Monday, November 14, 2011

Holly, our new Border Collie!

We would like to introduce you to the newest member of our family: Holly! She's an 8 week old border collie puppy that we got from a rescue two weeks ago. video

 As you can see, she basically sleeps and then runs around in her park, sleeps in 'dangerous places' and then does her business and then sleeps. It's hard work growing into a big dog! 

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

E! Engagement!

Hi wonderful Snorwegians, we are very sorry that we've been unfaithful bloggers! BUT! We have some very exciting news! Adam & I are engaged! Eee!

For those of you who know us personally, this came as no surprise. After living together for many years, travelling the globe and helping each other to accomplish many things, we've decided to celebrate all that gooey stuff with the rest of the world.

We had talked about it for a while, and throughout our entire time abroad, I half-expected Adam to pop the rock here:
The Fjord, Oslo.

And here...
North Devon, UK
Or here: 
London, UK
 I for sure thought it would happen here:

Barceloneta Beach, Barcelona

Or even: 
Parthenon, Athens
Maybe here:
Opera House, Oslo

As you can tell, I was expecting the proposal quite a few times in the past few months.... instead, it happened in just the right place, at just the right time (and I was surprised!!)

After a wonderful picnic in our favourite park, across from our apartment....
Adam had been so nice the whole night....
(our favourite feature of our park)
After our friends had all gone home, and I was doing the washing-up, he asked me if he would marry him!

Monday, July 25, 2011

The obligatory post acknowledging the recent tragedy in Norway.

5 million Norwegians, and thousands more over the world are grieving because of the hatred of one man.

When my family & I first moved to Phoenix, Arizona in the late 90's, we were shocked and appalled at the level of gun violence that (still) happens on a daily basis there. It affected us in many ways, but we always felt that as Canadians, we could distance ourselves from it, say, "it's the wild west" or associate the violence and destruction with an American 'other'. Years later, we moved back to Montreal, my parents feared that my sister and I had been too exposed to the violence. In middle & high school I had been targeted, along with a few other classmates by a student's delusional threat to harm us at school. That student was expelled, and a few months later he stabbed another 16 year old kid to death over a small quarrel. We were taught how to act during a school lock-down. We watched Columbine happen live from our classroom on TV.

So when we moved back to Montreal, we always thought, "that kind of thing never happens here." But it did. A disturbed coward walked into my sister's college (where my grandfather had taught, where my mom, grandmother and I had all gone) and shot eighteen year old Anastasia de Souza, and injured many more. My sister literally ran for her life. There are no words to explain what I feel I should write here. She is the strongest woman I know. I don't want to write that she is a victim, because she isn't. She's a survivor. People say that she'll live with it the rest of her life. And while it might be true, I don't want her to believe them. I want her to feel that at one point, she has suffered enough and will step out of her old armour and lead a new life. And she will. (Like a phoenix.)

Adam & I have learned a lot about Norway, and come to understand why everyone is so surprised that such a violent act happened on July 22, 2011. Scandinavians are known for being open, progressive, peaceful. Adam even said that his Norwegian history class at school was so boring because they stayed neutral during most wars and didn't have much happen. Security is almost a non-issue in the country, as Adam & I experienced every time we went in and out of the airport: we never got a passport stamp, a customs interrogation or even a bag check coming back into Norway. We only ever saw a handful of police authorities, and they don't carry guns. The subway works on the honour system. The Norwegians we encountered were reserved, kept to themselves and generally didn't bother each other. They hold the god-darn Nobel Peace Prize ceremonies there for crying out loud!

I don't think we can rely on the belief that there are places in the world where violence is not an issue.

I hope that those affected (to every degree) get the counselling and care that they need, but what does give me comfort is that the Norwegians know how to take care of their own people.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Best darn meal we've made this summer

Adam & I haven't eaten steak in about eight months. Snoreway's prices had a bit to do with that, but we also hate getting lower quality meat. So we've been saving our appetites & pennies for a good quality home-made steak meal.

After a trip to the Atwater Market, our new hook-up to local (and a few not-so-local) farmers goods, bags filled with filet mignon, a knob of ginger, a lime and a healthy-looking bok choy, we put our brains together in the kitchen (and got a little help from Jamie Oliver.)

Our own harvest: Balconville grows some seriously hot peppers!
This recipe called for one, finely chopped. 

1 bundle of bok choy

The juice of one lime (in my awesome inherited 50's style "Juice King")

One thumb-sized nub of ginger, grated. Also, half a clove of garlic, grated.

Duh. The meat. The recipe called for sirloin, but we used filet mignon. Salt & pepper for seasoning, then drop into very hot pan with oil. Sear on each side & cook according to taste. 

8 tablespoons of soy sauce. We used about 6 in the end. Once the steak is cooked, let it rest for two minutes. Then add the soy sauce, ginger, garlic, peppers and lime juice. Steam bok choy in salted water and plate up!

Dinner on the balcony!