About Me

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Born in the US, raised on the Mediterranean island of Cyprus, lived in Italy, the US, and Canada. Lover of language, travel, colour, and the natural world.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Poppies, red raspberries & dreams

It is gratitude Monday, and this is what I am grateful for today.

1. My Spring view today in downtown Charlottetown while I walked the dog...

You know....instead of this

2. Friends that walk all the way across town to meet me for supper before turning around and going all the way back across town for an evening class.

3. The delicious meals I have had today, made using local beef, local potatoes, local carrots, and so much more. It is wonderful to live somewhere that has such a bountiful harvest.

4. Home made raspberry jam and almond butter on gluten free bread. Read: take raspberries, put them in a saucepan, turn the heat on, melt them down into liquid, spread thickly over almond butter while still warm. This is what it looks like when done:

Ok so I nibbled. YOU try not taking a bite of something that looks that good. I dare you. ;-)

4. My mother. It being mother's day on Sunday and my being so far away from her and all....She is a pretty awesome lady. I don't know how I would have gotten this far without her.

5. Public buses. Because I have had a pinched nerve in my leg/foot all weekend and have had a numb right foot and calf, which makes walking rather tiring. I especially love public buses here, and the way the drivers know every single one of their passengers, and wait when someone they know should be on the bus is not there.

6. Hot baths. Because after taking one everything that seemed just too much to tackle somehow seems doable again.

7. Friends who invite me to house sit as I will be doing for the second half of this week. I cannot wait to be in a home all by myself for a few days.

8. My work. Because even when it is tough and overwhelming, as it is right now,  it is never boring. I am always learning something new, and being challenged to improve my skills to better represent and promote my clients and their products/services.

9. My bed. You got it. The only thing between me and it right now is my computer. Time to sign off!

And you, friends? What are you grateful for on this Spring Monday? 

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Rainy Wednesday ramblings

This morning I attended a press conference at which the winner of PEI Burger Love was announced. PEI Burger Love is an annual event that is a month long in which any local restaurant that would like to participate creates a burger using local beef. Diners get to visit all participating locations, enjoy one of the creations, and vote for their favourite burger. PEI's most loved burger for 2012 is called the Goddess--a Mediterranean inspired burger that will remain on the Papa Joe's menu now for a while -- maybe a year?

Being a social media content manager is an interesting job. My work varies from being out in fields in rubber boots taking photographs of farmers harvesting the first Rhubarb of the season to sitting in a press conference next to the Minister of Agriculture, as I was today. I love the diversity of activities when I am telling the story of place, land and people. I have yet to see how I feel about social media work that does not involve agriculture or food. Stay tuned. I am sure I will have more to say about that soon!

It was pouring today. Buckets and buckets of rain. I had to dry myself off with a paper towel before entering the press conference as unlike most of my peers, I walked to the event this morning. Nothing like being drenched for keeping up professional appearances. After the press conference I walked back downtown, updated Facebook & Twitter on my computer instead of a device that thus far drives me crazy (HOW many times do I have to hit a letter before I actually SEE that letter instead of the one next to it? I miss old school buttons on phones), and then dashed around the corner to a little Thai restaurant where one of my best friends and I shared a bowl of coconut, shrimp and mushroom soup with sticky rice while we watched the rain falling endlessly outside.

This afternoon I re-settled at Starbucks. I usually avoid chains, but whenever I feel like being anonymous, or just seeing people I would not ordinarily ever see I go to Starbucks. I find it interesting that the people who frequent Starbucks are such a different crowd from those who go to the Farmer's market, Leonhard's or Young Folk & the Kettle Black -- my favourite hangouts. I guess it would make sense that people who like chains would not be the same people who support local establishments, but I still find it amazing what a steady stream of customers flowed through Starbucks this afternoon while I was working.

This evening I took the bus home. It was still raining and I was damp and cold, and not up for more trudging through puddles with my wet shoes and socks. I am not complaining -- it is where I am at -- but it often feels these days like I am running a marathon every day just to barely keep up with those around me who are doing almost the same thing I am. I know it is just a phase--not having officially started my new job yet, and not having my own apartment or transportation yet just means a lot of my day is spent walking or seeing things that would make life easier but that I cannot really afford yet. I am learning to be patient, and to be my own cheerleader. I have started singing while I walk. And praying. Today I sang "It's gonna be a bright, bright sunshiny day!" It didn't make me any less wet, but it did keep me moving forward at lightening speed....ok so the rain contributed to my pace, but the singing definitely helped!

It is almost 8.30pm. I am signing out. Working in social media means I live on the computer. While I love what I do, I do not love being on a computer this much, and it takes a lot of effort to convince myself to blog at the end of a long day of posting and monitoring numbers for my clients. But for today I have turned up, and been present with you, readers. And now I am going to go be present with myself for a little while before sleep. Wherever you are in the world, I hope you are having a lovely day. Thank you for reading!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Springtime on the island

It has been too long since I last wrote. Way. Too. Long. It is one thing to write when writing is all you are doing really. It is another thing to learn how to balance writing with the rest of life's responsibilities. Today started off drizzly. Grey. Moist air dampened my coat as I walked downtown this morning. But by this afternoon, after a long day of work, the sun had come out and the sky was that lovely clear blue vault that you dream of in the heart of winter. A friend came to meet me after work and we went and sat on a bench in the sunshine and talked. Above us a tree still bare of leaves was covered with the first swollen nodes of buds. We sat there for about an hour. Recounting our days. Laughing. Wishing out loud that our favourite Asian restaurant was open as it would have been the perfect way to end the day. Sharing our struggles. Closing our eyes and turning our faces up to the sun to soak up its golden rays. Contemplating going to a movie that it turned out was no longer showing. And just sitting silently. Eventually the wind started cooling off so we collected our many bags and started off for home, taking the Confederation trail so we could enjoy birdcall instead of exhaust fumes, and then climbing up over the green grassy hill of the Experimental Farm, skirting the lily pond to see whether the lilies have begun blossoming (they haven't), and finally parting ways as my friend settled in for a relaxing evening at home and I continued my walk home along the long, cracked pavement, past That's Entertainment video store, past the funeral home, past the house with the long driveway shrouded with trees, past the pharmacy, the five way intersection, the gas station, the other gas station and the fire station. Punching in the door code to the apartment building I am currently living in, I climbed the stairs feeling heavy and tired, dropped my stuff on the kitchen floor, and cooked supper in the warm sunlight that was pouring in the living room window and making white light dance across the ceiling in geometric shapes. I sat and ate supper on the only kitchen stood in the house and listened to my house mate Minnie (who is in her 80s) tell me stories of when there were no roads or snow plows. When it took all day to drive the horse-drawn buggy the 15 mile journey to the nearest town (Montague) for supplies. How children did not go to school in the Spring or Fall because the unpaved clay roads would turn to mud that was impassable. I thought: I would have liked to live at a time when there were no cars and we got from place to place by horse. I shared this thought with Minnie, thinking she would shake her head and tell me that it wasn't nearly as romantic as I imagine it to be. She doesn't -- only smiles and nods -- agreeing that it was a magical way to get around despite taking so much longer. She tells me about planting potatoes by hand, leaving a row in between for the soil to be turned back over the parallel row, keep the potatoes from getting sunburn. Buckets, she says. We did not have baskets. Just buckets. Ten acres with a bucket. Can you imagine? she asks me. It took forever. I can imagine. Being dog tired at the end of the day, dragging yourself inside for a short, exhausted but contented sleep before getting up to do it all again.

Minnie is asleep now. I can hear her breathing in the next room. Outside the sky is crisp and clear, the stars are bright. I am looking forward to my book. To sleep. To getting up and doing it all over again.