Cough Hack Wheeze… and the further saga of Frabjous (Cough) Day

Yes, we’re sick.

Now, of course, I’m wishing I posted on the Friday before Christmas, so I wouldn’t be so far behind. Ah, well.

Christmas at the Quattrocchi’s was fun, except for the whole sick thing. I came down with this dratted cold two days before Turkey Day (thanks, Santa!) and haven’t yet shaken it.

The Thursday before was Eggnog Night at Dutton’s and (thank goodness!) significant others were invited. Penny makes the best eggnog I’ve ever tasted. Oi vey! It played some havoc on Di’s harping and I think Steve was a washcloth to the wind when we finally went home. I was sick of being a creative leech in the Dutton’s talent pool, so I ran home for my Pillow Book and read a few stories. Fortunately, the eggnog had arrived, and, in the 15 minutes I was gone, only two people had had their turn. Speaking there was scary but also good, and it felt great to participate instead of sitting like a lump in the corner. The stories seemed well received, and, as usual, the music was exceptional.

We had meant to catch the early boat to Vancouver but… no. Not a chance. We made the 8:20 just fine, which was plenty of time to get to John & Gayle’s where there were excited! triplets! to! see! The boys were a lot of fun — I guess I’ve been around long enough now that they look upon me as furniture, so again I got to participate. We had a delicious lunch and then Christmas #1 with Mike, Laura and the boys.

Saturday I was a little under the weather, but I still enjoyed the play “The Christmas Story” that we all saw at the Arts Club Theatre on Granville Island. “You’ll shoot yer eye out!” Heh. Sunday was sick and sicker. We went to candlelight mass, which was lovely, but I couldn’t have sung if I’d wanted to. Christmas Day, the sore throat became a head cold, which meant I could eat Christmas dinner but not taste it 🙁 I made trifle and brussel sprouts; guess which one was better received?

Mmmm… trifle… Here are Fiona, Lisa and Gayle watching the trifle-making process:

Santa was very generous to me; he brought crows and socks and sweaters, and books, and Way Too Much Candy. This was Christmas #2.

Steve enjoying a neocitran-y beverage at Christmas:

Boxing Day my head cold moved into my lungs, which meant that Gayle, Lisa and I’s adventure of going to Bryan’s Bridal Salon for the Boxing Day sale sucked a little worse than it might otherwise have done. Which is NOT to say that it wouldn’t have sucked anyway.

Hmmm…

Let me do a little rant, here. We decided to go to an actual wedding dress shop in order to see what it was all about (and also, the thought of getting a dress for $399 was appealing). The shop itself was very lovely, with racks and racks of white poofy dresses in bags. The sale section was much smaller. The section of my size was smaller still. Now, I know I’m not exactly svelte, especially having put on a few pounds after the ‘foot’ incident in the fall, but this was ridiculous. I usually take a 16 or so, and was immediately told that because wedding dresses ‘run small’, we’d be looking at a 20-22. Of which size there were even fewer dresses. Right. So, we take off our shoes, get on the little carpeted area, and the dresses started to come. I had said right off that I didn’t want strapless or too much fussy stuff on the dress. What did I get? Strapless dresses just coated in beads & stuff. The saleslady kindly advised that we could have the 14″ of excess dress at the bottom removed and made into straps. Right. I felt like an ugly white sausage in every dress — a bratwurst, even. The one that fit (that was too big) was a 24. How demoralizing is that? At one point I came out of the stuffy little dressing room in their chintzy little bathrobe and Gayle asked if could have a gown that looked like that bathrobe — with sleeves, and a v-neck, and that I didn’t look like an unhappy sausage in. The saleslady — and I know she didn’t have a choice, because this is What They Do To Brides but it still picks my nut — said, basically “well, if you wanted to INCREASE YOUR BUDGET we’d have more options.”

And that IS what they do: they lure you in with the promise of reasonably-priced dresses that, once on, make you feel like a fat, ugly, unhappy German sausage (and which are made of material that would make a hotel curtain blush) and then smack you with the “well, if you’d pay more, you’d be happier.” Which I think is unfair and, in fact, unkind. Taking people who are already under SO much pressure to look perfect and put on a perfect party and be so darn perfect and make them feel like crap is just wrong. As is making someone spend +$1,000 on a dress that will be worn for One Day. Jeesh. The saleslady really expected some grand “money is no object; whatever makes her happy” statement. When she didn’t get it, she basically told us there was nothing there for us. Ok!

On the upside, that experience — and I’m glad I had it — cemented my low opinion of the ‘WIC’ — Wedding Industry Complex — basically, ‘The Man’ of the wedding world. It also let me, with the help of an unexpected source (Martha Stewart Weddings, the only bridal porn I will now buy), to decide on what to wear for My Big Day. I’m very content with my choice.

/rant

Speaking of choices, we’ve found and booked a caterer. He comes well recommended, and his menu is positively drool-worthy. Mmmm! Gayle suggested it, and I understand why, that having a caterer do (most of) the food will be much, much easier on everyone, especially my guests who might otherwise feel like they should chip in and help. He’s a LOT more reasonable than the first caterer I spoke to (and the food sounds Way Yummy). Sold!

I’ve also decided on a wedding motif, with Steve’s inadvertent help. This is VERY GOOD as it means I’ve also decided on invite design, which is good as I want to get those out asap. I know two months is standard lead-time, but as there’s so many people coming from out-of-town, I don’t want people’s plans to be rushed. Three months should be fine.

What else… the wine is apparently bottled, which means I need to actually construct my motif asap in order to start using it on stuff — like the labels, which John would like to actually get ON the wine before, oh, our first anniversary.

My mum and dad unexpectedly made it down for two days over New Years: it was quick but good, and involved Christmas #3 (fuzzy robes, hiking magazines, and More Candy). There was lunch at the Gumboot and Chinese lunch and dinner both (my parents are starved for Chinese food in Kaslo). They even stopped in for last-minute hugs on the way to the ferry, which was very nice.

Since then, I’ve just been recovering from sick and planning all kinds of mischief to get up to once I’m well again. We’re going into Vancouver for a show of Steve’s on the 19th (Wild@Heart, 8pm at Cafe Deux Soliel on Commercial Drive) and staying the weekend, at which time we’re getting the car fixed, stopping by MEC, going to Michaels (I’m not sure Steve realizes this), going to Opus (for Steve’s art stuff & also for invitation-making supplies) and having Dim Sum with Andie. Yay!

Yesterday we had an open house party. Almost everyone was sick and didn’t come, but — quell surprise — Rita and Beren showed up. These are friends from the website Steve and I met on, who I literally hadn’t seen for a year. She moved into the apartment Andie and I used to share, after I moved to Gibsons to be with Steve, almost a year ago. Wow. Has it really been that long? That little?

We went for a walk today in Cliff Gilker Park and looked at the rushing water, and then went down to the Roberts Creek Pier and watched a storm come in. It was beautiful, and it was so nice to do something that wasn’t hacking up our lungs on the couch.

We found a super-cool tree that was bent into a seat. The bark had a wonderful texture, and when I put my hand on it, it was cool and wet and solid, but still warm and alive. Sounds kinda hippie-dippie, huh? Steve took a photo of my hands (and ring) on the trunk:

Here is the creek in Cliff Gilker in full flood:

Pretty splashy, huh?

Speaking of splashy, this is the storm that came in while we were at the pier. We escaped just before actual rain happened.

Here are some oystercatchers Steve snuck up on. Steve has a special affinity with these birds; he wrote a song call “Oystercatcher” which captures their spindly legs and funny run just perfectly. Can you see their orange beaks?

And here are two wildly cute oystercatchers being cosy:

Steve points out that actually, there are three oystercatchers in this photo, but I like the idea of a couple of ‘catchers having a confab. Maybe I’m just focused on couples?

Did you know crows mate for life?

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