the day to do everything I want and need to do.

But enough whining . . .

Eva & Skye’s Magical Hair Solution.

Revisions are done. It was a hard revision too. I cut about 4k from the story and focused more on two primary areas; Eva and her love interest, and the ending. The ending is important, not just because it’s the ending, but here is where the final lesson is learned and I really need to show that.

Even after all this time, I still love this story. I love reseraching and remembering what it was like beeing a teen in the 80’s. Back then, it seems like a great time, but I was too young to understand what was really going on in the world. I don’t think I’d want to return to that time, not when we’ve come so far socially.

For the next month I need to work on the synopsis and minor edits. The synopsis is going to kill me. I have NO IDEA how to write one, so if you’ve got any tricks, let me know.

W.I.P #2 (formally known as Gutterchilde)

I’ve been poking at this one again. I don’t care for the plot anymore so the whole thing has to be re-written. The only thing I do like is the map I created. I found a rough outline for a Victorian paranormal series I wanted to explore, and I think I’ll combine the two. I’ve got such a rich, detailed map drawn up, now I just need a story that will do the map justice.

This is so frustrating! I have an idea of what I want the story to be, but it’s changed so much in the years since I first thought of the idea, I don’t know what I want for it now. I’ll poke at it some more over the next few months. Maybe something will stick.

How is your writing coming along? This might seem a bit premature, but is anyone gearing up for NaNo yet?

Hopefully it won’t be another four months before I post another update.

A Wiccan Journey: Harnessing Planetary Energy.

Depending on what you want to create, harnessing the energy of the planets can enhance the power of your spell. I’ve written several blog posts on how to align with this energy, but knowledge of the energy and how they interact within our lives is a great way to enhance any spell.

Planetary hours is not a knew concept and is though to have been developed in Hellenistic astrology, and may have roots in the older Babylonian astrology. If you create your spell around a certain hour, you can harness that planets energy. The trick is figuring out what hour you need.

Below is a link to help explain more.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Planetary_hours#:~:text=As%20each%20day%20is%20divided,Moon%20(%22Monday%22)%2C

At the bottom of the page is the formula to calculate the planetary hour. Personally, I have an app for that.

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.technologies.mobile.astroclock

This app is very convient and allows you to set alarms for certain times. Whether or not you want to utilize planetary hours into your spell work is up to you, but I find it exciting to create spells around these hours. It helps me to focus on what I want to accomplish.

One thing I do want to mention; the influence of the inner and outer planets. For those of you who are familiar with astrology, you know the inner planets (Mercury, Venus, and Mars) are known as Personal, with the Impersonal planets being Jupiter and Saturn. Transpersonal are the outer planets (Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto), and because their rotation around the sun takes much longer, the manifestation of your spell should you chose to utilize, may take much longer.

Bright Blessings and take care.

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