Taco Salad.

No, it’s not a euphemism.

Can you believe I’d never had it before Em suggested it last week? She was in a Mexican mood so I made them some burritos, but had enough meat left over for us to make some taco salads.

Oh. My. God. The tangy, creamy, spicy deliciousness!

Okay, the ingredients, except for the salad part, are kind of fatty. But a little cheese and sour cream and low-fat ground beef go a long way. I just ate about eight cups of lettuce, courtesy of the magic of  the taco salad.

Mmmm. Sweet, sweet taco salads…


Wanted: One philanthropist billionaire with an intense love of Craftsman-style houses. Please buy my house, fix it up, and let us live in it.

The problem is our zoning. If the buyer tears down the house, the city says they can only put up something with 75% of the current square footage. The structure also has to match the rest of the heritage-style houses on the street. So all the nasty developers who come to see it go away disappointed because they can’t tear it down and put up a giant box full of condos.


Bon Ton.

To me, Easter means Notte’s Bon Ton.

When I was a little girl, every Easter, my grandmother would make the pilgrimage downtown to the Bon Ton to get my brother and me the chocolate eggs with the flowers on them. She even splurged and had our anmes written on them in icing. They were so pretty we saved them until the very last, after we had even eaten all the licorice jelly beans.

The Bon Ton has moved to my neighbourhood now. I always go and admire the eggs, choosing just the one that I want. Then I stand in the long, long line. The line takes even longer because a) their customer service is in no way streamlined, and b) their customers are middle-aged and older women who want to chat about the cakes and cookies, the marzipan animals, and, of course, the Easter goodies.

The lady behind the counter listens carefully to my request. Then we go to the other side of the store, where the eggs are located. She double-checks as I point to the egg I want. Then she has to weigh the chocolate I want to fill the egg. Then she carefully fills the egg, ties it with a froth of curled violet ribbon, and goes to the back to get exactly the right size of box to cradle the egg. She unfolds and assembles the box, gently places the egg inside on a bed of shredded Easter grass, and ties the box closed with more ribbon.

Then we go back to the other side of the store where she rings it up on an ancient cash register. Next, we go over to the credit/debit machine and I pay. She shakes out a bag and places the egg reverently inside.

The process is long, and could easily be frustrating. But the women at the Bon Ton are high priestesses of confectionery. It takes as long as it takes. They do not hurry the ceremony.

And when I step outside, chocolate egg cradled carefully under my arm, I feel as though I have just been shriven.

Sew Cool.

So I have a friend who runs a craft store. For a person like me, who dabbles in all kinds of drawing and painting and constructing, and sometimes has students who need me to come over and help with the craftier aspects of Socials projects (18th Century birchbark canoe replica? Fur trader’s memorabilia box? Wampum beads?), this friendship is a boon.

Trouble is, she’s got it in her head that I’m an artisan. And she’s interested in putting on a local artist show, with people selling products made from, and demonstrating with, materials from her store.

Damn her enthusiasm. I started thinking about a bag I was thinking of making. Sheets of felt, stippled cherry blossoms. Nothing too challenging.

But the trouble is my sewing machine. It was made sometime between 1947 and 1952. And it hasn’t been serviced within living memory, so it’s a little unreliable. So I thought I’d check it out online. After all, I might be better to chuck this little piece of junk and buy a basic model, yes?

Oh, so no. It turns out this model has cults of devoted fans. Upon reflection, I guess that’s why my machine (inherited from my grandmother) is about sixty years old and still working.

I called a sewing machine store today to ask if they could still service something so old. “A Featherlight?” asked the older Austrian-accented man on the phone. “Oh, those are good machines, We can do that.”

Cherry-blossom purses may be forthcoming.

Realtor Open House

Since I am stuck here smiling inanely and keeping the cat in as realtors and clients tromp through my house, I have decided to blog about it so I can be the snark I want to be record it for posterity.

German Fashionista Lady: Yeah, don’t turn your Teutonic nose up at my house. Sure, you probably live in a mansion in Shaughnessey. But my home is MY home. Oh, and your shoes are butt-ugly.

Funky Glasses Man: Yes, I know there’s no closet space. I know because I have lived here for four years. And fuck, did you HAVE to step on the cat? Asshole.

Teddy Bear Man: Is your professional realtor schtick that you’re cuddly? How does that work? You nuzzle people into buying a house? I hope that works out for you…

Armani Guy: Yes, those are our hot air registers. Aren’t they quaint? Now, go get yourself a designer coffee or something. I can tell you won’t pimp our house.

Chunky Highlights Giggly Woman: Fark me, are you 12? Why do you giggle as you ask about our ceiling height?  Are the ceilings cute? Do you have a crush on them?  Okay, now, Byeeee!

All In Suede Guy: Um, did Danier have a sale?

Older British Accent Man: I like you. You were respectful of our space and didn’t scare the cat. You may buy my house.

About A Billion In-and-Outers: WTF? What can you see by standing in my living room for 1.3 seconds?

Okay, everyone. It’s noon. Time’s up. Get out.


On my way to the bus stop every day, I pass a big metal container clearly marked Developmental Disablilities Association- Clothes Only.

Despite the fact that the DDA has clearly stated that they only want clothes, nothing else, over the past few months, people have started leaving other things beside the box. No, they don’t put them in, but leave them beside. I’ve seen everything from laundry hampers to microwaves to German language textbooks dumped there.

Now, it kind of pisses me off that people would flagrantly disregard the wishes of a charity organization, while at the same time litter the area around the box with their cast-off junk. So the law-abiding part of me was happy when I saw there was a sign on the box saying This Area Monitored By Camera.

But I had to laugh when, the day after that, someone had taken the time to arrange a tableau of stuffed animals having a tea party with cast-off cups and saucers. Right on top of the box.

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