Friday, February 28, 2014

February Roundup

February was a good month - I did not take even one single sick-day! The days are getting longer and warmer, so I've been able to reincorporate my bike into my daily commute.

Here's what I've been:

Laughing at: kids at school again, grade five this time. We've been talking about Anglophone countries, and since Bro was recently in New Zealand and is a really cool and dedicated video-blogger, I decided to show them a clip from his visit to Hobbiton. It went down like this:
I started the video, and said "That's my brother"
Student A: He's famous!
Student B: Wow, his own Youtube channel!
Me: Well, he isn't famous, but he is pretty cool...
Student: Do all Canada people have really white teeth?
Me: Shhh...
       Video plays, students ooing and ahing over the scenery, exclaiming at the tiny little houses.
Another student, at the end of the video: So, your brother is a Hobbit.
Her deskmate: No, she's too tall to have a hobbit brother! He just lives there.

I also very much enjoyed a presentation about the Marshall Islands, where the typical food, is, apparently, crap...


Salted caramel and chocolate tart
the original recipe from chatelaine
Doing: Baking up a storm – lots of healthful eats and treats. I made a lemon loaf and a really fabulous chocolate caramel tart for my Lovely Ladies Coffee Afternoon – watch for my recipe adaptation soon! We’ve also been working on getting back into a routine at home. We slipped into winging it, which means unplanned meals, messy rooms, and underutilized time.

I am definitely a paper-person. I printed out (and coloured) a wall calendar for this month, obviously with birds on it, and I went back to my pen and paper lists. More got done, less got forgotten. This month we really stuck to our menu plan (we plan and grocery shop once a week) and cleaning rotation. We also met up with an old friend for dinner, went running together and finally caught an exhibition I’d been wanting to see.
Getting a haircut! It's a monumentous event - I got a haircut and the only tears I cried were tears of joy. My old hairdresser's timetable doesn't work with mine, and my two latest "tries" were disasters. Third time's a charm, and I have a new hairdresser!
Lovely Ladies Coffee Afternoon - does it ever cross your mind that friends from different circles would get on really well? And that maybe you would like some of their friends? I like making connections, I like hosting events, and I like baking, so I decided to invite some friends over one afternoon to see what would happen. The requirements were 1) girls only! 2) Madrid "lifers" or at least long-termers. And that's how eight young women and a baby (also a girl!) ended up at my place one rainy Saturday afternoon. It was heaps of fun and we'll do it again, and hopefully again and again. One Canadian (me) and one Spaniard, and everyone else was American. You know, for such a big place, you guys sure seem to know everyone who comes from there...  Oh, that's where my dad grew up / hey, my mom went to your highschool / yes, we lived there for two years! / I was born there! / etc. And you guys make jokes about Canada, phsh.

Gardening. Now, those of you in my hometown, you may not want to read this, since it's -25C and the highways are closed due to a blizzard... I've been gardening. Weeding, planting new things, and enjoying a continuous stream of cheery orange marigolds, and now, mini daffodils and little yellow crocuses! Today my mother-in-law brought me to lovely lavender plants which I'm looking forward to getting in the "ground", and the plant Tweedle N "borrowed" from the beach garden is doing so well it's practically taking over!
Thinking about: What kind of soup I am. I read a thought-provoking article that touched on my career/job musings which suggests thinking of yourself as a soup instead of trying to sell your brand. I’d like to think I’m chili – it’s reliable and comforting, yet versatile and hearty; flavourful, and it can pack a punch.
Jobs, and this quote from Jo's Boys which struck me as poignant: We don't choose our talents; but we needn't hide them in a napkin because they are not just what we want. Wow, how true. Thank you for the reminder, Louisa! Kind of makes you think twice about the ways you use your talents, or if you've got talents that are underused.

My brother and his... Fiancée! Congratulations on your engagement, you two!

Reading:  I mostly reread this month, including some childhood favourites, Underground to Canada, A String in the Harp, Little House on the Prairie and Farmer Boy. My new read was Jo’s Boys (I'm not sure how I made it this far, loving the genre of books that I do, without reading this!).  I enjoy reading nice stories about people trying to be good. Also, at school we're talking about “the olden days” in grade four, and these stories are coming in handy. The kids can't believe the part in Farmer Boy, for example, where Almanzo walks to school in the snow wearing moccasins because he doesn't have boots.

Books are always good company if you have the right sort. Let me pick out some for you."
           -Jo in Jo's Boys, by Louisa May Alcott

Um, how true is that!?!?! 

My book purchase this month was a new e-cookbook, Naturally Sweetened Treats. 41 new dessert and snack ideas, hooray! I found out about this project because Elise from Healing Cuisine, a recipe developer I admire, has a recipe in it (cookies, in case you were wondering). Anyway, if you like sweets, you should buy this book.

Watching: Friends. Do I ever not enjoy watching this show? No. Never.

1 comment:

  1. Compared to Little Women and Little Men, I thought Jo's Boys was kind of a let-down. I really thought that Louisa May Alcott lost her inspiration to write halfway through.