Question?

Herself and I are making tortillas this morning, so we can have veggie wraps tonight with some homemade hummus and fresh basil (sorry Mr. L, no meat tonight).
What are you guys making this weekend? Especially for my fellow Canadians about to enjoy the May long weekend.

This is Irrelephant.

A friend of mine, Catherine, and I headed out to the exhibition opening at The Reach last night. On display, from now until the end of June, are four different exhibits: textual vishyuns: images and text in the work of bill bissett, All That Is Solid, video installation by Simone Jones, History Through the Lens of Leonard Frank, photography by Leonard Frank, and a Juried Exhibition from the Fraser Valley Chapter of the Canadian Federation of Artists.

Paintings and poetry by bill bissett

 

bill bissett’s work is pretty cool, vibrant and engaging, and it definitely will challenge people on how they view the constraints of language. Known primarily for his works of poetry bissett has been praised by the likes of Atwood and Kerouac, so if you’re big into the beat poets, take some time to check out this exhibit. And if you’re really on the ball you can catch him doing a reading tomorrow afternoon (April 19th, 1:00pm).

I really liked the collection from the Canadian Federation of Artists, as well as the collection of photographs from Leonard Frank. There were some really cool pictures of Sumas Lake before and after it was drained, as well as some shots of Burrard Bridge, and the construction of the Lion’s Gate Bridge. They’ve also curated some antique photography gear (film splicers, old Kodaks, etc), which were pretty nifty.

As to the video installation, both Cat and I were, well, unmoved. The piece was supposed to cause us to question how we perceived space, but it just wasn’t clicking for us. This is not a slight against video installations, I’ve seen some really awesome ones, this one just wasn’t it for me, but check it out, let me know if you get something more out of it than we did.

After munching on some snacks (they had some really great olives, no joke), we headed out to Afterthoughts, where we randomly ran into Ryan and Jenissa, and Jenissa was able to pass on the best wisdom of the day: “If it’s not related to elephants, it’s irrelephant!”

 

There are worse things than being easy

My Mom often asks how I make the meals I make, what recipe I used etcetera. But like most people who love to cook most of the things I cook don’t come from recipes, but from an amalgamation of research and taste.
The easiest meal for me to make, by far, is the smoothie. Luckily the Mouse is also a big fan of smoothies so she often demands a smoothie of her own. Now, I hate bananas, totally and completely, and bananas are usually used as thickeners in smoothies. A little innernet (as the Mouse says) shows that ground oats can be used as a banana alternative. My blender isn’t the most awesome (sometimes I dream of the Vitamix) so the oats aren’t as floury as I would like, but it’s not the end of the world, and doesn’t impede the slurpability of the smoothie. So with the banana hate out of the way, onto the “recipe”.

Easy Smoothies

Ingredients
1) Ground oats, a handful
2) Spinach or kale, a couple of handfuls
3) Greek or Balkan style yogurt (plain or vanilla
4) Frozen fruit, I find berries are the best
5) Fresh fruit (optional, but stay away from oranges, the texture gets weird
6) Almond or coconut milk, however much is needed to get the consistency you want
7) Cocoa, if you want some chocolately flavour

Steps
1) Combine in blender
2) Blend
3) Pour into cup
4) Consume with straw (straws make everything better)>

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*Asthamtic Wheeze* Yeah… I Love Running

Okay, all right, running is not as awful as I remember it being. It also helps that I have the Songza app to take my mind off things/I also like to pretend I’m training for the Doctor and/or running from supernatural creatures.

I had (and still do have) asthma pretty bad when I was a kid, like in-the-hospital-not-breathing bad a few times. I once had an attack that landed me in hospital in the oxygen tent while my Dad was in New York on business, apparently it was a pretty harrowing trip home for him, as this was in the time before cellphones were considered acceptable life partners.

But asthma (combined with some wicked allergies and “sensitive airways”) made running, and most sports, less than enjoyable for me as a young adult. Those factors, and my Western European genetics, have made it really easy for me to gain weight, but not so much losing said weight. But himself started jogging again at the start of March, and it’s been working really well for him (14 pounds lost in three weeks, though he certainly has them to lose), so I thought I would give it a try.

I’ve been working my way into it. I started walking about 1km a night, then starting jogging half of it, then I started doing 2km a night, and then I discovered the Nike+ app. I’ve started with the 5K running program (the beginner runner program), and it does push you pretty hard one you get into it, so if you are a totally new runner (much like myself) give yourself a couple of weeks of brisk walking and light jogging before starting the program.

I also really like that it syncs with the Nike+ website and you can sync it with the Nike Training app, so you can add crossing training, and additional workouts, and sync it all up for a holistic view of your fitness plan.

So, I’m plugging my way through the 8 week plan, I’ve only just finished week one, and I’m already running faster than when I was in high school. Mentally it’s definitely challenging, especially with the Mouse wearing me down through the whole day, and I’ve never experienced the whole “runner’s high” when I’ve run in the past, but today while I was out running tonight (3.5km, more than I’ve ever run before), I felt really great. I felt powerful, which, when you live with a three-year-old is a rare thing, and I felt strong. Granted I was only running about a third of the time, but I felt really good.

So yeah, check out the Nike+ app if you’re getting into running, it’s pretty great.

AbbotsBored Dec 12-16

So it looks like this weekend is the Santa weekend. So far I’ve seen ads for Santa’s at PriceSmart, IGA (on Immel), and downtown at Mad Dogs.
Also, head over to Garden Park Towers (on Clearbrook Road) for an awesome indoor Christmas display from the 14-20th, and stop by the Rose Room Cafe (on the first floor), it’s run by the seniors who live in the building, and they’re all super nice!
If you’re headed over to Mission at all the new Menchies opened in The Junction shopping mall beside the Cineplex and they’ll have sweet deals from the 14-20th. Visit their Facebook page (menchiesmissionthejunction) for more info.
Sevenoaks Shopping Centre is having a Holiday Shopping Night this Friday, staying open until 11pm, with special deals and prizes available from 8pm-11pm. They’ll also have free gift wrapping, hot chocolate, and a free photo with a donation to the food bank.
Straiton Hall (4698 Sumas Mountain Road) is having a $2 pancake breakfast with Santa on Sunday 15th. Proceeds go to the Abbotsford Food Bank. Call 604-852-4279 for more information.

Fraser Valley Christmas Events 2013

No Abbotsbored this week, I was sucked into Night Vale and the stark reminder that still have about fifty thousand things to make for my Christmas hampers for this year.

But, looking for free or cheap Christmas events throughout the Fraser Valley in 2013? Here’s a list that is in no way complete, if you know of any other cheap or free Christmas events, please let me know in the comments!

Abbotsford
Clearbrook Library is hosting ‘Tis the Season – A Family Christmas Special Dec 11, 7:00-7:45pm, with sparkly Christmas fun, activities and snacks.
Highstreet has a marching band and snow machine amongst of activities Fridays & Saturdays at a variety of times.
ACA Nativity Drive Through Dec 11-13 6:00pm-10:00pm
Crafts with Santa’s Reindeer (not actual reindeer) Dec 10 & 17 11:00am-2:00pm
Free gingerbread cookie kits at Independent Grocers at Sevenoaks 6th, 13th, & 20th

Mission
Candlelight Parade Dec 6 7:30-10:00pm It’s the 30th annual Candlelight Christmas parade through downtown Mission.
Santa in the Park Dec 8 2:00-4:00pm Fraser River Heritage Park
Festival of Trees Dec 10-14 times vary donations go to the Mission Christmas Bureau. Come and vote for your favourite Christmas tree as decorated by Missionites.

Langley
Krause Berry Farms Mistletoe Story Time Wed-Fri 10:30am, Saturday 10:30am, 1:00pm, 3:00pm, Sunday 1:00pm, 3:00pm
Pioneer Christmas at Langley Centenial Museum Dec 7, 10:00am-12:00pm and 2:00pm-4:00pm. Shopping at the general store, crafts and activities at the Museum.
23rd Annual Christmas at Williams Park: Drive-Through Christmas display up until December 12, from 5:30pm-9:00pm, and on December 13th & 14th is the Willams Park Christmas Light walk-through, complete with entertainment, food and refeshments, pony, horse, and carriage rides, and Santa!
Backyard Vineyards has two events going on this month. On December 8th, from 12:00-5:00pm, is their Christmas Celebration, complete with live music by Jordan Burgess, complimentary tapas and a sampling of their latest releases. Please bring a donation of an unwrapped gift, for the Langley Christmas Bureau. On December 24th, from 12:00-4:00pm, is their Christmas Eve Celebration, complete with complimentary spiced wine, Christmas cookies, and some sweet Christmas specials.

Chilliwack
Rotary Christmas Parade Dec 7th 4:00-7:00pm Christmas market, ornament making and a parade!
Minter Garden Centre December Activities including pet photos with Santa, indoor train rides, Christmas photo op area, crafts, movie nights, and whole host of other things

Harrison
Dec 7: Festival of Trees at Harrison Hot Springs Hotel
Dec 7&8: Christmas Merchants Open Houses in Harrison Village, day long.
Dec 15: CPR Christmas Train 6:30pm Matt Dusk and Melanie Doane perform on the wonderfully lit trains, please bring donations for your local food bank.
Dec 21: Christmas Stable and Farm House Open House at Farm House Cheese Dec 21, 10:00am-5:00pm, Nativity display, apple cider & cookies, a draw, and in-store specials.

Hope
Winter Carnival in the Park Dec 14 11:00am-7:00pm Christmas market, snowman building, hockey shootout, toboggan rides and more!