Nine-Word Reviews

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Dude! If this isn’t you and your BFF…Malala!

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Holt Howard Hoarder Status

It’s really weird that I started collecting this Holt Howard stuff in the first place. “Cats, not cat stuff,” is my motto and these are way too cutesy for me. But here we are. I almost sold these off, cuz I didn’t really think I had the space for them in my new house. But Jenn, (my friend and enabler) convinced me to hang on to them. And then I found the perfect little space in an upstairs nook, painted it pink and the whole thing came together.

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Perfect Peanut Soup

You guys. This peanut soup might be the best thing I’ve ever made in my life. It was over-the-top amazing! My husband said it was the best soup he’d ever had, then added, “And my name is Campbell, so my opinions on soup carry a lot of weight.” An odd duck, that one.

I made it up as I went, but after we ate it, I wrote down all the steps, so I could recreate it. If I go through the trouble of writing down a recipe, it must be a keeper, cuz that ain’t my bag.

When this was cooked, I ran it through my Vitamix (in two batches) because I love puréed soup. If you prefer a chunkier soup, just omit that step, or purée half the batch and transfer back to your soup pot so you’ve got a creamy base. This is great with a crusty slice of bread, but then so is everything because carbs are life.

Perfect Peanut Soup:

Ingredients:

  • 1 big-ass sweet potato
  • 1 chopped yellow onion
  • 1 bulb of garlic (sliced)
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • olive oil
  • 1 large can of coconut milk
  • 1 small can of coconut milk
  • 2.5 cups of water and one veggie boullion cube or 2.5 cups veggie broth
  • Approximately one cup of peanut butter
  • As much spinach as you like (I used about 3 cups)
  • Crushed peanuts

Add the following ingredients to suit your taste (I started with approximately one teaspoon of each, and adjusted to taste.)

  • sriracha
  • lime juice
  • curry powder
  • turmeric
  • raw sugar
  • salt
  • garlic powder

Action Plan:

  • Chop onion and garlic
  • Peel sweet potato, and cut into cubes
  • Sauté onion and garlic in olive oil
  • Add peeled, cubed sweet potato and brown just a little.
  • Add can of tomatoes, water, the large can of coconut milk and all spices.
  • Simmer on low for at least an hour.
  • Add small can of coconut milk, about one cup of peanut butter and adjust seasoning to taste.
  • Transfer to blender (in batches) then return to your soup pot.
  • Add spinach and allow to wilt.
  • Fill bowls and top each with crushed peanuts.

Prepare yourself for applause, and enjoy!

Home 🏡

Oh, why did I do this? I haven’t posted in over a month (I’m sorry if my three faithful readers missed me) but I’ve been so busy. I know everybody says that, but I mean SO busy. I’ve had 18 hour days for a month straight. Four to five hours of sleep a night and full days of physical labour and spending tons of money that I don’t really have on my house. My charming little 1913 house, the one I wasn’t planning on moving out of for some time. Here’s the short version/timeline;

Day 1: I hear that a house I love on my street is going up for sale. (I haven’t even seen the interior.)

Day 2: We get pre-approved at the bank so we can make an offer before the house is listed.

Day 3: We get to see the house before it’s listed.

Day 4: We make an offer, contingent on the sale of our house.

Days 5-35: We bust our asses getting our current house ready for sale. It’s been through three rounds of renos in the past ten years, but we tackle every little thing that we never got around to, pack up half our lives into a storage pod in the backyard, paint nearly every wall and basically work like maniacs every waking hour that we’re not at work. When I say “We,” I should tell you I mean “Me.” My husband was on a marking deadline at his job (he teaches English at a university) And was swamped. He helped where he could, but I was definitely at the helm of this shizz. I hired my brother Adam, who recently moved to town and as it turns out, is a really great handyman! So, that was amazing. There’s a zero percent chance I could have done it without him. He is way more skilled at repairs than I am, and was at the house working nearly every day for a month.

My house went on the market four days ago and I’m having a daily heart attack…I just want it to sell and be over with. It’s hard to keep everything spotless for showings (I feel like I can’t even sit on my furniture, cuz I’ll wreck stuff.)My kitties are all living in my mom’s rec room (which is where I am right now- I’ve been having frequent slumber parties with them, but I miss having them at home so much.) I’m terrified about trying to sell a house in November in Winnipeg, because who wants to buy a house and move in knee-deep snow and minus 20 temperatures and I’m pretty stressed. I spent a small fortune fixing this place up in such a small amount of time and feel like I’ll never be out of debt again. Ever. At least I’m not as stressed as I was last week. I’ve had two full nights of sleep in a ROW! I’ve left my house for something OTHER THAN WORK AND HARDWARE STORE RUNS. I’ve broken down is stress-fuelled tears more often in the past month than in the past two years. I’m not sure it was worth it, honestly. If I had known how awful, how stressful, how expensive, how taxing it would be on my husband and I…I wouldn’t have done it. On the plus side, the house looks fucking great.

 

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Willie Watson, Folksinger Vol. 2 Review

A few posts back I wrote about my serendipitous and probably irresponsible purchase of tickets to see Willie Watson at the Fremont Abbey in Seattle. I mean, the tickets were a straight up bargain; the flight and hotel were maybe pushing the boundaries of fiscal responsibility. But sometimes -most times- you oughta just go for broke. Plus, my dearest friend lives in Seattle, so there was no question that a good time was gonna be had.

I’ve been wanting to see Willie Watson live since I heard his first solo album (Folksinger Vol. 1) and he didn’t disappoint. He opened the show with “Take This Hammer,” and his incomparable voice in that little room…well, I think my heart might have stopped.

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Not by best shot, but I didn’t want to use a flash.

The Lead Belly classic is my favourite track on Folksinger Vol. 2, a record of back to back standout songs. On the album version, Watson is accompanied by the Fairfield Four, who bring all the power and depth you’d expect from one of the greatest gospel groups in the world.

The record, produced by David Rawlings for he and Gillian Welch’s Acony Records label, kicks off with a rousing version of “Samson and Delilah” with the Fairfield Four. “Gallows Pole” is haunting and perfectly suited to Watson’s high and keening sound. “Dry Bones,” “Walking Boss,” “The Cuckoo Bird,” and “John Henry” are fresh-sounding folk standards, and the blues are solidly represented by “When My Baby Left Me,” and “Leavin’ Blues.” The Blind Alfred Reed song “Always Lift Him Up and Never Knock Him Down” is lifted up (see what I did there? 🙄) by the addition of a woodwind ensemble which lends an orchestral (almost minstrel) feel to the track.

The jugband sound of “On The Road Again” features the Fairfield Four and Gillian Welch, and makes for a pretty great sing-a-long, though I had to look up what a “natural-born eastman” was. (From what I could gather, I think it was a term for a man who lived off of a woman; kind of a pimp. And man, pimps are always fun to sing about, I don’t care who you are.)

Big pimpin’.

I was lucky to meet Willie after the Seattle show and he couldn’t have been kinder or more humble. I used to be the hospitality coordinator for a popular venue that hosted all of my favourite bands and I’ve never been nervous to meet anyone in my life, but I think I was a nervy spaz when I met Willie Watson! I’m frequently captured by music, but I was deeply moved at his show. It had me all kinds of emotional, and my sarcastic shell was cracked for the night (don’t worry, it grew back.)

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I’m hoping to see him again on this tour, and I’m keeping my fingers crossed that he’ll play in some state nearer to Winnipeg, and the legion of folkies we’ve got here.

I tend to carry on when I love something this much; yesterday, my husband asked me if I had a crush on Willie Watson. I said “No, sweetie, I have a crush on Blair Redford. I just have a deep and abiding musical devotion to Willie Watson.” You will, too, so get on out there and buy yourself a copy of Folksinger Vol. 2, and if you have a chance to see Willie live, take it!

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This Week In Wicker

I’ve been a no-show around here, as I’ve been crazy busy! I had a massive yard sale to plan (it was yesterday and it was amazing!) Plus I’ve got a short trip to the States coming up this week and I’ve been swamped at work with all the fall orders coming in. Here’s a quick shot of some baskets I’ve collected since I’m gonna jump on the basketwall bandwagon. I mean, they’re not on the wall yet, because I’m lazy and have shit to do, but they might be someday. 😉

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