And once again…

I have taken over Di’s shiny new computer on a Friday evening to blog. Actually, I’ve spent most of the evening looking up things to do with Turkey — dvds and books on Turkey (on eBay), horseback riding in Turkey, cool photos of Turkey, trip reports of Turkey. You might have guessed a trend 🙂

Last Saturday, after cat-dosing and roommate-pie-giving, we headed into town for my work Christmas Party. En route, we stopped at Park Royal, now less-than-affectionately named the Rat Hole of Infested Parking. Ahhh, Christmas shopping. Anyhoo, we went in to the Bay and picked up the Cuisenart grill we had put on our registry. We had gone through two Hamilton Beach grills in the summer due to overuse and them being crap, so we had decided to get a really good one on our registry… but we couldn’t wait. Mmm… buffalo steaks… mmm chicken…. mmmmmmmm grilled veggies!

Anyway. After the grill buying, my poor beleagured Steve was in ZERO mood to go traipsing all over the Bay looking for a bra and two pairs of socks, so I took him to a bookstore and abandoned him with the grill while I went back for more shopping! Yay! When I returned (with one bra, two pair socks and some cute Christmas ornaments), Steve was despondent in a chair outside the bookstore.

“The books said Crete sucks” he said. “It is overpriced and touristy and there’s not much to do.”
He eyed me sideways. “But… Turkey sounds nice.”

Ok! let’s go to Turkey! I’ve wanted to go to Turkey for just about forever, and spending three weeks there instead of three days at one end of a trip to Crete sounds bloody fantabulous! We dragged the grill straight back into the store and bought a Lonely Planet Guide to Turkey right there, and have been fighting over it all week. Well, more wrestling — wrasslin’ — over it more than actual fighting per se.

So excited! Did I mention I’m excited about Turkey? The excitement even carried me in an euphoric haze on the reverse trip through the RHoIP (which was drearier than getting in in the first place).

The Christmas Party was fun. We sat with other people from the Gibsons office, all of whom I like, and Patti (my boss) and Steve got all mischevious to one side of me. Steve said he was trying to get me drunk, but I think it was Steve who was at least a pillowcase to the wind, especially considering the strength of the Rye & Coke (I didn’t think you liked Coke?) Patti bought him. The jaccuzi was not so fun — I brought some fancy flower-filled bath bomb, and I spent the entire bath scooping bedraggled deadheads out of the water for fear they’d clog the jets — but the kingsized bed was comfy.

Sunday we raced back to the Coast so that Steve & Diana could play Chez Ray at Ray & Susann’s recording studio. It was beautiful and magical — the music was simply amazing, the candles glittered up Susann’s tapestries, and the audience watched, rapt.

Steve gave me his old camera to play with, and, despite the low light, I was able to get a few more or less in focus.

Di looks like an angel playing the harp. I’m looking forward to hearing that music float over the water by the Gazebo in May.

This is my wildly talented man, who will be waiting for me.

In other news, Bean is doing much better — she is almost back to her old self. Still thin, but eating like a very small, black and white horse. She struggles against the medicine, now, but refrains from violence. I’ve never been so glad to be covered in a fine mist of cat antibiotic as I was the first time she fought back.

We also got our tree up last night — our first tree together. All together now… awwwww! We picked it out without any argument, found a star for it, crammed tree + star in my tiny little car, unpacked, trimmed, stand-ed (?) and decorated, all without any clashes. Except for me sureptisiously moving a few of Steve’s less… decorative? maybe overly decorative? decorations to the back of the tree. We had plenty of truly beautiful ones for the front of the tree. I have been promised photos of said tree to post tomorrow.

For tonight, I am listening to Steve, Di and Erynn playing music. It is warm in here, the tea is lovely and the cookies crumbly. Di is applying her immense talent to… the triangle. Goodness! If I press my nose to Di’s window, I can look across the Straight to the lights of Nanaimo. Our world is so big and so little at the same time — as small as this room, as large as a lifetime, as fleeting as a wedding, as forever as a marriage.

Someday I will press my nose against glass and look over the Golden Horn of the Bosphorus, or the Aegean Sea.

This is the Straight from Ray & Susann’s studio, as I took photos before the show. I love my world.


We took Bean to the vet this morning. After her shots last night, the plan was to see how she was doing today and take it from there. It might have just been the adreneline in her system from the car ride and all that, but even last night she seemed a bit perkier: she lapped some milk, licked some wet food and groomed a bit (including grooming off the salmon oil Tanya dabbed on her paws). She also came out of her spot behind the chair to visit with Steve and then greet Tanya when she came in, which seemed like a good sign. She even ate a few crunchies!

This morning she seemed like she was moving around more easily and, well, moving at all was an improvement over the past few days. She had groomed a bit more and looked altogether like a cat with some interest in life.

When the vet saw her, he said her temperature was back to normal and she looked like an entirely different cat! Not too happy about the *ahem* thermometer, but much more alert. He gave us some more antibiotics with cortisone to give her at home for 10 days, after which we’ll see how she’s doing. If it’s feline leukemia or some such, then there won’t be much we can do, especially as bloodwork has to be sent off coast; by the time the lab results are back, it’d be too late.

That said, we’re optomistic. Especially as we stopped by the IGA to get some Fancy Feast (cat junk food) and Pounce treats. We also got Tanya a pie, since she’ll be cat- and dog-sitting when we’re away this evening (and we forgot to ask her — bad roommates!). When Steve gave Bean the Pounces, she lit into them like she hadn’t eaten in a week. And, of course, she probably hadn’t. She ate a half-dozen of those, and we also gave her some more wet food, and she ate that too!


Ready, set, go!

So. It is starting to feel like we hit the ground running with this whole wedding thing. Last Saturday was the crux, really — having finally signed the hall contract, we were in town (and in Metrotown, no less) where we, in quick succession, purchased Steve’s suit (which he can wear to my work’s Christmas party) and our wedding rings, as well as registering at the Bay. I’ve also ordered darling cake toppers — ok, things to be reworked to be cake toppers — and Sandol Stoddard’s “I like you” from eBay. Oh, and did I mention my sparkly headbands came in and they’re wonderful?

That’s how I know I’m becoming a bride — sparkly headbands no longer fill me with an urge to simultaneously laugh and hurl. Now I go “awwwwwwwww” and try them on. Again.

Getting the rings was a relatively easy process. We wandered very unenthusiastically around a few jewellery stores, then saw the place where our second-choice engagement ring was. We went right over, were greeted politely, helped immediately, tried on, loved and bought. Our rings are pretty much exactly as above: Steve’s is 5mm and mine is 4mm but they are identical in every other way, which was Steve’s only real stipulation. Plain and “I want us to match.” It actually ended up really sweet: we wanted to do something really nice with Grandma’s Christmas money so that we could write her about the buying experience, and we wanted to buy rings so… and it will be very nice to write a thank-you to her describing how meaningful her present was. The other nice thing is that her and my Grandpa had a lovely relationship which lasted really ‘until death [did them] part’ — we can only hope to be so lucky. Except not with one of us dead.

Steve’s suit was equally as easy. We stopped by a shop where the suits didn’t look polyester from fifty paces and took a look. The first suit the saleswoman brought would have been the one we bought except that it was a ‘tall’ and Steve isn’t quite as tall as he looks. She brought a normal size and sold! The WOOL suit was on sale already and they threw in a shirt, tie, socks and leather belt. The bonus was that they had very sharp shoes for $29.99 down from $95.00. Holy sale, batman!

The Bay didn’t go quite as smoothly — Steve thought you signed up then shopped online… not so much. The magazines (bridal porn) describe the registering process as the part grooms are most likely to enjoy. After all, it’s just running around a store pointiing a gun-like object at barcodes on items you would never ordinarily think of purchasing. Sounds manly, right? Did I mention Steve hates shopping? Ah well. Maybe next time.

As I write this, it is Friday night and I have taken over Di’s computer. I blog; they make astonishingly beautiful music. Right now they are playing Balteorum (15th C. Irish) and I love it. Recessional, mmmm?

A few minutes ago, Mary and Erynn were teasing Steve about his shiny new shoes — his wedding shoes, which he wore because he was supposed to do a gig tonight (and forgot to remove the stickers from) — just as I was writing about purchasing them. It was an interesting meta-fiction/meta-life moment.

I also chatted with Tracy earlier in the week — hey! Happy Birthday to my mum! — and we got to do what I’d been wanting to do for so long — gush over dresses. Even on the phone, looking online, it was wonderful fun. Alex likes the brown silk best, and Lisa likes both the brown and the pink. They both (independently) like this wrap shirt:

With a more a-line skirt like this one, which is one of the contenders for the top I would wear with the skirt like this:

But I also like these dresses, too, though in floor-length a-line:

I am going to see if they can add sleeves to these designs, and that poor, single, lonely, traditional bone is demanding that I wear white. Which is fine. Did I mention that I got sparkly headbands?

What else happened… We spent last weekend (less shopping trip) with Steve’s parents, which was lovely. The look on Gayle’s face when I showed her the rings was wonderful. Her face lit up and she said “looking at them makes it seem so REAL” which is exactly what I felt when I looked at them on our hands. I think I’m most looking forward to how Steve’s hand with that beautiful ring on it will look on the neck of his mandolin: the white gold against the dark wood, on my beloved’s hand.

We decorated John & Gayle’s tree, which reminds me that we need to get ours next week and set it up. I don’t know where any of my decorations are (Kaslo?), so I picked up a few pretty ones to go with Steve’s motley collection. We’re going to have an open house on Twelfth Night (January 6), so we need to put it up late enough that it won’t be naked sticks and a pile of needles on the carpet by the day of the party.

I’m looking forward to having our first tree. Along with our first… well, everything 🙂

Did I mention Crete? THIS is why I need to do entries more often! We had originally been thinking of doing a drive ’round the Rockies for our honeymoon in October. We realized it wasn’t going to be as cheap as we hoped, considering the cost of lodges, even in the off-season. When that lightning struck, we thought of our other options. We initially thought about Central/South American, then Morrocco, Turkey and then… Crete! Which is apparently pretty cheap by Europe standards, and if possible we’ll take a few days in Turkey at one end or the other. I’ve always wanted to go to Turkey, but even by my somewhat-foolhardy standards, going as a woman alone seemed downright stupid. Now I’ll have the protection of my husband’s (!) name.

It’s very exciting, as I’ve never travelled anywhere, and Steve has gone just about everywhere — except Europe. We’ll still go in October, when it’s the off-season. Oh my!

I also have been in contact with potential caterers; I’m expecting menus any time now.

On a sadder note, Steve’s cat Bean isn’t well. She’s been all listless for about a week; we thought it was her sulking at the snow, but we gradually realized she wasn’t eating much and was looking sore when she went to walk or jump. She’s not a very sociable cat, so it took some time to grasp her condition, which of course makes us feel guilty. The vet gave her an antibiotic shot and some cortisone this afternoon, and we’re to take her back in tomorrow to see if that’s made a difference — which will determine the next course of events. Sad!

She has had a nice long life: she’s eaten lots of small defenceless animals and houseplants, jumped amazing distances, soaked up lots of sun, and danced with raccoons. Hopefully she’ll be ok, but if not, she didn’t miss out on anything life had to offer. I just hope Steve is ok too. He loves Bean a lot. And I love him. And Bean, except when she scratches me.

A walk in the park.

A few weeks ago, we went for a walk in Snickett Park in Sechelt. Steve wanted me to write something to go with the day, and I finally got around to it 🙂

The wind picked up the waves as we walked along the sea wall, turning the sea the same grey as the sky. We reached the bulge of granite that marked the end of the path, but were drawn on to a stretch of pebble beach we could see just beyond a small thicket. Following the dog into a tunnel of brown, we made our way through the brambles to the other side, a sea side more immediate than the civilized distance the sea wall provides. The pebbles were large, almost rocks, each rolled smooth by the waves that had crashed forever and were crashing, here, now. As the waves receded, the tinkling of each rock against its neighbour was almost a rustle, much louder than the familiar whisper of sand grains being swept by water.

The conversation of crash and whisper marked our progress down the beach; we walked with chins tucked against the bitter, beautiful wind. Stepping over crumbling cement boat ramps, I thought of Victorian garden parties; walking beached logs I thought of cool dark forests, and the smell of salt and cedar filled my nose.

We reached another granite outcropping, where the waves lashed and sprayed. The boom of the breakers belied the delicacy of the white froth: foam from retreating waves spread like a bridal veil on the rock. We climbed a little rise and a path of short grass appeared; we walked this fairy trail to the top of a tiny hill, where the ocean spread out below, and the dark sky spread out above.

Clouds piled on clouds; the mountains across the Straight one band of blue amongst many; shafts of light reached out to touch a small island we could not remember the name of. Colours were intense: the green of the grass more green, the dog more white, the sea greyer and crashing harder, and still we lingered. Air rushed against our faces, and our eyelashes shivered against the onslaught. It felt hard to leave the comfort and chill of the wind, our vantage point, our moment of turbulence caught in time.

Finally we turned, put our backs to the storm, and walked away. The wind pushed and tugged — go away, come back — and the rocks crunched under our feet. Our ears were full of wind and our pockets full of hands, and still we turned back to let the cold take our breath away . Back through the path and onto the sea wall, sanity returned, and we hurried, frozen, to the car.