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Time flies like a...

So, I've had a few things on the go since the last time a managed to get my act in gear and actually post.

Last year, I sort of accidentally ended up as the committee chair for our co-op Social Committee. This was because a) the previous chair had a meltdown before our BBQ last summer and b) the only other member interested in being chair has sub-optimal people skills, so I took it on. Since I'm kind of a control freak (to the extent I'd rather just do all the research, shopping, prep and set-up myself rather than try to explain to people what I want them to do) that works for me. I know I need to learn to delegate, I'm just not very good at it.

We've done a couple tastings the last few years - wine tastings, beer tastings. I'm a big fan of education wrapped up in fun things, so I always print out info sheets and make up quizzes and give prizes for the most right answers. It gets pretty raucous when you get people to sample 6 or 8 different types of beer or wine and then you ask them to shout out their answers to the questions, but it's a really good time.

This year, I wanted to do something that was open to all, including kids and people who don't drink, so we did a Chocolate tasting.

I got a wide selection of dark and milk chocolates, and a few different flavours for variety.

I just broke the bars up to pass around so I could talk a little bit about each chocolate as people tried it.

I printed out some infographics that talked about the history of chocolate and explained a bit about the deplorable work conditions on some of the cacao plantations. We ended up having a good discussion about ethical and sustainable practices and the fact the only a tiny portion of the chocolate we see in most North American stores is fair trade.

There was a divide in the room - not unexpectedly - between the milk chocolate lovers and the dark chocolate lovers. It was interesting, however, that the folks who bemoaned how terribly bitter 90% dark was were actually really surprised that by the time we reached the 50%, they actually liked it. A few people admitted they never would have tried it otherwise and working backwards from the really dark to the sweet milk chocolate made them taste it in a way they had never experienced before.

The next weekend was Girl's Beading retreat at trystel's. I drove down, moosaic4 drove up and wonderful fun happened. May I just say, tuto has got to be one of the coolest guys I know, since he hung out with us while we were beading. Seriously. If cloning was possible, I'd ask for one of my very own, I swear.

So, to make an excellent weekend even better, trystel invited us back for the July long weekend, which clearly means she was crazy since it_aint_easy and artbeco were coming with the boys. Ha! It's not like crazy is a deterrent for me! We were both back, our respective sons in tow, the first weekend of July.

There was beading, Canadian Cider, Canadian Chocolate, filk music, Magic the Gathering, Rock Band, S'mores by the fire... yeah. Not only did I get to hang out with the most awesome people ever, there were so many fun things to do!

On the less than wonderful side of things, I took the car in to get new tires before driving down to the states. I've known I needed new tires since last year, but I don't drive nearly as much now that I work from home so I've been putting it off. *sigh* isn't it fun how one thing with the car always multiplies into more?

I ended up needing the shocks done too. I knew he wasn't lying about it - when our car is packed with all of us and suitcases, it hits every speed bump. Unfortunately, all told, it came to $2,300. URGH. And I'd been so proud of getting one credit card paid off. It was nice while it lasted.

Work is mostly ok right now. A couple of minor irritations, but nothing has triggered the urge to kill in the last few weeks. There have been a few fire drills for what turned out to be nothing, but that's par for the course.

So this was my kitchen the other day! It's a little fractured looking since my son took it as a panorama shot with his phone and sent it to me while I was working:

They have started installing the new cabinets. The left side of the kitchen is fantastic, and I am very happy with it. There is so much room! The stupid design with all the hard to reach space is GONE! I could even put in a lazy suzan if I wanted to!

Sadly, the other side is sub-optimal design. First, the shape of the cabinet and the narrowness of the door makes it very difficult to store things you want to use often. I'd be constantly taking everything out to get the one thing I wanted, and that's a huge NOPE for me. it's going to turn into completely wasted space. So frustrating!

Second, and more important - the shut off for water to the house is now virtually impossible to reach at the very back of a long narrow cabinet with a door 12 inches wide, instead of awkwardly placed but reachable on the side of a long, narrow cabinet with a door 22 inches wide. Not only that, the entrance is right beside the stove, then you must turn a 45 degree angle and reach back 3.5 feet to turn it off.

I am not a tiny person. There's no way I'd be able to reach it once they install the shelf in the middle and put on the countertop. God help me if we ever need to turn the water off, like we did when we had the flood in the storeroom a couple years back. I'll have to get my son to do it, cuz I just won't fit.

Well, we did just get all new pipes, so here's hoping that means nothing will break for at least another 30 years. One can hope!



( 13 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 17th, 2016 11:22 am (UTC)
Kitchen is looking good! Frustrating about that shut off valve being so far back. Can you put a narrow tray in the cupboard so you can pull it out with things on rather than trying to reach to the back?

I adore chocolate. The only chocolate I don't like is white as I just think it's not really chocolate as it's too sweet and doesn't contain cocoa solids ;) I love all types other than that and I am quite fond of 80% if I'm in the right mood. Otherwise it's got to have a fairly high ratio of cocoa solids in to make me enjoy it. I didn't like the US chocolate (Hershey bars? Yuk!) whenever we come over.

It sounds like you've been having fun.
Jul. 18th, 2016 04:46 pm (UTC)
I did a fair it of research on kitchen solutions for blind corners and i am now fairly confident that I'll be able to jury rig something workable to make some use of the space, even if its just getting some bins that will fit and gluing casters on the bottom.

And i agree that Hershey chocolate is not nearly as good as others.
Jul. 17th, 2016 01:36 pm (UTC)
Instead of a fixed shelf, get slider things... at least that way you can pull things out easier and if a midget happens to be walking by, he could crawl in there for you...

I do find kitchens are often designed stupid...

Glad you had fun with friends... that had to have been a blast!
Jul. 18th, 2016 04:51 pm (UTC)
I found some DIY projects that called for installing sliders - I've got some ideas that i think may work.

My mom always rolled her eyes in derision about the kitchens in houses we lived in when I was a kid, and said that's what happens when a man designs them. When we moved to the farm, she designed the kitchen, and let me tell you - I hated living on the farm, but i loved that kitchen.

Hmmm, if I ever make it back out to Squee, maybe i should do a Chocolate tasting...
Jul. 17th, 2016 04:41 pm (UTC)
We had one of those corner cabinets in the Starport -- our solution was to install a pair of rotating shelves. That way you could turn them until the thing you needed was facing the door. The bottom shelf was small appliances.

You'll want to have that done now, while the space is still accessible.
Jul. 18th, 2016 04:54 pm (UTC)
You mean like a lazy suzan kind of thing? I do like those.

I did a bunch of online research on blind corner solutions - I think I have some ideas that might work. Unfortunately, they're in here today finishing the cabinets so it will have to be an after the fact solution.
Jul. 19th, 2016 02:13 am (UTC)
Come to think of it, you could even install lazy susans after the fact -- the platters would easily fit through the door edgeways.
Jul. 17th, 2016 09:55 pm (UTC)
That sounds like an amazing work get together. I wish you'd come lead our meetings.
Jul. 18th, 2016 04:55 pm (UTC)
I love doing stuff like that. If i thought i could make a living at it, i'd totally go inot event planning /hospitality services / catering.
Jul. 17th, 2016 10:41 pm (UTC)
That chocolate tasting sounds wonderful! What a super cool idea!

Jul. 18th, 2016 04:57 pm (UTC)
It was really fun. I've been thinking about what to do next, and coffee sounds good. As does cheese. Might do one of those next.
Jul. 18th, 2016 12:22 pm (UTC)
A chocolate tasting sounds amazing.

I'm glad things are coming together for your kitchen. Good luck with the rest of it.
Jul. 18th, 2016 09:59 pm (UTC)
I just popped downstairs to grab a piece of fruit and it looks like they have most the cabinet doors on now. I'm going to have a kitchen tonight!
( 13 comments — Leave a comment )


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