Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Life Update

It seems like it's beyond time for a little life update! I guess I'll start with work...

What was supposed to be a two month replacement position at Meals on Wheels, is still going strong! I will most likely be done by the end of July, but at the rate it's been going, I don't feel confident about making any plans. Things have been going well there, however. I'm definitely getting more comfortable in the kitchen and cooking. I appreciate how much easier cooking can be compared to baking, but I still prefer to bake. :) I've tried recipes I've never made before, multiplying for large quantities and making substitutions where necessary... It's been a great learning experience, with comfortable hours and pleasant coworkers, and I will most definitely miss it when my contract ends.

One challenge I've had to face was preparing 3 different meats for the main course in one day. I had just enough meat for the regular meals, but there was also a community meal planned that day, so I took out some sausages and there were just enough for that, but then there were a few extras/people who don't eat whatever was the main meat, so I also did some chicken tournedos - it was quite a busy day!

I'm still working at the restaurant as well. I won't go into detail here, but like most jobs there are good days and bad days. It has also been a learning experience so far, but more in a social aspect than practical, I would say. At the moment we have on the menu rhubarb coffee cake, deconstructed lemon meringue pie, and an Elvis Presley cake (banana cake with peanut butter frosting and fried bananas between the layers).

One particular challenge I've had to face at the restaurant was making six rhubarb cakes and four Elvis cakes (as well as several other dessert elements) the same day... with only three cake pans. And one of those cake pans is my own! I did it (well actually I only made 3 Elvis cakes because of only having 3 pans and because they take an hour and a half to bake. So I went back the next day to do the last cake), but it wasn't without stress and a small anxiety attack...

Adventures with Loretta the Jetta continue. April was a busy month, all around, but for Loretta specifically. She was in and out of garages for various repairs. And then, the day after I picked her up from a longer stint at the garage... the timing belt broke as I was pulling into the yard at work. It was a lucky spot/time to break down (not too much activity in that yard at 7am), but caused me so much stress. In the end, I had to replace the motor which was a much bigger repair than I would have liked, but was a really decent price and much cheaper than buying a new car! So, Loretta has new life! She made it to Montreal and back last week (we went to La Ronde - you can read about it here) with no problem. There are a few more repairs needing some attention, most recently the driver's side mirror falling off... But we're making do. :)

One of my Compassion correspondent children had to leave the program - I was really hoping to visit her on my next trip! :( - so I have a new child to get to know! His name is Michael and he's 16. Having a new correspondent renewed my interest in letter-writing, so I've been sending notes and letters to people I haven't been in touch with for some time. I do it every so often, but this time I literally flipped through my address book and picked out people I haven't heard from or written to for at least 6 months. I love sending (and receiving!) cards and letters, so if ever you want some fun mail, let me know and send me your address! :) Also, I've been thinking lately about all my friends with little kids, and how amazing it was for me as a kid when older friends/people I knew would take the time to write me a note. So if you've got kids that like getting mail (who doesn't?!) I may be in the market to be a sort of Big Sister Penpal...

Speaking of penpals and correspondence... I've always been more of a card/letter person, as opposed to postcards. I suppose because postcards aren't very private, and really don't have much room!, so I don't use them very often. (As in, I had to look up how to write/address one because I couldn't remember. Duh!) However, last weekend I came across a website called Postcrossing, which I joined and am really super excited about! You can get up to 5 addresses at a time, completely random people from around the world, to whom you send a postcard. You can send other things as well, I think, but there has to be a postcard included. Each correspondence has an ID number, so when the recipient gets your postcard, they register it online, and then someone else, from anywhere in the world, will send you a postcard! It's kind of weird writing to someone you don't know, and will most likely never hear from again - what to say? But I managed to fill up 3 postcards yesterday. I found them at the used bookstore (photographs from the region, and one for the store itself). Today I went to the big bookstore at the mall and found some really gorgeous ones. They're not local photographs, but they're so pretty, and I'd be tickled pink to receive one myself! :D

Hm... what else? A few weeks ago our family went on a little Sunday afternoon drive and ended up at a local covered bridge. It's a really pretty spot, good for pictures! There is also a local artisan's coop boutique set up there, which my mom and I found very interesting! I always love checking out artisanal  crafts, and I especially love discovering local talent - and there really is so much of it around here! Anyway, I ended up joining the coop and left some of my clay figurines there the next weekend. It won't be a very big audience, but it's something and requires very little effort on my part.

Well, I guess that's all the news from me. Things are more or less quiet around here at the moment. I'd like to get a few cake orders over the summer, but it's not looking too good so far. But we'll see, things can change very quickly! :)

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