A few updates

Sorry, guys.  It’s been a while.  July is generally crazy busy for me, and this July was no exception.

I did my slideshow at work, and I got some very complimentary reviews of my dSLR photos.  So I admitted to one of my friends that I’m hoping to do a show at “my local” pub.  I just need to contact the new artistic director there and see if she would like to display my photos.  I should get on that…

Then it was my birthday – I had thought to have an open house at my place to show my friends some of the paintings I’d done over my nine weeks off.  But it was sweltering hot in here for the week leading up to my birthday, so I opted not to spend my time sweating over a stove preparing food and cleaning my house, and instead went for a hike in Gatineau Park with my boyfriend, his brother, sister-in-law and our nephew (who didn’t hike so much as ride).  It was great, even with me tripping on a divot on the paved pathway to the head of the trail and skinning both of my knees right off the bat.  *sigh*  They don’t call me Klutzapalooza for nothing.  I kept right on hiking though, with my bloody knees and shin, because I’m badass like that.  And it was so worth it – so many lovely nature interactions that day – toads, garter snake, heron, woodpecker, deer…  After the hike, we were famished and we went to Cafe Soupe’Herbe in Chelsea, QC, for delicious, delicious vegetarian food.

Deer photobombing my heron picture.

Deer photobombing my heron picture.

She came up to the trail and crossed it behind us.

She came up to the trail and crossed it behind us.

Currently, this is my long weekend of nothing – no plans, not rushing around, just relaxing and not over-programming myself.  Sure, we go out and do things if it catches our fancy, but I don’t have anywhere I *have* to be.

Oh, and I tried a neti pot for the first time.  It was one of the purifications that we learned about in yoga and I was not excited to try it.  You see, I almost drowned twice as a kid (once, the neighbour’s kid was holding my head underwater in my little turtle wading pool in the backyard; the second time, because I was trying to touch the bottom of the pool like some of the other kids and I wasn’t strong enough to kick to the surface), and that led to a fear of water that I had to work through as a slightly older kid.  And water up your nose is never a great feeling anyway.  But I tried it, and the sensation was a momentary “Uh, that’s usually reason to panic” but I made it.  I poured the entire one cup of saline water through both nostrils letting it pour (or drip…) out the other nostril.  Apparently I need to work on my right to left, because the flow is not as easy.  And I just did it again this morning.  Then again, I did have a dream this morning that something green, slimy and sentient was stuck in my sinuses and wouldn’t come out.  I don’t know – the subconscious is a weird place.  Maybe because we went to see Pacific Rim the other night, who knows…  Will I continue to use the neti pot?  I’ll keep trying it out.  It does makes your head feel clearer afterwards.

So, heading in to August and it’s cooled down dramatically.  Weekends don’t look quite as hectic, but I have something written down for three of the remaining four weekends.  But not two things each weekend, so that’s nice.

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One of the things I remembered that I wanted to write down was about Irish veggie burgers.  Here, our veggie burgers are usually tofu, soy or some sort of bean/frozen vegetable mix (those are not my favourite).  But there was one night that I came back to my first B&B and my host had indicated there was a “chipper” down the way, so I thought I’d try it out.

So veggie burger and fries at the chipper, where the fellow was watching the somewhat violent football match (soccer, for those not in the know).  The veggie patty was covered in a golden brown breading type coating – deep fried.  Biting into it, you realize that it’s made of mashed potato, creamy and hot, with little jewels of veggies studding it.  Yum.

I ended up stopping at an Irish fast food place, Supermac’s, the day I was driving to Northern Ireland, after hiking up to Carrowkeel Neolithic Cemetery, and got a veggie burger there – the same kind.  It’s really interesting.  I have reams and reams of recipes on how to make homemade veggie burgers, and they focus on beans and mushrooms (I have a decadent mushroom burger recipe… drool).  But I can’t recall any that recommends making a veggie burger with mashed potato and veggies only.  Maybe something to try – I don’t have a deep fryer (and I don’t want one…) but I am a fan of potatoes.

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Also, if you have an hour to spend, I’d recommend watching this video by NutritionFacts.  While I recommend you exercise your critical thinking about it as well, it is a really interesting talk by a doctor about how nutrition can impact (and reverse the damage leading to) the top causes of death in the Western world.  Probably nothing you haven’t heard before, but he actually flashes up some research (granted, some of it was quite dated) and it’s nice to have a personable doctor interpreting it rather than media.

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