much love monday: making bouquets

i am so into my job right now. being a florist can be so rewarding! one of my coworkers is leaving and i’ve been training a lot to attempt to fill her shoes…it’s hard, but so fun! i’ve been learning a lot of new things (like how to ribbon a corsage/boutonniere! yikes!), making orders and working on bouquets for the store. it’s so hard to figure out what people will like – i made four different bouquet series and the one i liked the best sold the least.  here are a few quick cell phone snaps of my bouquets.




yes, right now i’m really into adding hydrangea to bouquets! we have so much of it right now that it just seems natural to use. the best-selling of those series was the all-white one. i’m excited to learn & practice more. it’ll be so lovely for my bouquets to look more polished.

i’ve never had a job like this before. i have so much to learn and skills to refine. it’s vastly different than working in a cafe or at a library. being a florist hits right in the sweet spot. i love how it’s not just a creative job, but one where i interact with the public. although the customer service aspect can drive me crazy, more often than not i enjoy working with people and making up bouquets on request. for the first time, i have a long term plan to stay at a job and it feels right.


much love monday: nepalese tea, chia

i learned this from my friend rosha.  she said, ‘we never ask if you want milk or sugar!’  this tea is sweet, milky, and delicious.

bring to a soft boil:

  •  water/milk mix, approx half & half.  i use almond milk and it tastes great.
  • green cardamom pods: 2-3 per cup
  • a cinnamon stick
  • a few pinches of nutmeg
  • 1 – 2 tbsp brown or yellow sugar per cup (but white sugar is ok too)
  • optional: a few cloves, a bit of cinnamon, etc.

when it reaches a boil, add some tea. you can add one bag or tsp of loose tea per cup: orange pekoe/loose leaf darjeeling, assam, whatever.  let it boil for a few minutes, then serve. you can scoop out the cardamom pods and tea bags, or if you used loose leaf you’ll have to pour through a sieve.





much love monday: apple crisp, kind of

last night i had a lady over for supper (edited to add: she made me supper), and i made us an apple crisp. it was really good. you can make it too.

all measurements approximate

6-8 apples, and some pears too if you’re feeling it. cored & diced 1″
1.5 c oatmeal (not that quick cooking shit, the real thing)
3/4 – 1 c sugar
2 tbsp molasses
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp clove
1/2 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp allspice
1/4 – 1/3 c margarine
1/2 c maple syrup

put all the apples & pears in a baking dish. pour maple syrup over them. combine oats, sugar and molasses and stir a bunch till all coated, then add spices and mix. cut in the margarine till well mixed then spoon over apples. bake 30-40 mins at 350F. serve in little bowls with a bit of ice cream or milk (i went with rice milk and it was actually great).


much love monday: quinoa oatmeal

this post comes to you from a very unusual situation here in the cat cave: I HAVE NOTHING FOR BREAKFAST.  out of almond milk. no apples.  no bread.  no flour.  what on earth!  sometimes when i’m working a lot i kind of forget about this stuff…oops.  i’m working at the market today, and if i leave early i can get breakfast before i start.

anyway, here’s what is on my brain: i discovered quinoa oatmeal last week and it’s the best thing.

this makes one average-sized bowl of quinoa oatmeal:
1/2 c quinoa
1/2 c water + 1/2 c milk substitute, or 1 c milk sub.

bring water + milk to a boil, add quinoa. cover and simmer for approx 15 mins. turn off the heat and let sit 5 mins. spoon into a bowl and add dried fruit, nuts, flax seeds, honey, maple syrup, cinnamon–whatever your heart desires. sweet baby jesus, this is so much better than oatmeal. i can’t even tell you. just make it and you’ll see.

much love monday: platonic life partner soup

‘platonic life partner soup’: what a mouthful, right?  MOUTHFUL OF DELICIOUS, more like!

this tale needs a preface; i am a pretty good cook but not very inventive.  i rarely deviate from recipes, and when i do, it’s kind of…basic.  roasted veg, simple stir fries, steamed veg over pasta, etc.  when i was visiting rose, she got sick and on a whim (without a recipe!! eeek!) i made up a soup for her and it turned out to be really delicious.  i was feeling really gross yesterday and made a very similar version for myself; i added some lentils + corn to bulk it up a bit. last night’s soup was so good and now you can make it too. it comes together really quickly!  this recipe is highly customisable. you can add different veg, herbs, switch up the beans, etc.

start with these guys:

  • 1 onion, diced
  • 4-6 garlic cloves, minced (less if you don’t like garlic, more if you cook like me)
  • handful of mushrooms, diced
  • few ribs of celery, cut small
  • half a leek, chopped up small

let the onion & garlic saute and start cutting up the mushrooms, leek & celery.  when the onions are translucent, add the celery and mushrooms.  cook for a few minutes, then add herbs (all approximate amounts; i did not measure WHAT A REBEL)

  • ~1 tsp ea salt, pepper, fenugreek, sage, thyme
  • more than 1 tsp rosemary
  • 2 bay leaves

let this fry up for a minute while you cut the potatoes and open the canned goods, then add:

  • 2-3 potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2″ pieces.
  • 1 28-oz can of diced tomatoes, including liquid
  • 1 can of lentils, drained
  • 1 mini-can of corn, drained
  • 3-4 c water/veg broth
  • 3-4 tsp veg stock powder (omit if you used veg broth)

bring to a boil, then simmer till the potatoes are soft.  you can eat it now, or keep cooking for more delicious.  when you’re ready to eat, fish out those bay leaves and serve! would be really  nice with some warm crusty bread or something like that. if you eat this soup when you are sick, it’s like drinking a +20 life potion.  FACT

much love monday: support system

today…well, today did not start off very well for me.  i had a huge, terrifying, anxiety attack while walking up to my cafe job.  i hid in a corner and frantically phoned my mom over and over until she picked up (she was finishing her bus route), and she talked to me while i cried and walked in the rain and walked away from my job and until finally i felt better and i sat under the cambie bridge like a troll.  i texted altaira, and she phoned me, for which i’m also so grateful.  even though the anxiety is gone i still feel a lingering sense of shame, of failing to do something that needed to be done, but that will fade, i think.

today i’m sending out so much love to the people who love me–because i’m lucky, i have not just one or two people to phone in a bad time, i have six or seven, and that is a god damn gift.   i am incredibly lucky to have such good people in my life, to not feel scared and anxious and alone.  holy cats, am i ever grateful.


much love monday: nerdy strategy gaming

i have three computers at my house.  one, which i am currently using to write this missive; a second, which was my primary laptop for a few years and i just haven’t taken it to get recycled because i spent $1500 and i can’t believe my money was so wasted on a piece of electronics but it’s on its way out soon, oh yes!; and a third, which is ten years old and creaky as hell, but i have kept it so long because…it has civ 3 installed.

obviously those are not great reasons to keep a computer around but civ 3 is so great.  imagine my delight when i found out there is an open-source version of the early civilization games. squee!!  it’s called freeciv (naturally). thank you, gods of open source, for this gift.

playing as iceland. swoon!!

this game has a huge range of cultures/civilizations to play, and you can play by the game’s own rules, or choose the civ 1 or 2 ruleset. just like a traditional civ game, there’s a lot you can do to customise the environment around you. in short, this game is awesome and it is not shameful at all that last friday night i stayed home, played this, and painted my nails.