I saw two movies, Charlotte's Web and Night At The Museum, both tremendously fun. I told Kali and her friend Liv that I didn't like Charlotte's Web because it game me allergies, making my nose and eyes run. Even ten year old girls don't believe me when I say "Boy's don't cry." Kalon and I saw the other movie, while Dave stayed home with Cullen. He loves hanging about the house with the young lad, and Kalon is happy to get out for a break from his terrible two's. I didn't get to see as much of Dave, but we all had a great time, and I didn't stay too long. Everybody felt the visits could have gone longer. The best time to leave, so you still look forward to the next trip.
It's an interesting culinary adventure when I go to Canada. Aaron and Sonya have quite a restricted diet, even more than I so it is pretty laid back for me. They don't use much seasoning, which is also a nice break for me, kind of a relaxing of the taste buds and a respite. I cook the majority of what I eat now, so it is certainly nice to have the break.
In Duncan with Dave and Kalon and the kids it is different. Some food sensitivities there as well, and Dave is vegetarian due to an animal protein intolerance which creates particularly nasty kidney stones. The rest of the family gets a little more meat when I'm around, and in addition to dusting off my old seafood recipe, I tried using fish instead of chicken for part of my buttery tasting pilsner marinade. Something more is needed, but it was quite a hit anyway, disappearing before the chicken did. I was especially tickled their friend with a gourmet spice business quite enjoyed the repast.
So, I end up cooking quite a bit in Duncan, but I don't mind as I don't have to clean up. I generally clean up as I go, rinsing/stacking utensils, tossing trash, and wiping counter and stove tops as I go. Not having to actually wash everything when you're all done is a treat for me. The older kids, Jade and Kali, look forward to my visits, in addition to taking them to plays and movies, they really like my cooking. Thus far my reputation as a gourmet chef is safe with them.
On the way home it was another adventure. We got to Victoria in plenty of time for the Noon Clipper on Christmas Eve, but the seas picked up and they delayed. There weren't any buses available, due to vacation trips and driver vacations, so we waited and waited. We finally departed about 7:30 PM, and by then it was one of the smoothest rides ever. I've got another letter for a half price coupon. Third trip in a row, as my last round trip returned December 30th of last year. My next two trips will be half price. I may have to go for a short trip to Denman Island this Summer when it coincides with a trip down south for Aaron or Sonya. Longer trips in the nice weather are the time for motorcycle travel. They are good for a year, and this year's trip was redeemed on the 13th, for this round trip. I now have two coupons which expire on the 13th and 24th of December next year. Maybe I'll give one away, or go up for Thanksgiving again.
Speaking of cold and motorcycles. The roads were icy the last two mornings, so I wasn't even tempted to ride to work -- much. The only down side I've encountered with the weight loss so far, is the cold. I've lost 35-40 pounds of insulation the last five months, and I'm freaking freezing all the time. If I get chilled, I'll wander around with my heavy sweatshirt and coat on in the house or office for an hour or more. I get chilled easier, but on the up side I can generally get warmed up faster too. The funny thing is I have a wide tolerance range. My brother has a very narrow range, and keeps his house frigid year around. I spent Christmas evening there, and wore the double coats for a while. As I was falling asleep, he turned up the gas fireplace a bit, and I shed coats over the night, waking up in my short sleeved shirt. Funny, as in the Summer it is the other way around. Riding the motorcycle in the cold weather is a little less comfortable than previous years. Here's hoping my metabolism adjusts in a timely manner.
I bought one of my presents for myself on Wednesday. A Zojirushi rice cooker, per BD's recommendation. The first batch of rice I made Wednesday night, was still better this morning, 36 hours later, than the rice out of my old cooker which scorched everything. I sprinkled a little water on it yesterday, and my worries it would get soggy were unfounded. This is a big deal, as I generally dink around in the morning until I get my shower, then I rush out the door. Having warm rice available means I can usually have a quick bite to eat, as I'm rarely motivated to cook or even reheat anything in the morning. I generally have fruit at work or on the drive, and a little warm rice is an important addition, and will often be my breakfast, as well as keeping my body from switching to famine mode by skipping anything substantial in the morning.
I think I'll do a little more experimenting with seafood in the next few weeks. I'm considering re-starting the elimination diet in 2-4 weeks, as my metabolism has changed. In the meantime I'll start having fun with seafood, which I like a lot and have neglected of late. Visiting Dave, who can eat fish but not meat, got me back onto seafood again. I have it a lot when I go out, but after finding out several years ago my favorites like blue marlin, mahi mahi, swordfish, and such were again on the decline and tending towards toxicity thanks to Bush's weakening of environmental protections, I got away from all seafood. Well, time to delve back in.