“I’m Kinda Like A Cinnamon Bun”

A few days ago, Colin and I went to the grocery store together. I have a serious love/hate relationship with grocery shopping with him, because he can be very indecisive about food.

Me: “Hun, do you want me to make that balsamic pasta with steak that you like?”

Colin: “Hmmm…..no…that’s ok, we have lots of stuff in the freezer.”

Me: “Alrighty. Should we get some fruit?”

Colin: “Nah, can’t think of anything I really want.”

And then a few days later, I discover that we don’t actually have any ingredients that would create a meal, and that the only moderately healthy snack in the house are stalks of broccoli.

So maybe indecisive isn’t the right word. He just gets bored in the grocery store and wants to get out as quickly as possible. Give that man a list and he is a wonder at getting it all in the cart in under five minutes. I like to leisurely wander the aisles, tossing items in like I’m Cameron Diaz in The Holiday. I like to drink wine in the checkout line too. If only they would let me!

So the other day I convinced Colin to come to the store with me. We were leisurely strolling the bread section when I saw the most delicious looking cinnamon buns ever.

Ok, that’s a lie. They only looked really good because I haven;t eaten a cinnamon bun in three months. But damnit, I wanted them. So I said to Colin:

“Ooooo Colin look! Cinnamon buns! Let’s get them! Do you want them!”

(Look at how good and compromise-y and relationship-y I am!)

Colin responded with this:


Commence staring at the cinnamon buns for approximately three hours.

“My dear darling, love of my life, yes or no? Because my thighs are starting speak up, and they doth protest. But the rest of me still approves, and would like you to make a decision quickly.”

Or something like that.

Colin just stared, clearly thinking quite intently at the cinnamon buns. By this time, my thighs had won out and were walking me to the fruit and veg. But not for long! When we headed to the checkout counter, we began to approach the cinnamon bun display again, and both got very excited.

Yes indeed, my friends. I was going to take those cinnamon buns home with me whether Colin wanted them or not. Hell, I would eat the half dozen myself. I need not share to make this relationship work, right? But Colin seemed to have rethought his previous…thinking…and was also going for the cinnamon buns. Joy!


Someone had already beat me to the cinnamon buns. In the fifteen minutes of browsing, bagging and sorting I had done in the fruit and veg, someone had swiped my rolls of morning deliciousness.

Was I sad? No my friends. I did not despair. I turned it into a teaching moment for Colin.

Me: “Hey hun?”

Colin: “Yeah?”

Me: “I think I’m kinda like a cinnamon bun.”

Colin: “(Please insert a raised eyebrow here)”

Me: “Well, I’m kinda like the cinnamon bun. Just sitting here, waiting for you to make a decision, you know. But maybe you take too long, making the decision, maybe you walk around a while thinking about it, and then WHAM! Someone else comes and picks up this here cinnamon bun. And then you’re sad and without your beloved cinnamon bun. How does that make you feel?”

Colin: “Uh-huh. I see what you did there.”

Me: “I have no idea what you are talking about.”


200 Motorcycles

Yesterday was a pretty normal day. I was working at the Cox Bay office in Tofino. It was a busy, sunny, totally normal day.

And then the cops showed up.

I always get excited when the cops park in the parking lot. Are they doing seatbelt checks? Looking for speeders? Will I get to see them arrest someone? CAN I SEE YOUR GUN?


Anywho, so the cop parks in the parking lot. He pulls out an orange traffic cone and starts walking down the bike path. He walks back, without the cone, and comes inside the office.

“I’m going to be escorting some motorcyclists into town in about fifteen minutes. They’ll be pulling into the parking lot. In the meantime, I’ll be at the beach.”

We were all a little confused as to why a couple of motorcyclists would need a police escort into town…unless of course one of those motorcyclists was George Clooney finally coming to propose marriage to me, in which case I totally get it. Safety first!

About twenty minutes later, we see this:

Well, that certainly is a few motorcycles.

Oh, Wow. Hey there.

That is certainly more than “a few”.

Yeah. Crazy, right? But wait, it gets crazier.

Who’s that dork in the Parks uniform?

Oh right, that’s me.

Turns out that what Mr. Policeman called “a few motorcyclists” was actually an even 200. And they were filming for a BBC program where some guy rides around the world on a motorcycle, gathering people as he goes. By the time he reached Tofino, he had amassed this many people!

I think the camera caught me standing on the deck watching it all happen, so when this crazy show airs, keep an eye out for me. I’m freaking famous!


What Happened Today

Today I cried at work.

I hate it when people cry at work. It makes me very angry. I firmly believe in the Kelly Cutrone patented “if you have to cry, go outside” style of management. There is no crying in the workplace. There is no crying in baseball!

Sorry, I’ve been watching to watch A League of Their Own for a while now. Lines just keep popping out of my mouth.

“This is our daughter Dottie, and this is our other daughter, Dottie’s sister”.


Back to my situation at work today. I am giving myself a pass on crying at work today because it all happened as a result of me being an emotional mushball, and the fact that it had absolutely nothing to do with work. No bosses yelling, no employee drama, just a regular old tourist finding ways to make me cry. But in the nicest of possible ways!

I saw an older, somewhat gruff looking man and woman, both wearing Winnipeg Fire Department shirts, walk in while I finished with a group of German tourists. As soon as I saw the shirt I knew I had to ask.

“Which one of you worked for the Winnipeg Fire Department?”

The older gentleman replied that he had. I told him the my grandpa had been the fire chief there. He asked for his name, and when I gave it, his face broke into a grin.

“I worked with your grandpa for years!”

I laughed and said something about a small world. We chatted for a minute about how I came to be living on the coast, so very far from Winnipeg. I asked if he had been to my grandpa’s funeral in 2007.

“Yes, I sure was. One thing about your grandpa, he was a damned good cook.”

And that was it. Big old tears started up in my eyes, so I laughed again and asked what his favorite recipes were.

I was trying so hard to keep it all in that I forgot to ask the man’s name. He and his wife both shook my hand and told me what a nice man my grandpa was before taking their park pass and heading out the door.

I held it together for a little while, then excused myself to the back room to cry my big old tears like a big old baby. Then I wiped my grody, tear-stained face clean and went back to work.

I’m still a bit surprised at the amount of luck that went into creating that moment. That man could have bypassed the info center and gone straight into town. He could have talked to anyone else at the desk. I could have decided not to mention the writing on his shirt. So many things could have happened to prevent that conversation, but yet there I was, crying in the back room because some nice man knew how good of a cook my grandpa was.

Damn it tourists, I love you.

Cherry Crumb Cake

On Monday, a ten pound box of cherries arrived at my door. Despite having a whole week to prepare for their arrival, i had no clue what to do with them. I spent last night pitting them with a handheld cherry pitter. I had given away about two pounds before I started, and thank goodness for that because I had dreams last night that my hand had fallen off.

I froze one giant freezer bag of pitted cherries for smoothies. Colin is on a big smoothie kick right now and has promised under pain of death not to add anything green to my smoothies. The cherries were part of the incentive to keep the damn spinach out of my morning  banana blueberry glass of deliciousness. That left one other big bag of pitted cherries for me to deal with today.

I couldn’t be bothered to go to the store to buy shortening for pie crust. I didn’t want to make any sort of pie. I didn’t want muffins or cupcakes or cherry sauce or anything else I saw on the food blogs or in my cookbooks.

So I invented something.

Badass right?

I had no idea how it was going to turn out. There was a very distinct possibility that I could have wasted that entire bag of delicious cherries on a total flop that even Colin wouldn’t eat. But no, it’s amazing. Totally, freaking amazing.

Cherry Crumb Cake

  • 6 tablespoons butter at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2  eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup sour cream
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 cups fresh, pitted cherries, divided
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and line a 9 inch cake pan with a circle of parchment paper.

In a large bowl, cream together the sugar and the butter until combined. Stir in the eggs completely. Stir in the vanilla and sour cream.

In another bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and stir gently until just combined. Lumps are ok here, the cherries will help break those up. Fold in one cup of cherries. Pour the batter into the greased pan , smoothing the top.

Halve the remaining cup of cherries and arrange in a circle, cut side down, on top of the cake batter. Sprinkle the brown sugar evenly on top of the cake. Bake for 40-50 minutes, until the cake is browned and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

You can top it with powdered sugar or be wild and crazy like me and top it with homemade cherry chocolate chip ice cream.I’m badass, haven;t you heard?

Search Terms

One of my favorite things to check on my site stats is how people have found my blog. There’s a super handy tool that tells you what search terms people are using that lead them to your blog. And my goodness, they are interesting.


“picture of unsafe bald tire”

“tofino “cheap food””

  • Good luck with that, my friend.

“middle of the night dog rescues in amish country”

  • At first I didn’t understand, but then I remembered this!

“why do sea otters steal each others babies?”

  • Indeed! Also, why are they so mean? Why do they bite each others faces? Why are they so cute yet so incredibly evil?

“kelsey vicars”

  • Kelsey, if you are reading this, someone is internet stalking you via my blog. Unless that was just you googling yourself, in which case, all is well!

“marriage proposal in tofino”

  • For MEEE?

“why amish people fascinate me”

  • I hope I gave this person some insight. Amish people = pinnacle of coolness.
I do get several searches for “tofino” and “working in tofino” and “tofino giant squid”, which is my personal favorite. Always delightful, giant squid. We should all learn more!
Today is a day off at last. Tomorrow Colin and I are driving across island to Nanaimo to see Harry Potter! Momma is meeting us there to hang out and accompany me to Costco, as mothers do know best when it comes to grocery shopping. In the meantime, I’m a cherry pitting machine and baking up tons of deliciousness. Recipes and pictures to come!






A Very Memorable Night

Put on your judgeypants!

Last Tuesday Colin, Carolyn and I went to a fashion show for the various clothing stores in Tofino.  Having attended several fashion shows of various caliber throughout my life due to both sister’s ventures into modeling, I had expectations. High ones. Here’s a link to an Oscar de la Renta show I worked at this spring for Bisou Bridal. See? Pretty! Organized! Clean!

Not to say that I’m some kind of fashion show snob. Natalie’s the one who went to Market Week in New York, so if you want to find someone who has a legitimate claim to being a fashion show snob, take yourself to Nat. I just like a little effort and a good show. However, when the show was clearly not going to start on time (it was advertised to start at 9, people were still rigging up projectors at 9:15) I started getting right cranky.

Hi Carl! I knew we were in trouble when I saw the BED SHEET being stapled to the wall….

But then I realized that the bed sheet stapled to the wall was being used to tell me that I was going to watch a fashion show. Informative!

And then the entertainment began! Please also note the floor decorations, which consisted of crushed rhododendron flowers and curled up pieces of ribbon.

That hula hoop right there? About 10 seconds later it flew off those garter-covered legs into my lap. Please imagine Alex’s “not impressed” face now in order to comprehend my feelings toward the hula hooping.

Tofino-chic, no?

After a lengthy (45 minute) break that I did not understand the reason for, the hula-hooping resumed. This time, rather than me getting hit in the shins, someone else got smacked in the face. No one told me to bring my protective gear to the fashion show!

After the second round of hula-hooping came the ‘naughty’ portion of the fashion show, which was shockingly tame except for a few bare bums provided by the men of Ocean Outfitters, who wore only aprons down the runway.

Some other oddities of note:

– lady attempting to blow gigantic bubbles splashing soap water all over the carpet (and crowd).

– people riding a gold sphinx attached to a skateboard

– sparklers

– a group weed session outside the show

– male models acting like dogs while lady models held the ‘leashes’

I know it sounds like I had an awful time. I’ll admit, I wasn’t at all impressed with having to pay ten dollars to sit and wait for forty minutes, get hit with a hula hoop and then get splashed with soapy water. I also wasn’t impressed with having the tech guys’ crotch in my face while he attempted to rig the projector into place with what looked like dental floss.

I thoroughly enjoyed the show and the clothing and that fact that everyone was having such an awesome time. People really had fun and were clearly relishing their own Tofino brand of fun and fashion. So sue me, it wasn’t mine, but it was a fun night.

Except for the rhododendrons on the floor. Never fun.


Company’s Coming!

Today, despite the massive amounts of “liquid sunshine” pouring from the skies, I am excited. We have visitors coming! Yay!

Also, whoever came up with the term “liquid sunshine” to make rain seem happier needs a lobotomy. I like a nice rainy day only as long as it allows me to hibernate in my house with hot chocolate and Orlando Bloom movies. I got that on Wednesday, so why is this weather still hanging around?

Oh right, I live in a place where the average rainfall hovers around 13 feet. I feel like if someone hugs me hard enough I might leak like a damn dish rag.

Nut enough about the weather, we have VISITORS! Better yet, visitors with DAGS!! Or dogs. Or widdles, if your name is Tarah. I’m just shaking with excitement. Like a widdle!

I’m terribly sorry if none of this is making sense. All I want is a cinnamon dolce latte and my yoga pants, but instead I’m furiously typing this before my shift starts, wearing uncomfortable high waisted pants. Life, it is a trial.

But alas, tonight I am making homemade perogies! I have never made them on my own before. I was always relegated to pinching the dough while my Baba or Papa worked the magic. But tonight, my friends, tonight is the night that I embrace the Ukrainian in me. I have my wooden spoon ready with which I will whack any wayward children (not that I’m expecting any children in my kitchen, but you never know!). I have vodka and Pepsi (or, “wodka and pessi” as Baba always called it) and mint tea. It shall be an extravaganza.

I do have a lot to post about last week, which included a wonderfully weird fashion show and some honestly great weather, but those will have to wait for the moment. I promise, lots and lots of pictures in the next one, and a post about the perogies too!