June 30, 2012

Day 30 "A Friend"

No, this picture wasn't taken today. It's from a trip to Texas that I took with my BFF, Tanya, in...oh, god...1990-ish. We were all tarted-up and ready for a night out with a couple'a local boys. 

I remember so much about that night, but my favourite memory (besides getting carnations from our dates) was at the mid-point of the evening (aka 1am) when we snuck back into the house to change out of our dresses and into jeans for an impromptu trip to Mexico*. We were in the pitch black of the guestroom at Tanya's grandparents' place, trying SO hard to be quiet, when all of a sudden I heard "shwwwt, shwwwt, owwwww" It was the sound of Tanya removing her stick-on bra. Apparently, the best way to do it is quickly...like a bandaid. Or, rather, two.

*Clearly, Tanya and I lacked good judgement at 18 and 17 years old, respectively. 

June 29, 2012

Day 28 "On the Shelf"

For a girl who eats only unsweetened "natural" peanut butter, this stuff is craaaazy.

Day 29 "Soft"

Soft. 'nuff said.

June 27, 2012

Day 27 "Bathroom"

How about no?


Several months ago, I was asked to take part in a photoshoot at the Reh-fit Centre for their annual Power magazine. During the session, I gave a little interview about my activities at the centre. After a seemingly endless wait for the magazine to come out, I am happy to finally be able to share the article with you here:

"Now my son has to keep up with me" (pages 12 & 13)

In addition to the article in Power, my photo was also used on the cover of the summer program guide. I don't know if I have posted it here before; if so, here it is again...

June 26, 2012

Day 26 "Where You Shop"

My fella says that I shop here because I like to pay more for kale. He suggested that I buy my kale at Superstore, but everybody knows that the kale there has been on the floor at least once. I will pay the extra buck for non-floor kale, thankyouverymuch.

Also, the squash cookies from Organza are faaaabulous...and Galen hasn't figured out how to mass produce them and slap his PC logo on them yet. When he does, I might give up my Organza habit.

Oh, who am I kidding? No, I won't. Organza FTW!

June 25, 2012

Day 25 "Cute"

My strawberry plants have been very prolific in their production of tiny, perfectly heart-shaped strawberries this year. Some of them have even made it into the house.

Do the Wave

By now most of you have heard about my big hair make-over several weeks ago on Breakfast Television after winning the Real Canadian Hair Challenge. What you may not know, however, is that immediately after the BT live eye wrapped up, my hair was washed, taken back to "before", and styled all over again for the cameras. The result was this webisode:

I still can't get through the full 1:53 without blushing, giggling, and rolling my eyes at myself (Do I really sound like that??), but I have nothing but the happiest memories about that day and the whole experience in general. Dove Canada treated me like an absolute star and Mark Townsend made me feel so comfortable and pampered. I left with gorgeous hair, a TON of product, and a memory that will last a lifetime.

And, possibly the best "before" picture in the history of challenged hair.

Office Space

For weeks I have been doing my work from my little suitcase desk. Cute, yes, but nearly impossible to spread out and really get things done. I have a full-sized desk in my basement, but the key word there is "basement". Teenagers might love subterranean living, but I prefer it up here with the sunshine and fresh air.

The other day, while on a full-scale garage clean-up, I discovered this little vintage desk hidden under a pile of cabinet door fronts and pillow forms (don't ask). I had purchased the desk almost 2 years ago for $40 from the MCC furniture store with the intention to tart it up and sell it at the old Mozy Rue store. I had forgotten how cute it was! Of course, I immediately decided that it had to come inside.

I am so happy with how it fits into the little corner beside the couch. It is not only the perfect spot for me to do my work at my laptop, it also has enough room to hold the phone (hold the phone!), my charging station, and, hidden in the drawers, a ton of cables, office supplies and small electronics. And I didn't have to do anything to it, other than a quick wipe-down.

Now to make-over another corner of another room to find a home for the suitcase desk...

June 23, 2012

Day 23 "Movement"

MEME 2012, Market Square

June 22, 2012

Day 22 "From a High Angle"

Lillies in my fella's garden. They point all of their loveliness to the sky, so I had to stand up on a bench to get this shot. Also, I was bitten by a mosquito. 

Suffering is part of the artist's experience.

June 21, 2012

Day 21 "Where You Slept"

I rarely get to stay overnight, but I have had some epic naps at my fella's house. Epic.

Master of my Domain(s)

After mulling about it for weeks, I finally took the plunge, clicked the "buy" button, and registered a new domain name. Effective immediately (you thought I would wait?), zenbec.ca is home to my food blog, Relish.

Get it? You see what I did there? :sigh:

Anyway, it's a small change, but I am pretty excited about it. Since joining the Manitoba Food Bloggers a few months ago, my passion for food and blogging (and blogging about food, for that matter) has been given a kick in the pants. I have been working on putting up more posts, including Tuesday Tutorials and Wordless Wednesdays, and I have been getting much better at adding photos. I love the changes that I have made, and what better way to celebrate than with a new look and a new domain name?

So, please pop over and take a look. You'll find lots of healthy recipes that have all passed The Mascot Test (tm), pretty pictures of vegetables, restaurant reviews and more. (And, just between you and me, in the next couple of weeks, I will even be running a contest or two! Eeee!)

June 20, 2012

Day 20 "Favourite Photo You've Ever Taken"

I look at this picture and I can't believe that this sweet, porcelain-skinned little baby grew up into a confident, resilient, and impossibly-freckled teenager in just 14 short years. Look at those cheeks! I could've eaten him up. 

But, I didn't. Obviously.

June 19, 2012

Day 19 - "Imperfect"

I collect rusty stuff. Hinges, knobs, latches, nails, finials... if it's old and weathered and flaking, and will fit in my pocket, I will take it home and add it to my collection. 

June 18, 2012

Day 18 "Something We Don't Know About You"

After a dozen or so years of blogging, I think it's safe to say that you probably know pretty much everything. My life, as they say, is an open book.

But, I have to come up with something, right? Ummm... how about this... the Mascot and I have a daily fortune cookie ritual. Every evening, either after dinner or at bedtime, we crack open a couple of fortune cookies and read them aloud to each other.

And, yes, we always add the "in bed". The Mascot has only just figured out why that's funny.

June 17, 2012

Day 17 "In Your Bag"

Is it true that you crave what your body needs? If that's the case, my body must be in some serious need of calcium, folic acid, magnesium, etc, because, all of a sudden, I can't get enough almonds and spinach. 

Tonight I satisfied that craving with a huge spinach salad with fresh berries, almonds, and poppy seed dressing. Well, I almost satisfied it...I think I might need to have another one tomorrow. And maybe the next day. Good thing I have that giant bag of almonds.

June 16, 2012

Day 16 "Out and About"

Impromptu Saturday afternoon date in Osborne Village. We were on the way home from shopping at the Habitat Re-store and, out of boredom, decided to park and see where we ended up.

After eschewing Second Cup (didn't want coffee) and Toad in the Hole (no room at the inn), we settled on the shady back patio at Basil's for two shared glasses of wine and hummous (with extra pita). Boredom averted.

June 14, 2012

Day 14 "Time"

Dinner will be ready in two seconds!

June 13, 2012

Day 13 "Art"

"In My Place" by Jennifer (Mullin) Johansson

Of all of my Etsy purchases, this is print is my favourite. I was led to it a couple of years ago via Twitter and  took about 10 seconds to make up my mind and click "purchase". A mixed-media collage featuring a chair? Sold!

The funny thing about this picture is that you can see the adjacent wall full of art reflected in the glass of the frame. It's art within art. 

June 12, 2012

Day 12 "From a Low Angle"

...or maybe just an excuse to show you my new baby. Call me old-fashioned, but I have always wanted a bleeding heart. Who knew that all I had to do was buy one and plant it... :head palm:

So sweet!

June 11, 2012

Day 11 "Door"

The passenger side car door - most commonly referred to as the friggin' door. As in, "DON'T SLAM THE FRIGGIN' DOOR!" 

Despite its poor treatment, it has remained attached to the car and dutifully holds a small collection of CDs, cassettes (yes, cassettes), and the all-important David's Tea menu.

A photo-tour of MPC

I am always talking about how wonderful it is at Manitoba Pioneer Camp, but to be completely honest, much of that was based on recollections from *ahem* 25 years ago. Yesterday, the mascot and I made the 2.5 hour trip out to the camp so that I could see for myself if anything had changed. Much to my delight, it hadn't.

Once you have made the 2 hour drive from Winnipeg, the Pioneer III takes you (and your sleeping bag) to McKinnon Island, as it has been taking campers since 1955 or so.

The P3 docked at McKinnon.

The view across the front bay.

The path to the cabins.

The cabins were always cozy, but now they seem much smaller than I remember. Or maybe I am bigger.

One of my favourite activities at camp - ranked slightly below canoeing, but significantly higher than "morning dip" - was always archery. Thanks to the posted rules, I think my adventures with the bow were always incident free.

Oh, morning dip...

The melamine dishes in the dining hall have been in service since long before I was a camper. How many hundreds of servings of tuna noona have these plates seen?

The bookshelves in the dining hall hold so many treasures. I wonder how many of these I have read.

It just wouldn't be summer camp without a slightly scary stuffed owl.

This is so very "Dirty Dancing", except not at all. I think I went back there *once* in my entire camping career.

The Mascot down by the beach, shortly before getting in trouble for throwing rocks.

Take a long walk off a short dock...

Cash Island, aka "the other island", aka home to MPC's fishing, sailing, and discovery camps.

On Cash, the kids sleep in canvas-sided cabanas.

The Mascot on Cash, shortly after getting in trouble for hitting trees with a stick. What is it with boys??

The Pioneer III, waiting to take us back to reality.


June 10, 2012

Day 10 "Best Bit of Your Weekend"

Actually, the best bit was canoeing with the Mascot yesterday. But, since I have zero photographic proof of that monumentous event, I guess this picture of Don Draper from the Mad Men season finale will have to do.

June 9, 2012

Day 9 "My View Today"

McKinnon Island, home to Manitoba Pioneer Camp, was my zen place when I was 12 and it still has the same calming effect on me.

The Mascot and I drove out to MPC today for their annual open house. We toured the island, ate lunch in the dining hall, took a trip to Cash Island, and even managed to squeeze in a little paddle around the bay. We left happy, exhausted, and excited about another season at camp. Well, one of us is excited; the other one is juuuust a little jealous.

June 8, 2012

Day 8 "6 o'clock"

Since no one specified a.m. or p.m., I went with a.m. 

This was the sky at exactly 6:00 this morning. Less than half an hour later, it was completely overcast and pouring rain. As we say on the prairies, "If you don't like the weather, wait 30 minutes."

June 7, 2012

Day 7 "Drink"

30 degrees Celsius, David's Tea iced tea to the rescue!

June 6, 2012

Day 6 "Hat"

I bought this hat at a gas station/general store just east of the Alberta-Sask border, during my epic move back to Winnipeg from BC, almost exactly four years ago. At the time, it symbolized my return to the prairies and the start of my new life. Now it just keeps the sun off the back of my neck. ;-) 

June 5, 2012

Day 5 "Sign"

Oh, here I go bending the rules again. This is a yarn-bombed pole in the Exchange. I figure that I can get away with it, though, because there's a parking sign at the top. 

Plus, the "MAKE STUFF" message stitched to the knitted tube is a sign...sorta. If you wanna get all philosophical, you could say that it's the universe telling me that the thing I feel like I am missing (but can't quite nail down) lately is a creative outlet. Yeah, let's go with that.

Go jump off a dock!

If a picture says 1000 words, then this video is worth at least a billion.

Full disclosure: I have yet to watch that four and a half minutes of film without getting goosebumps and tears. I am pretty sure that the goosebumps are just my inner-camper trying to make her way out, straight through the skin of my arms, but the tears are all mom.

There is something so incredibly cool (and touching) about seeing your kid at his most candid, smack-dab in the middle of the wilderness, and surrounded by boys being, well, boys. Without girls, siblings and parents around, they become unguarded, fearless and funny. The first year that the Mascot went off to camp, he returned a little taller, a little tanner, and a little more confident and self-assured. He was still the same awesome kid... just more so.

There is still time to enter for your chance to win a session at Manitoba Pioneer Camp PLUS a trip for two to Punta Cana. The contest closes at midnight on June 15... what are you waiting for?

...and if your kid prefers saddles to paddles, Circle Square Ranch is also offering a chance to win a session at camp for the kids (plus a trip to Punta Cana.) Click here to enter! Giddy up!

I am proud to be an ambassador and alumni of Manitoba Pioneer Camp!
This post has been compensated; however, all opinions are sincere and all my own. 

June 4, 2012

Day 4 "Close Up"

Ok, this is technically not a close-up....and, technically speaking, it wasn't taken today...but it's a good story, so I'm posting it as today's challenge photo. Humour me, would you?

On Sunday morning, instead of everything that we usually do separately, my fella and I snuck out for breakfast at Stella's. Afterwards, we stopped in at a tiny (and somewhat odd) used bookstore right next door to the restaurant.

It was there, amongst the quirky biographies, vintage sci-fi, and beatnik novels that I came across a book of poetry and essays called "A Book of Beauty " by John Hadfield. Seeing as I share a last name with the author, my curiosity was piqued. I pulled it off the shelf, opened it to a random poem and found a 4-leaf clover pressed between the pages.

Is this a sign (from a possible long-lost relation) that there is good luck around the corner?

June 3, 2012

Day 3 "On Your Plate"

Most Sundays, the Mascot and I go to Starbucks in the late-afternoon to blog, read, or just hang out and people-watch. Once in a while, when my resistance is low, I give-in and let him order a piece of chocolate chip banana cake on the following conditions: a) he must share and b) he doesn`t ruin his dinner with it.

Today we each brought reading material with us, but I barely cracked my Bon Appetit magazine because the kid was entertaining me (and anyone within earshot) with excerpts from his new book "F in Exams". 

June 2, 2012

Day 2 "Empty"

Today marked the first official "Patio" of the season. After teaching class at the Rehfit, I changed into something summery and rode my bike to the Corydon strip to meet my fella and 3 of his friends at Saffron's.

It was the perfect way to while away an hour or so; plenty of sunshine, no wasps, lively conversation, and a surprise walk-by by the Mascot, who gave only a subtle nod as he passed. 

Welcome, summer!

June 1, 2012

June Photo Challenge - Day 1 "Morning"

My street, 8:30am. I had just returned home from my early morning workout/errands and was struck by how lovely and peaceful my street was. No traffic; no kids and parents hurrying down the sidewalk to the school up the block; just sunshine through the insanely green canopy of trees and what sounded like a million birds singing for their breakfasts. The perfect morning.

The rest of the June Photo a Day Challenge can be found at the Fat Mum Slim blog. It's not too late to grab a camera and join me!