Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Elephant Sized Butterflies

Are rocketing around in my gut right now! Tomorrow morning at 9 am I start my new job at Advance Family Chiropractic and Massage in Bolton, and my first client is the receptionist's daughter... no pressure! I'm sure I'll be fine and things will start coming back to me at light speed, but it's nerve wracking right now!!

I've been a Knotty girl

I spent most of a day working out this celtic knotwork motif, which Andrew is going to carve into the top of our games table one day. It was going to adorn his mothers games table, currently in production, but at the last second she picked a different design. That's ok, it's her table. I'll put my design away for mine.

Monday, January 30, 2012

What I'm listening to

Today is for Iron and Wine. Boy with a coin is the perfect song to wake up to, I'd moved on to faded from the winter by the time the coffee was percolating, and the torrent will continue on through my morning as I brush up on my skills and knowledge for my new job, which I start on Wednesday, but more on that later. I learned about Iron and Wine from the same person that gave me the pizza crust recipe, Jenna Woginrich over at Cold Antler, back in May and I just can't get enough of them. The music feels good.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Today's project

Our wonderful miss Taffy hopped into my bin of current crafting projects today, looked up at me and whined. I'm pretty sure she's not urging me to work on dish cloths, so I'm guessing she'd like some attention. Her way of telling me "I'm today's project!" I think.
So with that in mind, I'm off for a walk!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

On Change

I am a firm believer that change begets more change, and if you want things to change in your life, you need to actively make a start and things will turn out how you hoped. For instance, on Monday, I pulled my whole space apart, cleaned under big heavy furniture that never gets moved and moved it all around. Now my bed and personal effects are in one end of the room, and there's a feeling of separation from the big open space I created where I have all my massage supplies in a cabinet and can set up my table. I figured, since I can massage now, let's get set up to do it. I still wouldn't invite random strangers into my bedroom, but at least I have a place to treat family and friends.
Not 1 hour after I finished my big bedroom overhaul, an acquaintance that I met one weekend early in my first year of massage school sent me a message on facebook out of the clear blue sky. The place she works is looking for an RMT, did I ever eventually get myself registered? So, I told her that I did, and she put me in touch with her bosses. I've heard lots about the practice, and on Tuesday I'm going for an interview. Or rather, it's almost more like I'm interviewing them! The gentleman who is hiring me is looking for a personality fit for their small team. The way he put it, I've got the paper from the government that says I can do my job, and he's going to trust that I can. Whether I'm offered the job is a matter of whether I get along with the staff and they like the energy I bring to the space. Whether I accept the job is a matter of whether I like the space, like the commute, like the people, and like the way they handle paperwork and other such formalities. I'm so excited I could burst. The clinic is about half an hour away from here in Bolton, and the space is a combination practice with a chiropractor, a naturopath, two other RMT's, one of whom also does acupuncture and one who also does cranio-sacral. There is also a reiki practitioner, but she's on maternity leave. There is a full time receptionist to handle bookings and filing of paperwork.

Also that brings into sharp focus my need for a vehicle. We still need to work out the details amongst ourselves, but essentially mom and dad have offered to buy me an inexpensive, old car, and take half of my paycheck until I've got it all paid back to them.

So, lots of change!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Pizza Chez Mia

I got the BEST pizza crust recipe from Jenna Woginrich over at Cold Antler Farm, and tried it out on my favorite guinea pigs, my family, last night. It was light, it was fluffy, it was easy to work with... And most of all, just the right texture and taste for an awesome pizza. I don't believe I've ever gotten takeout pizza that tasted as good. I made two pizzas, and they got devoured, and then I made two more to satisfy the hungry mob. For now I'm using store bought toppings, but I can see myself canning up some pizza sauce next summer for sure!! Maybe learning to make mozzarella as well? Who knows. All I know is this has replaced takeout for me when it comes to pizza.

1 cup warm water
1 package yeast
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp vegetable oil
2 1/2 cups flour

Take one cup of warm water (leaning towards hot) and pour it into a bowl, add all the contents of a yeast package inside. Mix and let stand for 5 minutes (add a tsp of honey if you want). Once the yeast has set, add your salt and veggie oil and then add cup of flour at a time as you mix it in.

Next, knead into a dough and then set it aside for a few minutes while you slice up your cheese and tomatoes. To finish it off, take your dough and make it into a circular crust shape that fits the bottom of your skillet (or your cookie sheet, pizza stone, or right on the grill). Add your toppings annd bake at 400 until crust slightly browns and the cheese melts.

Thank you Jenna!! Personally I found that I only needed just over two cups of flour, not the full two and a half cups. Each ball of dough yielded two moderately sized, thin crust pizza, it probably would have made one great full size pizza, but I have picky family members who wanted different toppings. Enjoy!!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Finally Registered!

It's official, I'm a registered massage therapist with my papers to prove it! Got that elusive little number that lets me do what I do best! And at such a good time too, there are two different ads in the banner (our local paper) for an RMT. Sweet jumpin' joy, I can finally make some money again!! Things were getting awful lean around here what with not working and having student loans enter repayment...
I'm so ecstatic that my hands are shaking! Woohoo!

Monday, January 9, 2012

What I'm Listening To

Lately, a Canadian artist has taken center stage in my playlists. Long have I adored her music, but now I've gotten Andrew hooked too. Heather Dale captures my heart and sense of whimsy with medieval, and Arthurian songs, and I love every song she's ever put out, but lately I can't get Pierre and Marianne out of my head, and Andrew's stuck on the carter's song. In December, her new album fairytales was released, and you can find details about it on her website here. I can't wait to add it to my collection, but sadly I need to wait til I'm working again first!

Spice of Life

These are the herbs that I collected in july from my garden. The basil got turned into a DELICIOUS pesto, because I like the taste of basil better fresh. The sage and mint however got hung upside down in a dark closet and this week when I finally realized that they certainly must be LONG since dry, they fell victim to my mortar and pestle. Sure, it probably would have been quicker to use one of the many gadgets that exists in my kitchen, food processor, or magic bullet, or coffee grinder... but I can't shake the feeling that that's cheating. These herbs were grown by the work of my own hands, pinched off the plants with my two hands, hand tied and hung from a nail in my closet... and now I'm supposed to introduce mechanization to the process? Well, perhaps if I had bushels of the stuff or was really short of time. But neither is the case. And there's something cathartic about standing in my kitchen listening to the gentle rasp, rasp, rasp of stone on stone in my hands, slowly turning dried pathetic looking foliage into usable product. As an added bonus, I got to watch one of my favorite episodes of "farm tv", watching squirrels and cedar waxwings bicker over coniferous cones on the edge of the forest. I could get used to this kind of time consuming monotony. It feels good, there's a result at the end. That's really what I do it for. Lately I'm feeling particularly proud of complex chains of homemade products. For example, as satisfying as it is to make homemade food with store bought provisions, its much more satisfying to bake say a chicken rubbed with ground sage that was grown in my garden, then ground in my kitchen. It's like third generation homemade when you look at it that way. I can't wait until the day that the chicken also comes from home, but baby steps for now keep my fires burning and pride in what I serve to my family.

Fruit Flies

Despite it being January, and despite having no actual fruit out to speak of, my fiance's house is inundated with fruit flies. We're thinking they come into the house as an added little "gift" with the crickets we buy to feed the lizards (the same companies that breed feeder crickets sometimes breed fruit flies as a starter food for babies of small lizard breeds), but they sure seem to be thriving in the household. So far we've put out sticky tape, which has a moderate margin of success, and a mason jar with juice in the bottom and a funnel in the top so that they can fly in but not out. It just started this morning, but hasn't caught sweet bugger all yet.

So, here's my question: any tips for getting rid of the little pests? Anybody else have problems with them? Thinking of sprinkling diatomaceous earth into the cricket bins, but somehow I feel this might kill the crickets as well?

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Pictures I've Put Off

I've been encouraging Andrew to post some guest blog posts, because a lot of the projects going on around here aren't really mine to talk about, but I'd like them to be shared with you none the less. He's a little bashful though, but he's been sending me a few of his pics so here goes:

This is what happened when we bought my brother a knife sharpening kit for Christmas. Andrew tried to show him how to use it and suddenly all the knives in the household showed up on the counter and poor Andrew, not my brother, sat there for over an hour sharpening them all. He's good like that.

This is the man christmas tree. It's a sad little artificial tree that's lost it's base. We stood it up in the vice on the edge of his work bench. Andrew made a copper chain mail garland for it, and hung it about with washer, wrenches, screwdrivers and leather tools. There is a pair of safety glasses on the top as a star.

And this is the quiver that he made for my dad. The first picture is the cut out pieces lined up on his work bench, and the second is how it turned out after being dyed and laced up. I think he really liked it! And it looks really impressive.

Happy New Year!

Happy new year everybody! Things have been ticking right along here, Andrew and I managed to make it to all of the christmas events with all sides of my family and his. New Year's eve was spent cozied up here at home with my family and my parent's close friends. I don't really put a big stock in resolutions and such, but Andrew and I did look at each other around midnight and both say "this is our year." and it will be. We'll both get jobs in our chosen field, save up a tonne of money for our future, and love each other like crazy. This I know.
I have a warm pup in my lap, as I type this, and it feels really good. Andrew and I are alone at our respective homes for the first time in 2 weeks and it feels really lonely here without him, but Taffy helps. Our plan was originally to stay living with our folks until nearly the wedding, to save money for a down payment on a house. I don't know how well that's gonna pan out, I can see us getting an apartment before then, because I miss him like crazy!
Taffy goes in to get shorn like a sheep today, I will try and squeeze in a haircut as well, and maybe do a bit of shopping with gift cards I received for Christmas.
Hope you all had a wonderful break from the world, and the jolly fat man was kind to you all.