Not To Be Trusted With Knives

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Long weekend report

The long weekend festivities started on Thursday with the world’s easiest Easter egg hunt at my office:

World's Easiest Easter Egg Hunt At My Office

World's easiest Easter egg hunt

The office Easter bunnies left lots of treats for everyone and they certainly didn’t make them hard to find!

Then on Friday I headed over to Salt Spring Island. It was my first time going to any of the Gulf Islands and it did not disappoint. Here are just a few of the lovely views I saw:

Salt Spring Island

Salt Spring Island

Salt Spring Island

Salt Spring Island

There was also time for a tasting at the Salt Spring Island Brewery:

Salt Spring Island Brewery

And then on the ferry ride home there was a double rainbow!

Double rainbow as seen from the Victoria to Vancouver ferry

I wasn’t the only one taking photos of it:
People taking photos of the double rainbox

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Easter Treats – My First New Food Item for 2016

Due to my immune system having gone MIA for the first 3 months of this year, I’m rather behind on many of my goals. Including the goal of “Make 16 new food or drink items that I’ve never made before” for which, up until Thursday, I have made a grand total of 0. But now that I’m mostly healthy (just waiting out the remainder of my 100 day cough – which isn’t infectious, it’s just irritated lungs), I have made my first new food item of the year, just in time for Easter!

Easter treats

Easter treats

One of these eggs is hatching!

This treat was super easy to make and combines three awesome things – Rice Krispie squares (or nests, in this case), Mini-Eggs1, and Peeps.

  1. I’m generally a chocolate snob, preferring to eat high quality dark chocolate, but for some reason the combo of milk chocolate and whatever heaven they make that candy shell from makes Mini-Eggs one of my exceptions. See also: Reese peanut butter cups. []

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Blazing Blades – 2016 Champions!

Sunday marked the triumphant return of my Coquitlam hockey team, the Blazing Blades, to the status of Div 1 champions! You may recall that it 2014 we won the coveted trophy. Last year we did not, but this year we had our strongest season ever, going 21-3-1 in the regular season. We went 2-1 in the first round of the playoffs, which was a round robin, which was good enough to get us to the finals to face the Ringers, the only team who had beat us in round 1.

Lining up for a face off during the championship game

A photo from the game of us lining up for a face off in our end. I’m the one on the right of the photo – you can tell it’s me because (a) I’m shorter than everyone else and (b) my signature braids.

When all was said and done, the final score was 3-0 for us, and so the trophy is back in our hands!

Blazing Blades 2016 Div 1 Champs

The Blazing Blades – the Women’s League Div 1 Champions for 2015-16!

Isn’t the trophy pretty? And just like the Stanley Cup, players get to take the cup home for a week. I can’t wait to get my week – I’m going to take it in to work to show it off!

Blazing Blades championship celebration 2016

The cup

Of course, no victory celebrate would be complete without a drink from the trophy!

Blazing Blades championship celebration 2016

All in all, it was a great season – I’m really lucky to get to play with such a fun and talented group of women!

Tig Beth Ellen

On the left is game MVP, Tig (she scored 2 of our 3 goals, including the game winner) and on the right is team captain & coach, Ellen.

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Happy 93rd Birthday to My Grandpa!

93My Grandpa Snow was born on March 16, 1923, which means he turns 93 years old today. Out of curiosity, I checked out the year 1923 on Wikipedia to see what other things happened that year. Some of the highlights include:

  • the first live broadcast of an ice hockey game was called on Feb 16, 1923 by the legendary Foster Hewitt – it was the third period of an Ontario Hockey League game and it was broadcast on the Toronto radio station CFCA (my grandpa is a big hockey fan, so that is kind of cool)
  • the first hockey game to be broadcast on the radio in its entirety – a Western Canada Hockey League matchup between the Regina Capitals and the Edmonton Eskimos – was called on March 14 (2 days before my grandpa was born) on CKCK Radio in Regina, with play-by-play by Pete Parker (who I believe is also Spiderman, if I’m not mistaken)
  • the first issue of Time magazine was issued on March, Warner Brothers was founded on April, Yankee Stadium opened on April 18, and the Walt Disney Company was founded on Oct 16
  • the Hollywood sign (which originally read Hollywoodland) was inaugurated on July 13
  • the Ottoman Empire ended after 624 years on July 24
  • Canadian Sir Frederick Banting received the Nobel prize of Physiology/Medicine for discovering insulin
  • Hitler was arrested on Nov 11 for leading an unsuccessful attend to overthrow the Bavarian government a few days earlier.1

Happy 93rd birthday, Grandpa!

Image Credit: Posted by Boris Mann on Flickr with a Creative Commons license.

  1. I always think of things like Frederick Banting winning a Nobel prize or Hitler even existing as being so long ago in history but both of those things happened in my grandpa’s lifetime! []

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Cleaning Is Hazardous To Your Health

And this, my friends, is why I don’t believe in cleaning.

Not one but TWO broken nails from cleaning

I suffered not one, but TWO broken nails1 from cleaning this evening! TWO! Clearly the lesson is: I should never clean stuff. And I should probably go and get a new set of nails done. But not ’til after the playoffs.

  1. For the record, there’s no damage to my actual nail. Just the gel stuff they build the fake nails out of got broken, which is what looks all jagged and yucky. []

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My Final Day in Quarantine

So I genuinely thought I’d blog on all my days in quarantine since, you know, I’m stuck in quarantine and have nothing better to do than blog. But, as it turns out, when you are stuck in quarantine you end up with nothing to write about because ohmygodsoboring! Today, thankfully, is my last day in quarantine as my doctor said I would no longer be infectious by the weekend, which is good because it’s playoffs in one of my hockey leagues starting tomorrow (and I specifically asked about it and she said I’d be fine to play on Saturday).

My throat is still sore – yesterday was the worst it has been but today seems a bit better. I guess it just takes some time for the ulcers in one’s throat to heal even after the virus has burnt itself out. My eyes look a lot better though – here are some photos I took of the progression of my zombie eyeballs over the week (not for the squeamish!)

Monday:

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Tuesday:

Eyeballs are still zombified

Wednesday:

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Thursday 10 am:

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Thursday 1:30 pm:

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Friday:

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It’s weird that my eyes actually looked better on Wednesday than Thursday, but I’m not zombie eyeball-oologist, so maybe that’s just how zombie eyeball disease works.

I’m going to spend my last evening in captivity bleaching every surface I’ve touched this week as well as laundering all my sheets, towels, and everything I’ve worn. Because being sick wasn’t bad enough – apparently I now have to clean too! Ugh. Worst. Disease. Ever.

Thankfully I’ve had a few friends who I’ve been able to chat with on the phone or by FaceTime over the week and I’ve had my wee kitties to keep me company too:

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Only one more sleep ’til freedom!

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Quarantine: Day 1

So I’ve been in quarantine for more than a full day now and I have to say: quarantine is not for extroverts. I’m pretty sure I’ve got cabin fever, which, happily does not involve an actual fever but, sadly, does not involve a cabin. I kind of wish I was at a cabin. Anyhoo, here’s some random thoughts I had today, in handy bullet list format.

  • Last night I decided to make pasta for dinner, with homemade pasta sauce. Figured it would be soft on my sore throat and full of healthy veggies. Didn’t think through the part about how the first thing I do when I make homemade pasta sauce is chop onions. Did not feel good on my zombie eyeballs.
  • Being home alone is very boring when it is forced upon you.
  • I can’t believe I am bored when I own several devices that are capable of accessing all of human knowledge and entertainment. Yet here I am.
  • Some have suggested that I’m having all the illnesses right now because for the first time in a long time, my stress level is low, so my adrenaline & cortisol levels have come down, allowing infectious agents to take over. Last semester was super busy and stressful because I was teaching a new course that I’d never taught before and then right at the end of the semester I went through an unexpected relationship break up that was really hard on me. I’d just sort of recovered from all that stress when my immune system decided to go on vacation, leaving me undefended. The lesson here is: never be not stressed.
  • I do not like the sensation of squirting saline up my nostrils, but I’m doing it in the hopes that it really will help make my sore throat and cough go away.
  • Things I have missed out on – or will be missing out on – due to my illnesses:
    • two hockey games
    • Arts Council fundraiser
    • movie with Kalev
    • book club
    • strata AGM
    • my boss’s birthday tea (for which I bake cupcakes that have now gone to waste)
    • massage appointment
    • cleaning person coming over to clean my place (I had to tell her she can’t come on her usual day because I’ll be here, being all highly infectious)
  • I also had to reschedule two important work meetings that could not be conducted without me there in person (Not going to lie – that does make me feel a wee bit special!)
  • I’m choked that I bought a monthly transit pass for March. You need to take transit most weekdays out of a month to make it a good deal and since I’m being forced to stay home four days this week, plus I stayed home sick two days last week, I would have been better just paying per trip.

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I’m Highly Contagious with Zombie Eyeball Disease

In the latest instalment of Beth’s 2016 health woes, apparently I am now infected with the highly contagious adenovirus. Because apparently having a cold, which this year comes associated with the “100 day cough1 and then having food poisoning wasn’t enough. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

Last Wednesday night, I played hockey. I felt completely fine, other than my little cough, which I knew was just a holdover from my January cold, and suffering this devastating upper body injury:

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It’s not as bad as it looks. There was no damage to my nail bed – I only broke off the fake nail part.

It was the first time I’ve broken a nail playing hokey. I went home from my hockey game and decorated some mini-cupcakes that I’d baked to take the work the next day for a wee tea party we were having for my boss’s birthday. Then I went to bed and realized that my hands and feet were pretty cold, which was reminiscent of my recent food poisoning, but I didn’t feel the least bit nauseated, so I didn’t think it was that again2. I had trouble getting to sleep and I thought I was having weird anxiety thoughts about work that were keeping me up – which is really unusual because (a) I rarely have trouble sleeping and (b) no one should ever really get that worked up about Agile software development – but the next

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They were so pretty!

morning I realized that I actually had fallen asleep and was having crazy fever dreams. Because I had a fever. I actually got up and got ready for work thinking, “I’m sure I’m just tired from being up late last night due to hockey and cupcake decorating and not being able to fall asleep” and then “Hmm, I think I’m a little bit warm” followed by “But I need to bring these cupcakes in to work – they are so pretty!” I finally decided to take my temperature and it was 39 degrees C – not extreme fever, but definitely a fever.

And then I thought about the idea of getting on the Skytrain travelling all the way to work feeling like crap and who knows what I had that I could be spreading around to everyone on transit and who the heck wants to eat cupcakes made by someone who is fevered anyway and so I called in sick. And thank goodness I did, because I got back into bed and then continued to have that fever for the next day and a half, alternating between the chills (like I was wearing full length yoga pants, a t-shirt and a hoodie and big fuzzy socks and a toque and was still cold under my duvet) and sweating and chills and sweating for the next day and a half. I didn’t get out of bed longer than it took to either go to the bathroom or boil water to make Neocitran, for a day. On Friday afternoon my fever broke and I finally managed to graduate to sitting on the couch. By Friday evening I was feeling considerably better, other than the appearance of a slightly sore throat and, of course, the cough. I decided I must have had the flu and now I was getting better.

Saturday was the Hot Chocolate 5 km race and I since it was sunny and since I had been stuck in bed for 2 days, I decided that since I was feeling better, I would go, but I’d be responsible and just walk it rather than run. It was only 5 km and the fresh air and stretching my legs would be good for me3. It was actually quite nice to get out for a walk like that AND I got my first race medal of 2016 AND I got a delicious hot chocolate.

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First race medal of 2016. I think this is the shiniest medal in my whole collection!

I took it easy the rest of Saturday, but Sunday my throat started to be more sore and I decided that while a walk was one thing, a hockey game was an entirely different beast and maybe I shouldn’t push myself and instead should rest up and try to get 100% better for the playoffs. I also decided that if I still had a sore throat in the morning I would go see my doctor because maybe it was strep throat?

So today I went into work and called my doctor’s office as soon as it opened and got an appointment for 11:45 am and almost every person I saw at my office before I left to go to the doctor’s office said “What the hell is wrong with your eyes?” (or something to that effect). Because Captain Oblivious here managed to get ready for work – including putting on my makeup – without noticing that my eyes were the most bloodshot eyes that have ever been bloodshot. When I got to the doctor’s office my eyes were also the first thing my doctor commented on and she said, “You’ve got adenovirus”. Or more specifically pharyngoconjunctival fever caused by an adenovirus. Apparently this starts out with the whole fever and sore throat thing (when she looked in my throat she said “I can see ulcers in the back of your throat”) and then progresses to a conjunctivitis, a.k.a., pink eye (though in my opinion “pink” does not really do it justice), which will probably start to get all disgusting and goopy in addition to looking like someone filled in the whites of my eyes with a red Sharpie marker. Since this is a virus, there’s nothing I can do other than wait it out, though thankfully it’s a self-limiting condition. Then she said, “Adenovirus is highly contagious. You really shouldn’t go to your office this week at all.”

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Zombie eyeball

There’s some about being called “highly” contagious that seems so much worse than just “contagious”.

Of course, I’d already taken transit into work, had a few meetings at the office, and taken the bus to the doctor’s office. So my apologies to anyone I may have crossed paths with – I didn’t know I was highly contagious and then once I did, I did my best to touch the bare minimum of things I needed to touch in order to transit my way home. And now I’m stuck in isolation in my apartment until Friday. Which is like the worst nightmare of an extreme extrovert such as myself.

Before I left my doctor’s office I did ask two all important questions: “Will I be OK to play my hockey playoffs this coming weekend” (Yes.) and “Can I give my highly contagious adenovirus to my cats?” (No.)

My doctor did also tell me that sinus rinses have been shown to help with the cough, so I picked some of that stuff up along with some eye drops and enough groceries to (hopefully) last me the week4. So I guess I have squirting some liquid up my nose to look forward to before going to bed. Which is actually what I’m going to do right now because how the heck did it get to be 11 pm already?

Here’s hoping that I get a good night’s rest and that my eyes aren’t glued shut with zombie eyeball conjunctivitis goop in the morning!

  1. My doctor told me that people are having a chronic cough for like 3 months after a cold this year and so everyone’s been calling it the “100 day cough”… though when I just googled that, apparently that nickname has already been taken by pertussis, a.k.a., whooping cough. []
  2. And I hadn’t eaten anything suspect since the food poisoning, since I’m being careful to not get food poisoning again. []
  3. I was supposed to do the Hot Chocolate 5 km race last year, but after I signed up I found out it conflicted with my hockey playoffs and I couldn’t do it. And I didn’t want to miss it again this year. []
  4. Apologies to anyone I crossed paths with in the grocery store – not really much I could do that as I needed medial supplies and sustenance and I live alone – still haven’t trained the cats to do my grocery shopping #SadLife. – I did my best to touch only the minimum amount of stuff to buy the things I needed. []

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My New Messenger Bag

Generally speaking, I’m a cheap, cheap frugal woman. I prefer buying my clothes at thrift stores over paying retail prices1 ,2. I collect AirMiles and Shoppers Optimum points and various other points that I can turn into money. Today I was very excited to learn that the cobbler near my office has a “buy 10, get the 11th one free” card for shoe re-heeling, as I wear out heel tips pretty quickly and I’ll re-heel a shoe several times rather than throwing them out and buying a new pair3.

However, there are certain things I’m willing to spend money on. Laser eye surgery was one – I wasn’t going to trust my vision to a pay-for-one-eye, get-the-other-eye-zapped-for-free scheme. Getting my hair coloured is another – I figure my hair is beside my face every single day, so it makes it worth my while to pay Jenny Lynn to work her magic rather than go to a cheaper place (or try to do it myself at home!). I also made a deal with myself once I finished paying off my student loans that I wasn’t going to buy any cheap Ikea furniture again – when I want a new piece of furniture, I look for a good quality piece that will last me, rather than something disposable.

So this brings me to my latest purchase. As someone who commutes via transit, I need a good bag for carrying stuff to and from work. At a minimum, I’m carrying a wallet, phone, various keys, my eReader, an umbrella, and my travel coffee mug and these items are often joined by some combination of a notebook, journal articles, a laptop, my lunch, my breakfast, etc. Up until now, I’ve been using a variety of tote bags, but inevitably, they eventually fall apart (usually the straps end up wearing through and breaking). So I decided it was high time I invest in a really good quality bag that willl last, rather than continuing to buy bags that end up in the landfill after a year or two.

I had it in my head that I’d like to get a nice messenger bag, but after searching through a ridiculous number of stores, I couldn’t find anything I liked. A friend of mine recommend that I check out Saddleback Leather which admittedly has lovely stuff and, while I’m willing to pay for quality, when you factor in the current US exchange rate (which is roughly US$1 = $10,000,000 Canadian) and the shipping, the prices became pretty hard to swallow. Also, I can’t hear the word “Saddleback” without thinking about the Saddleback Church and, more specifically, Dan Savage’s definition of saddle backing [NSFW].

So then I started thinking – isn’t there anyone local I can buy from? So I googled “leather messenger bag Vancouver” and found Divina Denuevo. They hand-make also sorts of leather products and I want to buy all of them! After checking out the stuff on the website, I made an appointment to drop by their studio (which is conveniently located about a 10 minute walk from my office) to check stuff out in person. (They also sell their products on Etsy, but it’s cheaper if you buy on their website as you don’t have to deal with the US exchange rate or the markup that they have to cover their Etsy listing costs). I decide on the “Canterbury Briefcase Satchel” in “Crazy Horse Brown”, customized it with the pockets I wanted to have, and then patiently waited for two weeks while they made it. And let me tell you, it was well worth the wait!

Divina Denuevo

The photo doesn’t really do it justice – you just have to see it in person!

I am told that I don’t need to do anything to care for it and then the look of it actually gets nicer with use – the leather will get softer and will develop a nice patina.

Divina Denuevo

Anyway, I’m glad to have found this shop – I get a high quality product at what I think is a reasonable price and I get to support a local artisan. And if anyone is in the market for some hand-made leather wares (and/or is looking to buy me a present), it wouldn’t hurt to check out their website!

  1. Or I buy stuff from Beyond the Rack – if you haven’t joined and want to, let me know because if I send you a referral, I get a cool $10. []
  2. Disclaimer: As per usual, I have no relationship with any of the businesses mentioned on here, other than that I give them money in exchange for their products and/or services. []
  3. Or just wearing one of my other elevently billion pairs. []

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Happy Bonus Day!

Leap Day 2012Today is February 29th – you don’t get to say that very often, now do you? This year is going way too fast – as years seem to do – so I’m happy to have an extra day. And, since I’m 39, I’m especially glad that this year is a leap year, as it means I get an extra day to be a thirty-something! I also get an extra day to use my February transit pass (note to self: buy March transit pass.), which is nice because it’s annoying that the price of a February transit pass is the same as every other month despite it usually being 2 or 3 days shorter than the other months!

Also, I would be remiss if I didn’t wish my cousin-once-removed, Samantha, a happy 6th birthday, despite the fact that she was born 24 years ago. I have a lot of cousins (14) and cousins-once-removed (10), and even cousins-twice-removed (4)1, so it’s hard to remember all those birthdays, but Sam’s is one I never forget ((I also remember by my cousin Kimberly’s birthday because she was born the day right after Samantha – I remember in early 1992 wondering if I was going to have two leap day babies in my family!)).

Image Credit: Posted by Dan Moyle on Flickr with a Creative Commons license.

  1. Actually, now that I think of it, I have more cousins-once-removed and twice-removed, as these numbers only count those who are in the generations after me, but I also have cousins who are removed by a generation or two ahead of me, though I honestly have no idea how many people that would be! []