You are currently browsing the monthly archive for March 2011.

Last Friday I got my insurance renewal notice. Of course I got the notice that I have to go through Air Care, as my car is what they would consider a ‘throw away’. I decided that I should go right away, because I’m not much for procrastinating and I don’t want to be having to rush around at the last minute, if it doesn’t pass. I just had the girl in to see her mechanic and he had mentioned that she had a hole in her muffler. I decided to give him a quick call before heading over to the Air Care Station. He said not to worry about it… just go and see what happens… ok, I will.

Here I am in the line up at Air Care. It’s such a beautiful day… nothing could go wrong! I decide to tweet about the fact that I’m the sixth car in the line up. Low and behold, somebody was actually manning the Air Care Twitter account and I got a response immediately!

Got up a bit closer… the line moves fairly fast and they started letting cars into bay 4.

I decide that I would not keep my car running and I only moved my car after each two cars moved ahead…. I was having fun, listening to the radio, tweeting and taking pictures with my iPhone.

I got right up to the next one to go in, when the unthinkable happened…

Apparently too much of a good thing. I walked into the bay while people in all the other cars in the line were sitting there wondering, ‘what’s this woman doing WALKING in?’

He assured me that it happens all the time. Not sure, but, I’m thinking he was just being nice.

She started up and purred like a kitten. I pulled up to the first section where I was told to present my papers and $ and put on my emergency brake.

Looks like I’m in for the $45 dollar deal. Thank goodness they have the in-car ATM machine!

All he needs now is my Odometer reading….

Now, I’m allowed to pull ahead… The guy at the next section is beckoning… but, something is wrong. My car isn’t moving. Turns out he isn’t beckoning after all… he’s motioning to me to release my emergency brake!  I never use my emergency brake and I didn’t remember being told to put it on only minutes ago… now I feel silly…

I’m now in the booth watching my girl go through the rigorous testing that is done a BC Air Care. I can’t help but wonder… will she pass their careful scrutiny?

You can see the monitor above the big fan, that the technician has to pay attention to as he holds her petal to the floor.

I’m in the room… I can see her, but, I can’t get to her! she’s under a great deal of stress!

Finally, the door opens and I’m allowed to get back into my car. The next step is to pull up and get the print out of the results.

As you can see, the result is, that I get pretty bad gas mileage. Gee… I already knew that!

Turns out that my 92 Honda still has lower emissions that a brand new Ford Taurus! Compare!

I love twitter! I love my iPhone! I love my Honda! I love my mechanic! I think I even love AirCareBC!… although it may not have been such a good experience without Twitter and my iPhone!

I look forward to this each year, and this, my third year was no different. (more details on the project in last years post) I got up early (for a Sunday), got showered and dressed in black with my jewels and headed downtown to the Rennaisance Hotel. It was a glorious, sunny Vancouver morning as I cruised along Hastings St. with a big smile on my face. A cup of coffee, good music, sunshine, the expectations of a fun-filled day, compiled with the fact that the big vehicle cruising along beside me, contained an unusually comfortable looking passenger.

Cute guy in the car next to me.

This year Deb told us that the parkade across the street was only $6 on Weekends, so I pulled up in front of the Hotel and unloaded my two sewing machines and my sewing kit, went to park and then skipped back across the street into the Hotel Lobby. One of the guys there gave me a hand up to the event, which was great, because I would have had to make 2 trips otherwise, since my coffee was taking priority.

Every year the alterations area is set up on the stage by Deb, the day ahead, then everyone who comes brings a machine or two. I was the last one to arrive and I think there were about 10 of us this year. It’s alway so much fun to see everyone, and it was particularly nice to be asked by several people how the Buggy Bag business is going. We had a chance to catch up with each other for the first half hour and then it was dress time!

The entire Ballroom is transformed for the day. There are racks and racks of dresses and suits, tables and tables of shoes, accessories, undergarments, there are hair stations and make-up stations, rows and rows of change rooms and food and drink stations. It is amazing.

Our job is to alter the dresses that the girls pick out. Our team is made up of volunteers who are professionals in film costume, or the garment industry. Deb does all the fittings and then hangs the dresses up where we then choose which one we want to work on.

Here’s a picture of Deb at work marking a dress for alterations.

Deb works her magic on the fitting platform.

Here’s a shot of Petra working on a silver lame dress.

Petra's cutting so fast her scissors are a blur.

I think it was while I was working on this dress that a very sweet ‘godmother’ came up to me and said, “I’m looking for the dress my ‘goddaughter’ picked out… it’s got a crinoline  and glass beads”. I looked around the room and smiled back at her and asked… “can you give me any more detail?” Then she laughed, as she realized she had described all the dresses that were up there.

Here’s a shot of me working on the pretty lace dress with six layers of tulle to be hemmed.

Here’s Ruth, enveloped by frothy tulle….

Often we had to get down on the floor to get the hem straight through all the layers. Here’s Rosalie doing just that.

Rosalie

Here’s a picture of Sarah and Jayne working together on a piece.

Deb shortens a hem.

One of the team, I wanted to take a picture of because she had the cutest shoes with tape measures for bows  on. Her name was Kathryn and she designs very elegant bridal wear.

All the photos with black frames were taken by the incredibly creative Enigma Arcana Designs.

The whole day ends with a wand with a chocolate star on the tip… a thank you from the amazing organizers of the Cinderella Project.

It’s Saturday afternoon and I’m listening to my favourite Canadian Singer/Songwriter, Bob Rylett. His music makes me feel happy and soft.  I’ve started four different blogs in the last two months and haven’t finished any of them so, I’m starting a fifth right now, only I have to have it complete 20 minutes from now so I still have time to play my guitar before going out to meet my friend Rina for dinner.

Last night I made a dinner for my friend Kai and myself. She actually does a food blog, so, she’s a bit of a ‘foodie’. The meal turned out so well that I wanted to write it down for you to try, and for me to remember what I did!

This is something that I just made up from a bunch of different recipes I had looked at. It’s kinda like my own version of a ciopinno, but, I’m pretty sure I broke a whole bunch of rules. Doesn’t really matter because it was absolutely, mouthwateringly, amazing!

INGREDIENTS

1 bag frozen Mussels (Costco)

1/2 bag frozen Scallops (Costco)

1/2 bag frozen Prawns (Costco)

1 full chicken breast (local meat market)

6 skinny hot Italian sausages (local meat market)

2 Tbsp butter

1 Tbsp coconut oil

1 large can diced tomatoes

1 can coconut milk

1/2 bottle of white wine (something cheap, I used Fuzion)

1 large red pepper

1 fennel bulb

2 celery stalks

3 shallots

6 cloves garlic

1″ piece of ginger

3 tsp hot chilli sauce

1 tbsp oregano

1 bunch of cilantro (coarsely chopped)

First sear the chicken breasts in the coconut oil. Don’t cook them too long just get the outside browned and then pull them out and slice them into small pieces and put aside.

Put the sausages into the same pan and cook them, then pull them out cut into 1/2″ pieces and set aside.

Finely chop the Celery, Fennel Bulb, Red Pepper and set aside.

Finely chop the Shallots, Garlic and Ginger, saute them in the butter, just until they are soft. I used a great big huge Wok for this. Add the tomatoes, and coconut milk and wine and get it bubbling, then you just start introducing the other stuff in this order: Chicken, Sausage, Fennel, Celery, Red Pepper, Chilli Sauce, Oregano. Cook for about 4-5 minutes, then introduce the Mussels, Scallops and Prawns. When the Prawns are cooked, throw the Cilantro on to and serve it up!

Leslie's Seafood Soup

Hope you enjoy this! Any questions…. feel free to ask!

Leslie

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