From the Trenches...

I'm coming to you from the frontlines of H1N1, the bug that stole the past 5 days of my life and ruined what was supposed to be a romantic weekend getaway with my man. Eff you, Swine.

Last Tuesday, I went to bed with a tiny tickle in the back of my throat. I woke up Wednesday morning with an aching body - the kind where even your hair hurts - and a persistent hacking cough. By the next morning, it was clear that I was man down. Or, woman down, really.

And enter...Swine Flu.

As a survivor of the dreaded H1N1, I have a little secret to share with you all. This is pretty hush're not going to find this on CNN or Fox News, so read the next sentence very. carefully.

The Swine Flu is....


My only tip-off that this was likely H1N1 was the cough. The cough that kept me up for an entire night (incidentally, the night spent in a super swank hotel in 800 thread count Egyptian cotton). The cough that went away for hours and then returned with such a venegeance that I thought I was going to literally hack up a lung. The cough that even Buckley's wouldn't touch.

My hair has hurt before. I've hacked until I gagged before...this was nothing new. Of course, I've been lucky enough to avoid the flu for awhile so this was a longer span than usual away from the office for me, but that was just good sense. I'm not one of those people who tries to look like a hero, or a really dedicated employee at least, by showing up at the office sick as a dog and hacking all over their co-workers. I loathe those people. Those people are why the rest of us get sick! At least, those of us without tiny germ-mongers kids.

I did not get the vaccine. I wasn't planning on getting it, even if I were allowed to get it, which I'm not (not being a child, pregnant or elderly). Me and my iffy immune system took it on and we won.

The romantic getaway was a bit of a bummer. We had a great afternoon/evening and an AMAZING room to lounge around in (photos will be forthcoming), but as soon as I tried to go to sleep, the cough kicked in and did not let up until 5:30 a.m. Awesome. So, I spent the night on the couch in the living room, watching The Shopping Channel (I hate Snuggies) and trying not to wake Kurt up from his peaceful slumber. Oh well. We have another little getaway planned for the weekend before we both fly home for Christmas, so fingers crossed that Kurt will remain Swine-free and we'll be able to enjoy that one a bit more.

So, I survived the Swine. And I'm better for it. At least, my immune system is.

I really hate Sunday evenings.

They can be such a downer!

We had a super relaxing weekend. Did a bit more unpacking (yes, there is STILL unpacking to do), had a nap, hit up the driving range, paid too much for mediocre Indian buffet, had a friend over for dinner, made some pumpkin know. Standard weekend stuff.

I'm starting to get very excited to go home for Christmas. I hate travelling at Christmas time, but I'm not even sure I'll mind this time around. I just can't wait to get there.

In my unpacking today, I re-discovered a number of purses I haven't used in awhile. Don't you love that? Especially when you leave money in the pockets? Brilliant. One purse in particular has been out of the rotation for far too long, so I'm thinking I'll ease it back in tomorrow and see how it does. My lovely mustard-yellow fall purse (scored at Winners in September) is about ready for a break.

I'm about ready to head off to bed, but I have a phone date tonight with a good friend from home who I haven't talked to since August. We obviously have a lot to catch up on. After that, I plan to curl up with some Bengal Spice tea and my book in my fresh sheets. Ahhh.

Maybe Sunday night isn't SO bad after all. It's Monday that's the bitch.

Etsy Love.

I've made a few purchases lately. I "discovered" Etsy back in 2006 but haven't bought anything from the site since before we moved to the Rock, since PayPal hasn't always been cooperative with internationally-based credit cards. However, that changed. And so I was able to surf through my (extensive) list of favorites and pick out a few things that I decided I couldn't live without.

One of these purchases arrived on Friday. EcoChicHandKnits organic hand-crocheted nesting bowls.

I'd been trying to find something for us to put sunglasses and keys in, by the door, so that we can avoid the classic morning scramble for these vital items. So, I contacted the seller to see if she would ship internationally (yes) and whether the shipping costs would be reasonable (yes) and the adorable little package arrived on Friday, all wrapped up with a little card, thanking me for my purchase. Delightful. And the bowls are just as cute in person as they are in the photo, and perfect for what I wanted them for. The large one is for sunglasses, the medium-sized one is for keys, and the small one sits on my nightstand as a safe place to put jewelry before bed.

I love buying handmade and think it's more important now than ever. Etsy = Awesome.

Check out the EcoChicHandKnits storefront...definitely a seller who is staying in my Etsy Favorites!

Crippled by Flat-Packed Furniture.

On Friday, we picked up most of the huge order of IKEA stuff we put together before we moved into the new apartment. The order was mostly dressers and shelves, so quite a bit of our unpacking has been strewn about in boxes and bags waiting for it to arrive. A few things were sold out (apparently, the 'Walnut' finish is the colour de jour), but we got our MALM, ORGEL, SKUBB and small BILLY. Yesterday morning, K went out to run some errands, so I put on Season 1 of The L Word and got to work. I decided to tackle the MALM six-drawer dressers first (we bought two, because we can't share) and figured I could bang those together in an hour or two, tops. No problem, right? Gong. I started at about noon...and finished just before 6:00 p.m. During that time, I'd taken, cumulatively, one half hour break. It was a nightmare. The dressers went together beautifully...they just had a lot of extra steps and they are actually kind of huge, which made putting them together alone a bit of a challenge. Anyways, we got them moved into the bedroom and (finally!) emptied our suitcases out and filled the drawers, had a friend over for dinner and went to bed early.

When I woke up this morning, I felt as though I'd been hit by a truck. My back and legs were killing me and my arms felt like I'd been toting around a huge watermelon or a heavy child for hours. Turns out, assembling MALM on your own is harder work than I thought. It was a workout. But the results were worth it, because I woke up this morning and dressed without having to dig through amazing feeling after 4 weeks of living like gypsies. Gypsies with Samsonite.

The house is really coming together. The cookbooks are shelved (thanks, BILLY), our BBQ is in place and had it's debut last night, and in about two weeks, the last of our furniture should arrive from New Jersey.

I was looking around last night and realized that this apartment is definitely the nicest place that we have lived together so far. Our house was great, but this place just suits us. Maybe it's the fact that the front patio always smells like rosemary, or that the apartment is so quiet when a car does creep by on the crescent, it's noticeable. Unlike the old apartment, where quiet periods on the road would have us looking at each other like "what's going on? Where is everyone?" It's lovely. I had a two hour nap in the middle of the day with my sleep mask and it was heaven.

Love, love, love. I'm going to take some photos this week and update the Facebook album, now that we're moved in and it's looking more like ours.


My favorite month, next to December. I'm not even sure why, but I expect that it has to do with being the start of the lead up to absolute favorite time of year. The other great thing about November? November 1st means that October 31st has passed. I really do not love Halloween at all. This year, we spent all of Saturday scouring our old apartment and came home feeling so tired and annoyed by it all that we ended up being those assholes who FOR SURE will get egged at some point. We closed our blinds and turned off all of the lights and pretended that we weren't home. Oh yes, we did. And then we snuck out for Indian food. I will take baigan bhartha over teenagers dressed like vampires (because every. single. teenager. was dressed as a vampire) anyday.

The little ones though...I'll make exceptions for them. When did kids get so damn cute?

We kicked November off quietly, just how I like it. We did a bit of unpacking around here and I'm happy to say that our house is starting to look a little bit like we actually live here! Not that we've spent any time here at all, other than to sleep, until this weekend. Now, finally, we've had some quality time in our new digs, just hanging around, and we are loving it. It's quiet, always has a nice little breeze, and our landlords are probably the nicest people on the planet. I think we'll be happy here for awhile. How long awhile? I have no idea.

This weekend marked our anniversary on the Rock. Two years. Amazing...especially since when we first moved here, two years was the plan. Get in, get out. And now, two years in, it still feels like we just got here. So, I went back to the beginning of this blog and found this post, written just a few days after we moved into our first apartment. I like to look back on what my initial thoughts were, back when everything seemed so new and we felt like we were on a permanent vacation. Back when I apparently hated those little frogs I love so much now. Before life set in, before the noise of the street below our apartment started to get to us, before we'd figured out that life is just life, no matter where you live it. That being said, it's been a pretty interesting two years.

If you had asked me back in November 2007 what I would be doing in November of 2009, I would have absolutely predicted that we would be back in Canada, preparing to buy a house in the city we plan to "settle down" in. Without question, that was the plan.

Seriously long has this been my plan, now?

I moved to Ottawa in 2002, planning to return to Victoria in 2004. Didn't happen.

We bought our house in 2005, planning to sell and move to Victoria in 2008.

Before that could happen, we moved to the Rock in 2007 with a two-year plan.

Those two years are up and we're still here, and have no plans to leave anytime very soon.

Maybe I should take a hint. MAYBE...if I really wanted to be in Victoria, I would have found a way to be there by now. This is me, getting introspective. I'm getting deep here, people. Seriously though...wouldn't we be there if that's where we were supposed to be? As much as I complain about rude people and how much a leek costs, some very big part of me must have fallen in love with the Rock. I know I like it. I like my job, I love the weather, I like the freedom we have and I like that we now have the means to do a lot of things that were out of our reach before we moved here. Of course I hate being away from family and friends, but I have been away from my family and a good chunk of my friend base for a very long time now. I'm used to missing people. And the thing is, is that being in Victoria doesn't mean that I'll have everyone I love around me. One crappy thing about having three homes is that there are people to miss in each of them.

OK, enough depth. Back to shallow blogging.

I made vegetable soup tonight. No recipe. I just noticed that we had an inordinate number of red peppers in the fridge and a bag of shredded carrots that looked as though it was considering a turn to the dark side. So, I tossed them into a pot with a diced onion and some broth and spices, boiled up a storm and then blended the works and served to my (obviously very impressed) man. It was delicious. Made me feel clever.

This time change has left me sleepy at 8:57 p.m. How sad. Probably great news for my body though, which has been craving sleep like no one's business.

Bed time!