Friday, August 27, 2010

After I Was Rendered Speechless

Since we landed here in Newfoundland, I have been moving at the speed of light and have hardly had a moment to pause!! We have been busy, Busy, BUSY: visiting family and friends, running wedding errands, meeting the caterer and the deejay, shopping, cooking and, of course, I have begun baking the wedding cakes. So far, I have 15 layers of delicious chocolate fudge cake stacked up in the deep freeze!! You see, so as not to render my family insane, we decided that I would bake a bunch of cakes in advance of the baking of the caking. This way, all of the women folk could focus on icing, decorating and baking one symbolic cake together, instead of baking a gazillion wedding cakes. In any event, I am seriously behind on posting!

We drove for awhile and then stopped. I was led out of the vehicle and greeted by Mariette who said, "Take my hands and let me guide you." I teetered over a slight incline and cautiously lurched forward. I had no idea where we were going as we inched along. Finally, Mariette said, "Okay. You can remove the blindfold."

So I did.

And what should I see before me but Aunt Dodie's backyard. It was filled with most of the wonderful women in my life. All of Mister Man's family were there: Merilee, Grayce, Janice, Andie and all of Mister Man's marvelous aunties: Dodie, Arlene, Kathy, Grayce and cousins Tracey and Toni. The running posse were there and Katie Jean (whom I've known since I was 14). Sarah and Donimo, AJ, Tasha Faye, Poot and Dooder, Susan and Diyan, Dorothy and Bunkle, Meghna and Lori and of course, Mariette, were all standing around the pool with giant grins upon their gorgeous faces.

"These are the goddesses", announced Mariette.

And I burst into tears. In fact, as I type this, I'm tearing up AGAIN!!! Oh my.

I was told that the goddesses would pass judgement on whether or not I was ready for marriage. And between bouts of laughter and sobs, I recounted my adventures. If I'd had my camera, I would have snapped an image of all of these amazing women, but you'll have to take my word for it when I say that it was singularly one of the most powerful personal moments I've experienced.

At the end of my tale, Mariette posed the question to the goddesses who all agreed that I was, indeed, ready to tie the knot.

"In celebration of this event", continued Mariette, "we've put together a cookbook for you. We asked everyone to bring a favourite recipe. Most people have made the recipe for the pot luck dinner we'll have when the men folk arrive in about an hour." At this point, a beautiful, big book was brought to me from a corner of the driveway where a giant craft table had been set up. Janice put the book in my hand and opened to the first page. I looked down and saw a recipe from the Mums. And of course, the waterworks began anew. As I flipped through the book, I saw that everyone had contributed recipes that were meaningful to them. And they'd decorated each page with notes, photos and messages. It was truly the most beautiful book I've ever seen in my life. When I get back to BC, I'll make a video and share it with you. It was my intention to make that video before I left, but we were simply too darn swamped.

At 7:30, the men arrived, including one smug Mister Man, and the feast began. It was a perfect, perfect night.......

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Leavin' on a Jet Plane

Phew. What a week. We've been in a pre-production frenzy at work, and at home, we've been wildly dashing to and fro getting ready for the big trip. Tomorrow morning we'll take off for St. John's Newfoundland, where we'll put all the final touches on the big wedding day and all of the lead-up events. GAH!! Not to worry, I think we'll be ready.

In any event, I know posting was non-existent this week, but I'm hopeful that I'll have some time before the mainlanders descend and we start ripping up the place!! I also want to tell you about the rest of that amazing shower/stagette that unfolded last Saturday.... Sadly, I wasn't taking the photographs, so I need to get some copies from other folks. Perhaps during a layover tomorrow I can fill you in using words in lieu of images.

In the meantime, I'll see you on the other side of the Rockies!

Monday, August 16, 2010

I Was Rendered Speechless.....

Saturday was possibly one of the finest days I've ever had in my life. It all started with a SKYPE wedding meeting with Mariette, my best maid for the rapidly approaching nuptials. Mister Man let me sleep in, and brought a cuppa joe to the bedside (just one of the myriad of reasons I'm marrying him - he really is a spectacular person). I was ready to talk turkey (or at least weddings!!), but instead I was greeted with this:

"There's something very serious I need to talk to you about."

*Gulp* (It sounded scary.)

"But first, Mister Man will hand you a bag, in which you'll find a scroll. I need you to open it and read it to me."

The Scroll:

A long time ago in a galaxy far far away a group of strong willed Goddesses noticed that women were simply not prepared for marriage. Nothing in our society had prepared them, so they came up with some rituals in order to ensure a woman could pass easily from single gal to wedded woman in a way that no bridal magazine ever could. It has come to the attention of the Goddesses of Marriage that you have lost your way on this journey towards becoming a Mrs. They see you struggling with understanding the true meaning of the word “hitched”. You don’t seem to truly comprehend “till death do us part” as forever and ever and ever.... and ever. You have yet to embraced “love, honor and OBEY”

So, young Teri, you are being sent on a quest to find your inner bride. You have a mere 45 minutes to begin your quest. First you must put on the bridal armor provided. This will protect you and keep you safe.

You will also receive a satchel with helpful items that you may use on your journey. Then you must solve the riddle and go to the location provided. There you will meet a guide who will provide you with sustenance and knowledge. Once you have achieved what you need to at each location you will be sent or taken to the next.

At each location you are expected to find one of the following:

  • something old
  • something new
  • something borrowed
  • something blue
  • You are also required to provide photographic and written proof that you were at each location (see camera and passport provided in satchel)
NOTE: I was NOT allowed to bring my beautiful Pentax camera. Nay. I was handed a little rinky dink point and shoot, despite my protestations and whining. Back to the scroll:

When you have completed your tasks you will be met by the Goddesses and they will review your evidence and treasures. They will then provide you with the final Sage Advice to launch you into Bridal Bliss.

We have one question... do you accept your quest?

I think we all know the answer to that one:

With trepidation in my heart, and the world's largest tutu around my butt, I made my way into my chariot and looked over at Mister Man, who was a bit mum and sheepish. "You know what that is?" I said, pointing the camera at his nibs. "THAT is the face of deception".

Weeks ago, he'd "booked me" for a big BBQ that was "supposedly" being held that day by one of his colleagues. In fact, the night before, I'd baked the world's largest Perfect Blueberry Crisp to TAKE to this so-called "BBQ". It was a RUSE!!!!

In any event, I guessed the first riddle and Mister Man dropped me at Thomas Haas. Golly, was I nervous when we drove up, me with a veil on my head, held there by a tiara that said "Bachelorette on the Loose", wearing a ridiculous fru-fru skirt and clutching a bouquet of yellow fabric flowers with a feather duster at the centre. I nervously stepped inside the door, and to my utter delight, cast my eyes upon Bunkle!! The Beautiful Bunkle who had a double baked almond croissant waiting for me. And, in the middle of the hustle and bustle of the wedding prep, a miraculous thing happened: we sat, drank coffees and had a fabulous heart to heart. It was a beautiful thing.

We also followed the orders of the goddesses and Jan went in search of "something new" for me. She rooted around in her bag to find something iconic to bestow upon me, and found a brand spanking new Special K pedometer!! (and yes, I DO plan to wear it on the wedding day - in lieu of a garter......)

As instructed, we had our photo taken with strangers (and with each other). Aren't we a vision?

And then, one hour later, my chariot pulled up again, and we set off for downtown.

And who should be waiting at the second destination, but Doodie!

We jumped on the skytrain, and ended up at Reckless Cycles in Yaletown, where we rented 2 bikes. Before we started riding our cruiser style bikes, I was able to tick off the "something borrowed" on my list, because I used some of Karen's sun block!

Again, we had an amazing visit - some quality one on one time (which has been lacking for us of late).

We chatted with people along the seawall (it's amazing how much of a conversation starter it is when you're wearing a giant tutu and riding a bike.) And finally, Karen took a mysterious phone call and we made our way to a beach.

Where we were joined by Poot, who came bearing a picnic.

We were even able to scour the beach to find "something old".

As we sat there, finishing our feast, I noticed a familiar woman standing there, snapping photos. "I know her I thought", but she was hiding under a hat and behind sunglasses. And finally, it was revealed that it was Janice, sister of Mister Man and her awesome daughter Andie!

They'd come to take me to a fabulous used bookstore in Kits where I was to pick out a cookbook. If you aren't from around here, you won't know that Kits is an uber trendy hood in which the women are decked out head to toe in Lululemon. Feeling self conscious, I left my veil in the car, and was JUST saying to Janice "Hey - do you think it would be okay if I slipped off my skirt?" "I dunno", she replied, there are spies everywhere."

At which point, a young woman I'd never laid eyes on before stepped out of a shop and said to me "Mariette says, aren't you supposed to be wearing a veil?"

I was gobsmacked. Spies indeed! So I decided to rush into the store to get the stranger to sign my passport.

When I bolted into the store, I was greeted by the most brilliant vision of the day. There was Mariette, my beautiful friend and best maid, standing in the middle of the store. She'd traveled from Calgary to surprise me!! And surprised I was as I burst into tears, and threw my arms around her. Okay, so I had jumped the gun. I wasn't supposed to see her for another 30 minutes, but what the hey?

The four of us traipsed off to the bookstore, where Mariette found something very useful. The book is called, "The Meaning of Wife". We thought it was rather hilarious. So we bought it, because, after all, the Goddesses WOULD be looking for something BLUE!

We also found THIS useful item for Mister Man.

And then we headed across the street for a drink and a nibble. I was able to throw my bouquet to a table of young single woman, and I interviewed a couple who'd been together for 18 years. They had some sage advice for me! Janice was enjoying herself. We all were. I was LOVING this day!!!!

Here I am. Loving the day.

Then we bid adieu to Janie and Andie, and Mariette and I got in the car and started making our way towards the New Westminster Skytrain Station. This was no mean feat as I have a lousy sense of direction, and Mariette is from Calgary. But eventually we got there, and I was beyond delighted to see my friend Tasha Faye, the woman with whom I've had some extraordinary adventures. She took me into this little place where we both got pedicures. You have no idea how much my poor feet were in need of a little TLC.

And then, it became like an episode of Lost. I was blindfolded and Tasha started driving as Fleetwood Mac was blasting on the stereo.....

And what happened next was beyond miraculous......

Friday, August 13, 2010

The Last Lazy Weekend

Last weekend we had another kick at the can full o' lazy. We know that once we head back to Newfoundland next week, there'll be no lollygagging. Nope. We will be in full wedding mode - prepping, planning, receiving visitors, spending much anticipated time with friends and family on the rock and awaiting the arrival of the mainlanders. (that'd be everyone who's not from Newfoundland)

So when Tamara and Andrew said they were heading back to Ruby Lake for a weekend - well, let's just say that my duvet was in a suitcase in the blink of an eye.

Unfortunately, Mister Man had a man cold. I know what you're thinking: "HOW could I leave such a SICK person at home BY HIS OWN SELF????" He promised not to chew on the furniture or piddle on the floor and when I last laid eyes on him, he was wearing his "sick clothes" (a grey hoodie that he wears with the hood up as he hunkers down on a corner of the couch). It was sad to bid him adieu, but he really wanted to stay home!! And that is how I came to have the mondo king-sized bed ALL TO MY OWN SELF.

I must confess, it was a tad lonely up there. I missed his nibs!! In any event, we had fun from the time we hit the ferry line up (though we had reservations). I was taking a photo of Bayla (the dog) and Tamara tried to get her to look in the right direction. So instead of a photo of Bayla, I got a photo of Tamara's mitt!

Here's why we LOVE coming to Lynn and Bob's home away from home:

There were games. SCRABBLE!!!! (take THAT spelling bee. Take THAT!)

This is Tamara, holding up the scorecard. If I had zoomed in, you would see that we were tied. Even Steven. Neck and neck. I have a funny feeling that I might hear about this for some time to come!

There was the obligatory eating and the necessary drinking.

There was EVEN an attempt to rent Beaches at the local video store. (Poor Andrew. He was a solitary man in a sea of estrogen.... Lucky for him, the 17 year old store attendant looked it up on the computer and announced "We don't have anything that old!")

And of course, the cooking of the Saturday meal. This time, it was halibut tacos.

Tamara preps.

A secret ingredient.

The sous-chef

Game on!

Hello halibut!

Needless to say, we were all incredibly mellow by the time night started to fall.

And even though it was doing this when we left,

I think we'd all agree that we left Ruby Lake a little more rested, a little fuller, a little happier....

Wednesday, August 11, 2010


There's a new(ish) restaurant on Main Street in Vancouver that's seen more buzz than beehive. For Mister Man's birthday, Susan and Diyan gave him a coupon for a dinner at a choice of restaurants including Grub. They also gave him permission to bring a guest of his choice. It's a good thing he brought me, because otherwise I would have missed this. Note the menu on the board behind Susan and Diyan. If you could read it you'd see some delicious items.

They are both clearly deep in thought. And who could blame them. There was a LOT to consider here!

The charcuterie plate arrived and we were captivated by each item. Susan is taking us on a culinary tour of our plate. Clearly, we were all on the edge of our seats.

And then dinner started to arrive. Susan began pounding the table with her fork and knife until her plate landed. Adorable.

And what lovely plates were had by all. Here's my pork tenderloin casually reclining against a bed of homemade angel hair pasta.

It was truly yummy. I love a birthday that stretches over the span of a whole month - even if it isn't MY birthday. One of the benefits of almost being married, is that I'm pretty much guaranteed to be Mister Man's "plus 1". What a lovely night.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Addendum to Last Weekend

Before I move onto the adventures of this week, let me put up a few parting images from last weekend in paradise (AKA the island in a lake on an island). You're all probably thinking that the spelling bee caused a rift between us. Au contraire. Ms. Annie cooked us a delightful pasta dinner.

Mister Man went fishing in the a.m.

We all enjoyed the breakfast sammich that Ms. Lara made bright and early in the morning. Don't you love this shot with Ms. Annie hovering in the background? I believe the look on her face could be classified as envy.....

We even enjoyed a friendly game of Settlers on the dock.

But all good things must come to an end, and it was with a heavy heart that we popped in the little boat to make our way back to the shore. This is Lara in action. She sure knows how to navigate.

And when we reached the other side, Mister Man leapt out and started laying anchor. (that's sailor talk) Oh gentle reader, what a wonderful weekend we had...... It was sad to bid it adieu.

The bittersweet ending was the glorious sunset we watched from the window of the bus as we began to wind our way back home.