Goodbye to the frogs that live in the pool. So long to the trees and rocks and the carpets of moss. Catch you later maple leaves as big as my head. Later, you magnificent rocky beaches, big fat robins on the lawn and fresh mountain air. Let's do this again some time.
In five days, we will be leaving our campground that we've called home since November, catching the ferry and heading to the mainland. I think we are both excited to hit the road again, even though our funds are low, and the weather back home is still touch and go. We both like to be on the move, and even though I am not quite mentally prepared to move back to a winter wonderland, we can feel it's time. We are going to be taking our time on the way home. We will be in Vancouver on Monday and Tuesday, so if anyone wants to get together, email us and let us know, and maybe we can plan something, and if all goes to plan, we will be in Armstrong by Wednesday night, and we'll be staying there until I get paid on Friday. We will be doing a short stop in Regina to drop off the camper, if it doesn't fall apart before then, and then we'll be going to Kamsack for a couple days before we both have to get back to work.
It's amazing how fast time flies. The past six months have been all about seeing new things, and meeting new people, and rubbing all our good weather in Saskatchewan's face. The next three months will be all about seeing old friends and family, going back to old jobs, and enjoying the hell out of a Saskatchewan summer.
Leaving is bittersweet, but knowing that we'll be back in the area in a few months makes it easier. So highway drivers, keep your eyes peeled for a patched up little green bean next week, and instead of pointing and laughing, feel free to throw gas money at us. Or do both. Whatever floats your boat.
There is only one highway from Victoria to Nanaimo, and we live on it. Which means that when something happens, such as a tanker truck full of fuel crashing into the side of the mountain and spilling said fuel all over the highway and into the Goldstream River, they have to close the highway completely. As I write this, that portion of the highway still isn't open to traffic, and it's been about 20 hours.
I finished work last night at 8pm, and took my short cut to the highway, excited to get home. Right away I noticed that traffic was backed up, but I didn't see any emergency vehicles or signs so, I just stayed put, and went with the flow. After 20 minutes of slow moving, I got to the last intersection before the Malahat, and saw that it was closed. Police officer informed me of the accident, said it would be at least eight hours before they could let people through. Ugh. I yelled a curse word or two at the steering wheel, and headed back to work to use their phone to call Zach. After not coming up with any ideas on how to get home, I ended up sleeping at work. Thank goodness I work at a group home, anybody else leaving work last night didn't have that option.
I got up bright and early, around 6am, bought a coffee and hit the highway again. This time, there wasn't a back up of traffic, so I figured since it had been about 10 hours, it would be open. But no, at the last bend before the Malahat, I realized it was closed again. FOR GODS SAKES HIGHWAY PEOPLE, PUT UP A DAMN SIGN OR SOMETHING NEXT TIME....is what I was thinking. I asked a flag person what was going on, they said at least another 6 hours before they could let anyone through....argh.
I turned around and headed to the Shell station down the road, and soon learned that many people had to actually spend the night at the gas station, at least I had a couch to sleep on. I bought a phone card, after learning that our home phone doesn't accept collect calls, and got a hold of Zach to let him know I was following some other people and giving Finlayson Arm Road a shot. It was either that, or drive to Port Renfrew, and do the Pacific Marine tour again.
Luckily, they were letting people through on the twisty turny back road a few at a time, and I was there early enough that traffic wasn't backed up there. It was a beautiful drive, under different circumstances, I would have enjoyed it so much more. Maybe even stop to take a few pictures of the sunlight bouncing on the ocean. I was home by 9am, only 13 hours after my first attempt.
There are still people stranded up here, and down there. The Legion opened its doors and let people stay, the pubs and hotels and gas stations in that area were jammed last night. Some people stayed in their vehicles on the highway all night.
It blows my mind that a city like Victoria only has one major route out. Yes, there are other roads, going other places, and if you have a map and some knowledge of the area, you can get places eventually. This is just one of the many many times this highway has been closed. This was just one drunk semi driver, and look at the mess this has caused. If there was an earthquake, and people needed to evacuate, most would never get out. Which is something that people who live in the city, and don't leave it, don't think about when they reject ideas to build another route out. They don't want traffic going past their house, they don't want to pay for the work....but they sure as hell will want that road when a disaster happens, no doubt about it.
But, I'm exhausted, so no time to rant about shitty highways, and shitty people. I just hope that the road is opened tomorrow so I can get to work, and I hope that the clean up crew is getting somewhere, because a fuel spill at Goldstream? That's not easy to fix.
When Zach and I first got settled here on the island, we quickly realized we weren't going to have the money to be going into the city, and going out every night. Gas is expensive yo, and so is booze. We didn't have a TV yet, but luckily we had a bunch of TV series on the computer to watch when we were bored. Neither of us had watched "House" when it started, but we did start watching it last winter from the beginning, and then promptly got busy with other things. Luckily, we still had seasons one through six on the hard drive, and thus began a nightly ritual of cuddling up on the bed with the dogs and watching hours of House before bed.
It didn't take us long to be hooked. Both of us looked forward to House time every night, and we became very invested in the lives of these fictional characters. Seriously, I still feel bad for hating Amber so much. I totally wished they would just kill her off already...and then they did. Yowza.
Other than a couple episodes from this current season, we ended our nightly House ritual when we ran out at the end of Season 6, and we're waiting until we can sit and watch all of Season 7 in order.
I hadn't thought much about our obsession with House until this evening. I was sitting here in bed playing stupid Facebook games, while Zach was working on the other computer, and listening to Radiohead. All of a sudden I felt this huge pang in my chest, and my eyes started to tear, and I felt so freaking sad, in every single cell of my body. I took a minute to compose myself, as I had no idea what was wrong, and then it hit me. It was the song. The song that was used at the beginning of the epic two hour premiere episode of House Season 6.
Apparently I still have some open wounds when it comes to Dr. House and his mental problems, that I may need counselling for.
I have tried out a few new recipes in the past few months, and have had to be a bit creative, what with not having an oven and all. Some things have turned out great, and some things not even Zach will eat...but it's been fun figuring things out, nonetheless.
My absolute favorite recipe I came up with this winter is super easy and yummy, and with summer coming I thought I'd share it here. If you try it, let me know how it turns out and what you think!
We had a month or so this winter when money was really tight, and we were eating the kinds of foods that we ate when we were in our early twenties. We were eating a lot of Kraft dinner, ravioli, spaghetti with nothing on it...you get the picture. We happened to have a ton of canned tuna on hand, which was nice for casseroles and sandwiches, but that gets old fast. I was craving a burger one day, knowing that I couldn't have one, and asked the internet for tuna alternatives. I found a bunch of different recipes for tuna burgers and patties, but I didn't like everything about them...so I did some mixing and matching, and voila! A burger not made of beef that even a hungry boy like Zach loves. He actually gets excited when he sees me making them now, and that makes a wife feel all warm and fuzzy, I tells ya.
One Day These Will Be Known as Great Grandma Anna's Tuna Burgers
( I'm still working on that title there)
What you need:
2-3 cans of flaked tuna, drained
1/4 cup of quick oats
one tbsp. beef OXO powder
1/3 cup of finely chopped onion
one tsp. dried dill
2 shakes of black pepper
Only if you got 'em extra ingredients: blue cheese, crushed garlic
Throw all these ingredients into a bowl, and mix well. Shape into burger patties, and refridgerate for at least 2 hours, so they hold their shape. Depending on how large you make your burgers, this recipe should get you 4-8 patties.
Once chilled, lightly grease a frying pan/grill with your favorite grease ( margerine, oil, what have you), and heat. Once pan is heated, throw on the patties. Flip once bottom is starting to brown, cook until lightly browned and crispy on both sides. If BBQ'ing, make sure to grease the burger a tad so they don't stick to the grill. These are a bit more fragile that beef burgers, as they don't have all that fat to keep them together.
Serve as you would a regular burger, with all the fixings, or on it's own. I like put mine as a topping on a big salad, or just on rice if we don't have buns.