January Recap

I’m not going to worry about style or skill this time, for it’s already 10:39 PM and I only have one hour and 21 minutes to fulfill my goal of posting at least two blog entries per month. Granted, this post will make the bare minimum, but … better two than one (or none!).

 

  • Starting right off with some hardcore drama! We have these “Indian meal moths” that keep flying around our laundry room and kitchen. Occasionally they venture into the living room, and once one of them tried to be bold and fly back into the bedroom (I saw it lounging on the wall and … ended its life). Another time, I was eating a piece of pizza and one of the pests LANDED on it. (Needless to say, I did not finish that piece of pizza.) Fortunately, they’re not a huge problem; I’ve yet to spot more than two at a time, but even after one is caught, another one usually appears out of nowhere about five minutes later. Ugh! Someday, we will buy a trap and hopefully take care of the little annoyances once and for all (we looked for a trap the other day at Target, but no such luck).

 

  • Yes, much of my January has consisted of watching pesky meal moths cruise around the house in groups of two. Well, I don’t stare at them intentently or anything, but one might as well take up moth-watching for as exciting as is January in Washington state!

 

  • Actually, a few noteworthy things did happen this month. On January 8th-9th, Merwyn and I took an overnight trip up to Victoria, B.C. This was a Christmas gift from my parents, and a very lovely one at that (you should have seen the basket my mom made up to present the gift; it came with not just the trip itinerary, but a bottle of sparkling cider, a whole bunch of chocolate, bath salts, even a little angel ornament!). We had a fantastic weekend! One of the things I LOVE about living in Washington state is our proximity to the Canadian border. It’s so easy and (relatively) cheap to just drive — or, if you’re headed to Victoria, take the ferry — to a whole different country. Not everybody who lives in the USA can claim that!

 

  • Merwyn and I are planning to return to Victoria for another weekend getaway on April 14th, which happens to be 3 days after our 3-year anniversary. It also happens to be my 33rd birthday, which means I get to ride the ferry for three … I mean, free.

I wanted to include one of our Victoria pictures, but Merwyn's camera is back in the bedroom and he's asleep in there right now, so ... this picture of a Coffee Crisp bar will have to do.

 

  • Mmm, Coffee Crisp! I had one for the first (?) time while we were in Victoria. (The packaging looked familiar; however, I couldn’t remember ever trying one, and evidently they’re not available down here.) Yeah … we went a little hog wild with the candy this time. I also had a “Wunderbar” and a peanut-butter O Henry. (Merwyn had Turkish Delight and some other stuff that I didn’t sample. He offered me a bite of the Turkish Delight, which was good!) What can I say? It’s fun to try things you can’t find in the local grocery stores! And I haven’t even mentioned the poutine — seafood poutine, which was part of our dinner, and which must have been swimming in at least 456 grams of fat, but was gooooood!

 

  • I’m now on a bit of a “rare candy” kick. Not the healthiest habit, but I think it will be short-lived. It started with our Victoria visit, but was also inspired by my recent discovery of The Candy Blog (see Blogroll; WordPress keeps screwing up my attempt to link!), which proved a fun way to while away those dull January hours.  (I wish I had a candy blog!) My newest love:

    Divine. Totally worth the with-any-other-bar-it-would-be-overpriced $1.49 at CostPlus World Market!

     

 

  • Besides candy (from our “neighbors up North” and elsewhere), I’m also on a general “Canada kick” — the fulfillment of which involves browsing CBC.ca, watching episodes of Degrassi, and skimming Canada guide books. I’m currently in the middle of a book about British Columbia and the Yukon. It’s not just for amusement, as Merwyn and I are (tentatively) planning a road trip to either the Yukon or Northwest Territories this summer!

 

  • Okay …  enough about Canada.

 

  • Here’s something scary that happened in January: one of Merwyn’s back molars grew infected; this actually started before our Victoria trip. He got some Penicillan and hydrocodone and was fine through that weekend, and for about five days after. But the pain didn’t go away — in fact, by the end of those five days, it had grown significantly worse. So he went to some quack of a dentist and asked them to pull the tooth, but (despite the still-present infection) was given an appointment for several days later for a root canal (plus a handful of extra hydrocodone) and sent away.
  • Two days later, Merwyn went into shock and had to be rushed to the hospital in an ambulance! True story! And, fortunately, one that ended well: an ER doctor at St. Peter Hospital “lanced” the abscessed tooth, and Merwyn was fine — even joking about the incident — within a few hours. As you can probably guess, it was quite frightening watching my husband shake uncontrollably, although (like with most crisis situations, at least those involving others) I managed to maintain a sense of calm. But I felt so bad for him. And while I was sitting in the ER, (for once) in the role of caretaker … even knowing Merwyn was going to be fine, some of the scenarios that went through my head, well … I’d rather not get into. I’m just REALLY glad that it all turned out okay!

 

  • Throughout all this, we — meaning western Washington state — were in the middle of another crisis (or rather, “crisis”). We had an unusual amount of snow. Like 12 inches, which might not be a true crisis but (for us) is pretty rare! Truthfully, this didn’t affect Merwyn and me much; he had to miss a few days of work (but got paid for them anyway) and we lost power for a few hours … which was nothing compared to many of our friends and neighbors, who lost power for several days. (No sarcasm with the “crisis” there. Power outages are not fun.) I think everyone’s power has finally been restored. Thank goodness. I used to love when the power went out when I was younger … NOT so much anymore. (For one thing, unlike my parents, Merwyn and I don’t have a fireplace!)

 

  • And that just about sums up my January. Well, throw in some fun stuff like taking down (most of) our Christmas decorations, doing my usual volunteer shifts at KAOS and the Crisis Clinic, playing ungodly amounts of Words With Friends on Facebook, beginning the laborious process of reapplying for SSD — and, of course, working on my book (surely, but verrrrry slowly). I guess the month could have been a lot worse! (Still, the Victoria trip, which was just over three weeks ago, feels like centuries ago.)

 

  • I doubt that February will be much more exciting, but … who knows. Something I thought would happen in February that instead has to wait until March = my scans.  Part of me would have preferred to get these over with in the dull winter months. At the same time, I’m not especially sorry that they’re still several weeks away. I’ll undoubtedly blog about the joys of “scanxiety” and everything it encompasses when that time comes.

 

  • Meanwhile, stay tuned for at least two new posts in February! (Hey, isn’t this a Leap Year?)
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5 Comments

  1. We really lucked out with the outages. Four hours vs. seven DAYS for some of our friends. It was sort’ve fun (in an “as long as it doesn’t happen to us” way) watching the branches break from the trees all around us.

    Reply
  2. Brian Sullivan

     /  02/01/2012

    Why would meal moths keep you from eating pizza? After all, they’re *meal* moths!

    Reply
  3. When we lived in Minnesota, we used to cross the border as well for runs on Canadian candy. It always struck me as a bit dumb that just one block out of International Falls, we could buy Cadbury and Nestle candy that US stores didn’t carry: but it was almost like a little piece of the UK, seeing store shelves stocked with Mcvities cookies (oops, I mean biscuits) and Bovril “Tea.” It was also fun going to the Canadian McDonald’s and being offered gravy on our french fries.

    What happened to Merwyn underscores my hope that we also have nationalized dental insurance someday. My two most serious surgeries in the last 10 years involved problems with my teeth, but my health insurance wouldn’t cover them. That was left to my dental insurance, which gave me a 30% “discount.” So instead of paying a thousand bucks, I paid $700. I could not afford that now.

    Reply
  4. I remember James Herriott being served Bovril in one of the All Creatures Great and Small books. In those Pre-Wikipedia days I had no clue what it was. Now it sounds like something I’d love to have when recovering from a nasty stomach bug, during that period when you’ve regained your appetite after involuntarily losing weight the “anti-probiotic” way yet while your stomach still isn’t ready for anything beyond something simple.

    The best I’ve come with instead is making Top Ramen and pouring the broth in a cup – except sometimes that’s too salty (since I’ve never actually had Bovril I don’t know how salty it normally is.)

    Reply
    • Oooh, don’t drink the broth in ramen! It’s made from nasty stuff: a Japanese chef told me most of it wasn’t even real beef.

      Bovril is kinda like beef boullion. It’s made from “beef extract” and is a bit salty. I know people in Canada who swear they can’t make gravy, spaghetti sauce, meatloaf and other dishes without it. I’m vegetarian now, so I’d be more inclined to use its veggie version, Marmite. Which is made from “yeast extract.” It sounds awful, but it’s not bad. I can’t tell the taste from traditonal Bovril.

      Reply

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