This house, you guys

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

As y’all know, I look at a ton of houses (the number of Hey Homey posts is almost up to 150) on the daily and this is by far the ugliest house I have ever seen.  I don’t even know how I decided to click on it amidst the hundreds of real estate listings.  Maybe the antiquated awnings?  Or fate.  Probably fate.

The inside of this house is like a time capsule.  It’s as though someone sealed up the home 50 years ago and opened it up around a week ago.  For what it is, this house is pristine.  I think, actually I know, all of the original elements have been maintained, from the wallpaper to the carpet.  And even in its unbelievable ugliness, I couldn’t help but keep coming back to look at this house.  The colour combinations in each room and the design elements are so horrid as to be charming, if not only to make me wonder and marvel at what possessed someone to make those original decisions and also keep it that way for the last 50+ years.  The breakfast nook might be my favourite room out of all of them because wallpaper.  And can someone tell me what that floor is?  Is that carpet?   ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

PS - This house is going for over half a mil.  Just thought you ought to know.

While you were sleeping

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

I’ve been spending the majority of my life waiting for things.  This endless treadmill cycles on and on with no light at the end of the tunnel.  There is no promise of an end in sight, not even a false one.  Meanwhile, I get smaller and yell louder.

So that explains how, while you were sleeping, I anxiously chewed my fingernails to a nub.  I tapped and twisted and fidgeted, staying still was never my strong suit.  I was pensive and then manic, vacillating between the two every few minutes.  I ranted and raved.  In a moment, I calmed down on my own, pushing the lid back down on the bubbling pot and holding the contents at bay at a low simmer.  Instead,

I baked and cooked up a breakfast feast for midday snacking.  When I ran out of ingredients, I hopped over to the grocery store and cleaned out their entire supply of butter and eggs.  Every surface of the apartment became covered in pie and other assorted breakfast pastries.

I orchestrated imaginary fights with you, arguing both sides, and dissolving into angry tears at the end.  We didn’t come to blows in the first 500 scenarios.

I read out loud to you.  You have lucid dreams.

I cleaned the oven, and in doing so, found an alternate entrance to Narnia.  After three decades and way too much Turkish delight, I found my way back to the apartment where only thirty seconds had passed since I disappeared.

I wrote a twitter novel which quickly went viral and turned into a NYTimes bestseller.  However, on Amazon, I only focused on the one star reviews and hated myself.

I attended a roast in your honor and made the opening salvo.

I downloaded plans to build a tiny house on wheels and take it on a cross country road trip.  I trimmed down my belongings to the bare essentials, grew a beard, and took a shower once every other week.

I aged fifteen years and then back again.  No one noticed which was both morale boosting and killing.

I hitchhiked to Death Valley and snapped pictures of the glaring white sand against a blue bird sky.

When you finally awoke and saw me in my flour-covered, ratty-haired, nerve-wracked glory, you raised an eyebrow.  You’ve always been one of few words.  “Why didn’t you wake me to join you?”

Driving me nuts

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Photo Courtesy of Food52
A one-sided conversation about Food52's pumpkin cake (or why cooking for my family is difficult):


I know what you’re about to say.  You wish this pumpkin cake had nuts, specifically walnuts.

No, of course I welcome the criticism.  Please share, what else would make it taste better?

Oh and raisins / cranberries?  You think so, don’t you.

Well since I’m the pastry chef, this is how the pumpkin cake turned out.  No nuts, no berries, no dried grapes.  Those are not dessert-y things.

I know it’s similar to banana bread but it’s not bread.  It’s a cake...

Yes, I do think cake is ruined by nuts.  And cookies.  No nuts in my cookies.  Why would you do that to a dessert?

C’mon, it’s got cream cheese icing.  What else could you ask for?  There is no way that nuts are better than cream cheese.  It's practically topped with cheesecake.


Fine, next time I’ll add nuts.  And raisins.

London fog

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

It’s looked and felt like evening since we arrived at 9:30 this morning.  The sky is a moody grey, although it’s about the only thing around here devoid of colour.  The grounds surrounding Buckingham Palace are littered with marigold and orange leaves that are constantly being swept up, and the crowds of tourists love it.

People here are already bundled up in thick coats and scarves, and there’s a Christmas tree with an ice rink around it by the Albert and Victoria Museum.  Not that it surprises any of you (and I’m going to get an “I told you so” about this), but I didn’t pack appropriately for November in Europe.  I should have packed flannel pajamas, Christmas sweaters, and fuzzy boots.  And I forgot an umbrella of course (the word “forgot” is used loosely here, I don’t own an umbrella).

From my hotel room which may be the only occupied one in this wing of the building, despite the dismal view into an empty alleyway, I can hear the bells chime the hour at St. Paul’s.  I don’t pay attention to them, despite their solemnity, because as far as I’m concerned, it’s always evening here.

It’s London and it’s fall.  The City doesn’t care whether or not you have seasonal affective disorder or how warm you’d rather be.  It doesn’t care that you’d like more natural light because you’d like to capture the streets in all their dank glory.  It’s London and it’s fall.

Your move

Monday, October 19, 2015

Moves, regardless of how short the actual distance, make me horribly sentimental.  You'll scoff, I know, because could you imagine me as the sentimental type?

Me.  The one who has no qualms donating childhood mementos (Toy Story's worst nightmare) and cleaning out my parents' home of clutter when they're out of town.  The one who wants to bin everything in a random fit of frustration and anger - just get it all out and out of my sight before I have to dust another flippin' tchotchke.  The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up's got nothing on me.

But here I am, all the same, getting maudlin about someone else's upcoming move literally down the street from his current apartment.  It's the closing of a chapter, an end of the beginning of something.  It's a period that I'll be able to remember fondly, but not one that I'll be able to visit EVER AGAIN.  Awfully dramatic, Rooth.  He optimistically tells me that it'll be the opportunity to make new memories and a new start!  I heave a sigh and try to memorize the layout and feel of every room.

The move isn't to a quaint cottage like the one I'm sharing today but all us real estate junkies can dream all the same, right?  I'm guessing this neighborhood is crawling with itty bitty masked superheroes and ghosts come Halloween, but inside, it's all tranquility and a blank canvas.  I'd gladly take the children's playroom off the kitchen and turn it into my very own studio or my very own roller rink.  Don't tell me you wouldn't want to skate all over those concrete floors.

Oh the horror!

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

It’s getting closer to the season of ghosts and ghouls and yadda yadda yadda - all the scary-things and spooky-stuffs.  I tell you what, if you want real horrors that will make you shudder, you only need to look as far as your everyday life.  Take mine for example...

Horrifying things of late:
  • The mouth-feel from biting into a piece of half-frozen sushi.  Sashimi shouldn’t crunch.  The bits of ice typically welcome in slushies and other frozen assortments are heinous here.  Serves me right for buying grocery store sushi (PSA - don’t buy grocery store sushi).

  • The Children of Costco. They have the same dead-eye stare as the Children of the Corn (kissing cousins?), and they seem to always be in some state of distress or undress.  The pained look on their faces scream “We’ve been here for the last five hours and can we go home now mom?!” or “I want to eat all the brownie samples and the big people won’t let me!”

  • The number of weekends left until Thanksgiving.  SIX!  Count ‘em folks.  Which means the time to panic is now.  I haven’t thought about what I’m going to do about the table scape this year or the rest of the menu (minus the pie part).  Speaking of pie, raise your hands if you’ve been eating too many of them lately.  Just me huh?  Whoops.  Oh and PS - there are only TEN Fridays left until Christmas.  So if that doesn’t give you night terrors, I don’t know what will.

  • The milky-fleshed, red-eyed, bald man who always seems to be lurking right out of the corner of my eye.  Or behind that door or outside my shower curtain.  This might be a possible side effect of the horror films / trailers that I’ve seen lately, combined with haunting pictures of Jared Leto made up as the Joker, which have been seared into my memory.

  • The never ending darkness.  By that I mean, of course, the shorter days and lack of sunlight out when I go to work in the mornings and when I get home in the evenings.  It’s depressing and draining but at least kind of cooler.  Good thing the days are only going to get shorter, right?

Now that I’ve sufficiently listed out all of my living nightmares, what’s keeping you up at night?

A decade with Ryon

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Once upon a time, in a land far far away (in actuality, just another part of Texas), a foal was born, who thought he was a puppy.  

A decade later, that statement still rings true.  Ryon is now a very large puppy / horse-baby, even though he measures 17.1 hands and I need to tiptoe to see over his back.  Our very favourite large lug is turning 10 years old on Saturday, the equivalent of being around 35 years old in human years.  You would think, as an adult-horse in his mid-30s, he would be past his quarter life crisis, grown comfortable in his own skin, and started relaxing in his middle age, maybe even thinking of settling down and starting a family (jk, he can’t do that - it’s a good thing. seriously).

Instead he fools everyone into thinking he’s much younger than he really is by delighting in terrorizing his pasture mates and ripping down everything attached to his stable walls (including the panels of said walls).  His behavior in social settings is typical of boisterous pre-teens - more than happy to boss his way to the front of the line when he thinks he knows what’s going on but then hides at the back of the herd when he’s nervous and in unfamiliar territory.  This is to say nothing of the prison break he attempts every few weeks or so, only to sheepishly get caught and brought back to his stall.

Regardless of what everyone else says, I’m still more than happy to chase the big puppy around in a game of tag and laugh as he ducks, dodges, and generally runs circles around me.  Or sit quietly by his side while he eats, occasionally tug on his ears, and watch him ignore everything else in the world.  There is being present in the moment and there is being "horse present" where there is only the here and now and nothing else exists.

We’ll be rounding out the year with a big milestone - his joint operation - and all of us at the barn are staying hopeful that it’ll be successful and effective.  If you wish for anything for us, wish Ryon good luck so that he can continue to do his favourite thing and fly on his own four feet.

Happy 10th birthday Ryon, ya big goof.

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