My Neck of the Woods, Sept. 16

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Hello all! Happy Friday, wherever you are in the world!

Yep, the scrapbook has gotten renamed again! But this time, I’m very fond of the name and it’s here to stay. So welcome to My Neck of the Woods, where I catch up on life and goings-on around here.

I haven’t heard anything about my visa application yet, but I’m not really expecting to for a few more weeks at least if the 30-business-day trend continues. It’s not long at all, given that applicants who didn’t go the Priority route have been waiting 63-90 business days for their visas! For the first little while I was unable to concentrate on anything enjoyable, focusing nervously on the application and not doing much else. But I’ve relaxed a bit, broke the artist block I was in because of the anxiety, and I’m enjoying life as much as I can right now. I light three to four candles every morning, hoping their energy will count for something.
image2This particular trio fills the apartment with the unsettling scent combination of banana bread, lavender, and pumpkin. I love those scents, but they seem somehow blasphemous at the same time.

Thankfully, the weather has cooled down as the equinox quickly approaches, and I feel so much more energetic and refreshed these days. I’m starting to be able to layer up and be cozy under my blankets instead of sitting in swampy heat and sweating to death. Murphy and Monkey are more comfortable during their walks and remain perky instead of getting sluggish. The girls and I are planning long walks to G. Ross Lord Park, Promenade Mall, and all the shops around Dufferin & Steeles.

Our neighbours’ cat, Bailey, has been coming inside a lot lately and spending ours purring and chilling out on our couches. We’ve been feeding him and giving him treats and love for a very long time, but these are the first instances of him staying longer than ten minutes at a time.14355116_10154057484413337_7503008010750027387_n14355614_10154057484158337_2195543747097910228_n14364691_10154057484228337_8580115238068115292_n14333674_10154057484483337_5186480058178604516_nIt’s really nice to have a cat hanging around, purring and headbutting and snoozing in our blankets.

Lately I’ve been quite motivated to work with Susie and Liat to compile a beautiful family cookbook to share with the world. I’m starting the planning basics, such as what to include, what to test and properly measure out, the illustrations and photos to put in it, and what to call it. I want to annex my mother into the fun of this as well, if she’s willing, and I think I’d like the book to be called Two Mothers, Two Daughters. I’m really excited about this!

Planning this book has given me huge motivation to start cooking again. I was burnt out for ages, and as Liat is generally the resident chef (and a damn good one at that), I haven’t really felt any inspiration to prepare nice food. I didn’t do much of it when I was in England, either, mostly because I felt really awkward in a kitchen that wasn’t mine! Jonno thinks it’s all a myth that I’ve ever really cooked at all, and he teases me a lot about it!

But the truth is, I absolutely love to cook and bake! I pulled down Ma’s old Betty Crocker cookbook, 1980 edition, which has seen so much use and abuse that it’s stained, ripped, and I’ve had to tape the cover’s spine back on. It sure saw a lot of love and it will continue to do so in my hands. I flipped through it, recalling all the things Ma made when I was growing up, and I got so inspired. So Liat went grocery shopping and picked up the ingredients I needed for everything I wanted to make.

Last night we cooked together when Susie was here for her weekly visit, with me making meatloaf from the special meatball recipe Ma used to make every single Sunday (this recipe will be in the family cookbook!), and Liat made garlic mashed cauliflower. We added Yorkshire puddings and Brussells sprouts to the meal, and we really feasted. It was my first time making that meatball recipe for the girls and Susie, and they absolutely loved it. I did you proud, Ma!
image3I really need to work on my food photography for the cookbook…

Anyway.

It was actually Ma’s birthday on the 14th. Lord, do I ever miss that woman. I keep wishing I could just call her and tell her everything that’s been going on. In case she was listening, I told her happy birthday and lit a candle in memory.

To end this post, check it out! I’m getting ready to do my civic duty! 🙂vote-bugger
What’s up in your neck of the woods, friends? Tell me about it here or in Facebook!

Love and light,

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