that perfect hand…

In Ocean's 11, Danny said that "the house always wins. If you play long enough, never change the stakes, then the house takes you. Unless, when that perfect hand comes along, you bet big… and then, you take the house." Here's the hand I've been dealt, sometimes it's risky and sometimes it's safe, but all the time… it's perfect. It's mine.


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mom went digital

Christmas was such a treat this year. It felt like I experienced all four seasons in the last week — leaving a very mild Victoria behind for an even milder Penticton and as we made our way to cold, snowy Alberta, the temperatures outside dropped and my internal temperature rose — I couldn’t wait to meet my nephew. Arriving in Camrose late Wednesday night, Weston was still awake in his Mama’s arms. Let me tell you, he does not disappoint! The next few days were locked in Jes and Mark’s beautiful, cozy home, relaxing and quiet as we spent time sharing and visiting and playing… while Wes went from one set of eager arms to another. I don’t have my camera cord with me so pictures will have to wait but my goodness, I never thought I could love a little person like that. We are blessed.

One of the most entertaining moments was my Mom’s reaction to my Dad’s Christmas gift to her — a Nikon D90 digital camera. For those of you who don’t know, my mom is the lady with the camera attached to her hands but is so in love with her current film Nikon, coupled with the daunting learning curve that comes with going digital, she’s never made the switch. Until now. It was so awesome! My Dad delights in not telling us what he’s buying mom for Christmas so it’s always a treat for everyone — unless you’re one of the kids who helps him with the picking of the gift (in this case, Nate). So I think half the fun for him is watching all of our own jaws drop! AnywaY (that’s for Chrissy), this camera takes the most beautiful pictures and I rarely heard the whirr of the film winding of her old Nikon in the three days I was there. RIP, old friend.

Unfortunately for me, my own beloved toy cost me a pretty penny today so rather than kicking her in the behind, I am blogging about it. Bella, my car, got herself a new water pump, timing belt, and numerous other belts today… much to my chagrin. I noticed a few weeks ago that something was leaking from it. After consulting the men in my life, it was determined that the coolant was the culprit. My Dad and brother in law reminded me that it was last Christmas when Honda told me the water pump had a hole in it. I guess it was only a matter of time… pray that my faith in my Bella is restored, right now I just see a large, inflated dollar sign hovering above her hood. Aww, well. I’ll just go curl up on the couch with my new poetry book and snuggle in with my pyrex dishes… we’re in love already and they aren’t even out of the package.

Other notables: I miss Alberta… the snow and the cold and the frosty cheeks…the fireplace and the company and the memories. I am more than ok with moving back. In fact, I fell in love with Cochrane on our way through it. Fun. PS Jes and Mark — thanks for the awe-some hospitality, I sure missed your company and friendship. Also, I think being in Victoria is much too far from Weston. I don’t know how I could describe him completely so you’ll just have to take my word for it — he’s the most adorable and content and strong little baby I have ever met. His life is going to be so much fun to witness!

As for me, I am back in Penticton and working for the next few days before heading back to the coast. It’ll be pretty quiet as I am home alone (Mom and Jay went to Smithers from AB). But it’ll be nice… I am none too anxious to get back to school — in three short months I will be teaching and I am oddly terrified. Looking back on 2009, I remember saying “this is it. this is going to be my year.” I don’t know exactly what I meant by that, often ideas form on my lips before I even staturate in them, but if my year meant gaining a nephew, graduating with a degree, realizing my massively huge dream of becoming a teacher, and creating relationships to last a lifetime… then my list of resolutions for 2010 might be exactly the same — not items to change, but blessings to hope and be thankful for.

Cheers!


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from my heart to yours…

Happy Christmas — bask in the beauty and wonder of the season. And know that 2009 and everything along with it was made much better, much more full, with you in my life.

I’m enroute to Alberta and I will hopefully get on here at some point during the trip to give an actual update but I just wanted to send you the warmest of holiday wishes and the deep desire of my heart that your Christmas and New Year are filled with the very best parts of life: friendship, family; laughter, love.

grace and peace to you,

Kate


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dead pan delivery

Sometimes, I am my biggest fan. I have resigned to the fact that I can be pretty witty. In fact, I think it’s one of my greatest qualities (I am not trying to sound incredibly un-humble, I am just trying to set this up for people who don’t know me). ANYWAY.

Here is the the most hilarious example of my quick-wit from the recent weeks. Today, at 8:30 in the morning, I was sitting in my Adolescent Psyc class when my professor (the other wittiest person I know) starting going on about divorce and its effects on young adults. She posed a bunch of facts and stats to us before asking us a question:

Do you know what Canadian province has the highest divorce rate per capita?

[no idea. it’s 8 stinkin’ 30 in the morning. and we’re still in class. unlike the rest of university students.]

Quebec. Any correlative ideas why that might be?

And, yours truly (myself), without giving it a thought or raising my hand or even thinking about anything at all yelled out with a straight face:

BECAUSE THEY ARE SEPARATISTS!

2 points – Kate

0 – Professor Cindy

– 830 – my classmates

It was a good day.


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made with love…

I would like to acknowledge the following people for making the, well…following, photographs possible (or what is inside them):

Dad – for telling me they taste JUST LIKE MOM’s a couple years ago, making me persevere to make them again and again. YES.

Chrissy – for the generous lending of your cooling racks — for the very first time I made biberli not using an extra oven rack or overturned dish drying rack. Trav you get thanked just for your association with Chrissy. And your commentary to my life.

Ky – for you generous donation of icing sugar. I needed more BUT yours got me through round one 3 days ago.

Tim – the guy I work with and his honey bees — the honey he gave me this summer was exactly what I needed for these cookies.

Megan – for being the very first person I made biberli with, I think I’ve come a long way since then.

My Nana – for her legacy of incomparable Christmas cookie recipes.

My landlords — God bless them for the smells they have to put up with wafting through the vents.

Jes — for your patience over my questions over the years, I think this year I might’ve done it solely on my own? Wait, I did ask how long the dough could sit out I think — it’s tough to make these in one sitting!

Luke – for being my biggest fan and favourite ‘critic’… insisting it’s not enough to fairly judge by trying just one.

My dear Mom — whose heart probably broke when her second daughter did nothing but sit around and watch all of the Christmas baking being done… little did she know my baby blues were suffocating my brain with every last detail for making the softest, sweetest, most deliciously golden brown and delightful Christmas cookie the world will ever have the privilege of recognizing. To you mom, I tip my hat.

SUCCESS, friends…SUCCESS!


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breyers

Hi Trav, Chrissy, and Luke:

I did some re-con work at the store… and followed up with some google slash wikipedia-ing. There ya go. Bring on the inexpensive real ice cream!

Although promoting itself as a ‘natural ice cream’ in the past; like some of their competitors, many Breyers flavors have recently been reformulated with cheaper nontraditional ingredients. These changes include the addition of tara gum and replacement of real cream with skim milk. As these products now consist mainly of milk and skim milk rather than milk and cream they can no longer legally be called ‘ice cream’ and are instead labeled as ‘frozen dairy dessert’.

For example: All Natural- Uses all-natural ingredients derived from natural sources, however, not as natural as they used to be (for example, ‘Chocolate Flavored Chips’ and the addition of Tara Gum as a stabilizer to promote a creaminess for cost-cutting measures).

You’re welcome,

Kate