Thursday, June 30, 2011

On my Mind

I love Rhonda Jean's blog down---to---earth, she is all about sustainable living, frugal living and living well, within our means.  She has a weekly feature called On My Mind where you blog and postof photo of something that is on your mind that day...share the link and people from all over the world connect through the magic of photos.

My cat Freya has been on my mind a lot lately - here she is 'helping' me wind a warp for my loom.  She stayed in Victoria when I got the job in Winnipeg, plan was she would stay with my senior Aunt and provide her with company and maybe inspire her to start caring about life again (long story but she has been down for a while).  Then when I was settled she would come out with my Mom whe she visited next or I would fly home and pick her up.  That won't happen now.  After I left she had a massive asthma attack and the drugs that saved her caused diabetes to arise.  After a discussion we decided we were not going to go the 2 shots of insulin a day (plus pills, ihalers and other meds) route.  Too stressful for Freya and for my Mom and Aunt.  So now Freya is living happily on minimal meds with my Aunt who has really rallied with caring about the sick kitty but she won't ever be well enough to travel.

She is almost 7 years old, I miss her a lot but I also know she is living the life of Reilly now.  :-)  She probably has a few months left as the next asthma attack will be fatal; but they will be better months than I could have given her and my Aunt is benefitting hugely from caring for her.

Freya, you helped me through hard patches in my life, I love you enough to let go when the time comes but I will never forget you and you will never be replaced in my heart.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Bread, glorious bread!

Soda Bread with Herbs

As a huge fan of Susan at Wild Yeast and a follower of her weekly YeastSpotting feature I decided it was time to step off the sidelines and start baking again.  It has been years since I made my own bread but now I am in a place where I feel like being creative again! 

Soooooo, in a blatant attempt to join the ranks of the Bread Baking Babes I dove in and tried this month's recipe for Soda Bread with Herbs.  It is fantastic though I did play with the recipe slightly.  I used half whole wheat flour and added about 3/4 of a cup of shredded asiago cheese.   I put in about a 3 tablespoons of mixed fresh herbs but not having rosemary I subsituted dill, thyme and oregano.  Those herbs don't have the pungent flavour of rosemary and the herby flavour was too light for me.

Boy, this bread had a lovely dense chewy texture and I am adding this recipe to my collection of "keepers"!  Making yeast bread has always been a meditative act for me, kneading the dough released my tension of the day and slowed my mind down.  This was a different experience, the time from start to finish was under an hour but the aroma of baking bread and sense of accomplishment as I cut that first, steaming slice were the therapy I needed today.  I started and finished a project - something I have not been doing lately.

Thanks Susan for providing the nudge I needed to get back into life with both feet!  :-)

Employed at last!

It has been a looong time since I posted, can you tell I never kept a diary as a child???  :-) 

It was a long wait and I had pretty much decided to move from my adopted home of Alberta and return to Victoria where I grew up and where my Mom, Aunt, nieces and brother & sister-in-law.  So I loaded a selection of my possessions and my lovely ragdoll cat Freya in my car and drove home in early March to see if I could find work

I had been there 3 weeks when the e-mail came.  "We need someone to fill in asap - can you come?"  It was a hard decision as I was really enjoying living with my Aunt and being in the same town as my family for the first time since 1984.  I was looking forward to helping both my Mom and Aunt as they could use a cook and lifter of heavy things now and then. 

It was close to being my absolute dream job and at my age sometimes you have to make the hard decision.  With my Mom's blessing and my Aunt's promise to look after Freya I took the job, hopped back in my car and drove to Calgary, exchanged my Victoria in spring possessions for those suitable for Winnipeg in late winter...exchanging cherry blossoms for late snow storms and slushy roads.  The biggest blizzard of the year hit Calgary the day I left, I drove to Winnipeg with that storm dogging my heels the whole way.

So now I sit in my workroom and the job is temporary no more.  My dreams of the last 5 years came true and now I work at the Royal Winnipeg Ballet...  :-)

I am lucky, I worked a 5 month contract here 3 years ago when I first left college with my Costume Cutting and Construction diploma in hand.  I have friends here still and work for an awesome and incredibly talented woman who trusted in me and gave me a chance return to a place I loved and but stayed at for such a short time...

Thank you RWB...I won't disappoint you

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Mushrooms in September

A close up of some fungi I met while biking 26 km of the Lochside Trail from Victoria to Saanichton (vVancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada) in September 2009.  Of all the photos I took I loved these mushrooms the best.

Posted as Part of "On My Mind" weely feature on the Down to Earth blog.

Monday, January 31, 2011

I HATE Waiting!

I know patience is a virtue but waiting to hear about this job interview is really, really tough!  I guess I must really like the job.  :-)   Ah well, I shall continue to wait by the phone...worst thing is the on-line tracker changed my status from shortlisted to "final evaluation" and I don't know if that means they have made a decision or if it is a signal they have entered the final discussion/decision phase.  ARRRRRGH.  Last time I applied there it remained shortlisted until the day they called to say the had hired another.

I know I have no one reading this yet but if you hit this post by chance cross your fingers for me or send me some well wishes.  6 months unemployed is ENOUGH!  :-)

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Waiting with fingers crossed

Lord I hate waiting for someone else's decision!  Hopefully I will hear this week about the job in Banff that I interviewed for last Tuesday.  It would be a great job and I love living in the Bow Valley, it inspires me to be active andto be creative! 

I need a job so I can get my own home again, I have friends who have very graciously given me a place to rest my head these past few months while I search for a job in my field.  It has been awesome as it has allowed me to look and apply without having to take a job I know I would quit if I got something 'right'.  I hate doing that to an employer.  If this job falls through I am going to hit the temp agencies in Calgary to get admininstrative work in the short term as I can't be a leech anymore!  I will target ones that operate in Victoria as well so I can carry my cunning plan to move back home to the coast. 

Ah well, there is a chance of a job in Winnipeg in a few months so I just need to keep my hope and enthusiasm alive and believe that I will get the job I am best suited for.  Even if it takes a year...til then I am looking at projects to start that I can make to sell.  I have a cool idea for a spindle (as in hand spinning) keeper that would allow people to display and pack their spindles in 1 easy, beautiful package.  I have a friend with a growing business selling exotic fibres for spinning and we are colaborating on the idea and she will market them for me on her website - cool, eh?   I also have a webdoain that I plan to set a shop on that will sell ballet related items I plan to make. 

When I have a home again I am going to continue my efforts to live a more frugal lifestyle and to garden in some small way, even if it is pots of tomatoes on a balcony!  I believe in trying to be self-sufficient but that will have to wait until I have enough land to start that journey.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The interview is over!

I drove an hour and a half (each way) today for an interview at the Banff Centre and it went well.  The job is an admin assistant in the Film & Media Department but that title vastly underestimates the job duties - it would be an engaging and interesting position.   It was a relaxed and comfortable interview and I got a tour of the facility afterwards, that is always a good sign. 

It would be an amazing job to get but I can do nothing but wait and cross my fingers re the outcome.

On other fronts I have applied for a position at the Chemainus Theatre Festival on Vancouver Island, that would also be an amazing job but my qualifications are definitely on the low end of the scale they are looking for.  One thing I have found during my 6 month job search is that people with 5 or 10 years experience as Production Managers are applying for jobs a new entrant could have got 3 years ago.  The recession has hit the arts sector very hard!  Getting a position at that theatre would allow me to move home again after over 25 years of prairie life.

I had a Skype interview with the Royal Winnipeg Ballet School for a 6 month contract position last week but right now they need a tech with production management skills and I am a production manager with tech skills.  :-)  The hopeful side of that interview was that they hope to have a position that would fit me to a T and they want to speak with me again in a few months. 

So the job search continues.  If Banff doesn't come through for me I will likely move back to Victoria in February/March when the highways are in better shape.  The Transcanada highway has been closed several times this month due to avalanche hazards and that is really unusual.  I will definitely err on the side of caution if I do decide to make the trip.

I miss the ocean.  I miss real trees.  I miss having humidity and I miss my family...

Friday, January 21, 2011

Starting is the hardest part

I have had this blog set up and ready to go for weeks but I lacked the courage to make the first post.  Silly, eh?  Well I read a lot of blogs and finally today I thought "I am done being a tourist, I am going to join this online community!"

My hopes for this blog are to discuss food, ballet and theatrical costuming, my life in transition and probably more than a few comments on my cat and her control over my life.  :-)

So I will start with a thanks for all the amazing bloggers out there who have inspired me to go public and who have made me think about everything from cookies (thanks Bake at 350) to sustainable and frugal lifestyles.

Hopefully I will post again shortly.  I am spending this afternoon crafting the perfect cover letter to accompany my resume on a journey to apply for a Production Management job at a great theatre/festival in British Columbia.  I also am preparing for an interview on Tuesday for a position in the Film & Media Department at the Banff Centre in Banff, Alberta.

Yeah, those both good excuses for not posting again for a bit~!