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The 100 Mile Dinner

Hello! I am back after a day off from blogging yesterday. Weekends are always low-key around here anyways, but I got a dog on Friday and he sucked up every ounce of my attention over the weekend!

I did manage to tear myself away from the puppy long enough to attend a 100 Mile Dinner with my sister on Sunday. I’ve been intrigued by the 100 mile idea ever since watching the “100 Mile Challenge” show on the Food Network Canada. Basically, a group of people in British Columbia committed to eating only food produced 100 miles from where they lived. It was a lot harder than they expected it to be! One hundred miles isn’t very far if you think about it…

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Eating locally is not really something I’ve done a whole lot of until this past summer. Namely because local goods are often more expensive than the imported stuff in the grocery store. But when the cancer diagnosis came, I shifted around my priorities. Buying quality food, and knowing where it’s grown, became important to me and the healing process. No fancy green elixirs here, just straight up, close-to-home food.

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Plus, the dinner was a fundraiser! We started off with whole wheat biscuits. Very soda-y, just the way I like them. I’m curious as to how many of the ingredients were local. Every last one of them? The journalist in me needs to get to the bottom of this…

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Our soup course was a delightfully spiced cabbage soup. I was expecting it to be bland by the looks of it, but it was quite the opposite.

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The main course stole the show for me. Beef with a mushroom ragout, mashed potatoes, and roasted root veggies (beets, turnip, parsnip, carrots). The beef was soft and full of rich flavour. The mushrooms added a wonderful heartiness to it. The gravy mixed in with the buttery potatoes was to die for. Of all the local foods out there, beef is one of my favourites to splurge on. You can really taste the difference and it’s the kind of meat that leaves you feeling good and energized after.

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Finally, dessert! Apple crumble. A little predictable, but always a crowd pleaser. The dishes were all served in the cafeteria at the local community college and prepared by the culinary students there. I was quite impressed by how good everything tasted for such a large event and at the speed of the service. Despite feeling kinda crappy on Sunday, I’m happy my sister and I were able to pop out of the house to experience it.

I wouldn’t have predicted my diagnosis would spark a local food lover in me. One would probably guess a health-nut like me would have gone for seaweeds and veganism. But there’s something about the idea of meeting the people who grow my food, seeing the soil it’s grown in, and knowing it only took 20 minutes to get to my plate. It gives me more piece of mind than something that was handled a million times flying across an ocean to get here.

Don’t take that the wrong way though. There will always be room for Guatemalan coffee ;)

The dinner was also my first time away from Buster since I got him on Friday. He was at his Nana’s the whole time (ie my mom’s). We’re already quite attached and it took everything I had not to text my mom every 5 minutes to see how he was doing.

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Archie the poodle is my childhood dog who lives with my mom. He is quite offended by the new addition. Buster just wants to play and Archie is all like “What are you doing here?” Archie is 14 years Buster’s senior and my mom keeps comparing it to bringing a new baby home to an only child. Poor Archie!

Meet The Newest Member Of The Family…

Buster! My first ever dog!

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In case you haven’t already seen the barrage of photos I’ve posted on my other social mediums.

You see, it has been one of my long-term life goals to get a dog. It’s actually one of the many reasons why I moved home from Toronto! When I got cancer, I made myself a list of medium-term goals to get me through treatment. Apart from traveling and baking croissants, getting a dog was on the list. I knew it would be the perfect time to get and train one since I’m at home all day.

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I’ve been wanting to a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel forever. They are the sweetest, kindest, friendliest dogs. When I first moved home I found only one breeder in the area and was still pretty set on getting a rescue dog if I could.

Thing is, when you live in a small centre with a lower population, there are fewer dogs to rescue! Moncton’s only shelter has lots of shephards, huskies, and other big dogs. But very rarely does a smaller dog show up. I like lap dogs, what can I say.

Yesterday, it finally occurred to me to look on Kijiji to see if there were any locals looking to get rid of some older dogs, and there were TONS! Not all puppy mills or sketchy breeders, just every day folk who for whatever reason can’t care for their dogs anymore and want to make a few bucks off of it.

I stumbled across a young family here in town who had cavaliers they could no longer care for and I was there by lunchtime. By 1pm, Buster was at home with me.

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He’s almost 10 months old and responds to the name Buster. While it’s not my favourite name, I don’t want to confuse him, and it does kind of remind me of Arrested Development. I’m a bigger fan of silly human names for dogs, thus his proper title will be Buster Bartholomew.

While he is still a puppy in many respects, he so far seems to be house trained. No accidents yet! He’s not eating or drinking yet, which I intend to get him doing today. I may have to spoil him with a little meat and rice. He’s also going to get a bath today and a dreaded meeting with vet next week.

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In terms of personality, he is perfect in every way. Cavaliers are known for being excellent human companions and are often used as therapy dogs. He loves everyone who crosses his path and will cuddle up to them immediately. He is a BIG cuddler and gets very attached to people. He’ll whine a little whenever someone leaves a room! All you have to do is look at him and his tail will start to wag furiously. He came from a home with another dog and three small children, so I think he is loving all this new attention he is getting.

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I tried to put him in the kennel to sleep last night in case there were any accidents. That lasted all of two seconds. He ended up sleeping under the covers with me.

For those of you wondering, I do have two other dogs in my life, but neither of them live with me. Archie the poodle is my childhood dog who lives with my mom. He is almost 15 years old and will meet Buster today when we go visit. Buddy the boxer lives at my step-mom’s and visits here at my dad’s occasionally with her. But when I’m home all day it’s just me and Cashew the cat, so I’m elated to have another companion while I’m on sick leave. When I go back to work full-time, he’ll likely spend a lot of the days while I’m at work at my mom’s house so he doesn’t get too lonely.

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I am one happy dog mom!! Buster is sleeping on my legs right now as I type this. We’re already inseparable.

Oh, and Cashew the cat? So. Not. Impressed.

Snapshots 2

It’s been about a month since I did a “snapshots” post and the pictures are building up on my iPhone. Here’s some more extra photos from here and there over the past month. Some from Instagram and Twitter, others I got too lazy to post. But certainly a fun little snapshot into my day-to-day life!

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Archie hates it when I stare at a computer screen instead of paying attention to him.
Something he makes quite clear to communicate to me!

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Last day at the cottage. Feet up, sunbathing poodle.

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Fun fact: I’m not allowed sushi while on chemo (ie raw fish). So California rolls it is.

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My stomach is covered in bruises from the two needles I have to give myself daily.
I bruise extra easily because of the blood thinners I’m on. This is just one of the more colourful ones as of late.

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Cashew the cat was playing on my laptop keyboard.
What do you think she was trying to tell me??
Worth noting that after this photo was taken, she opened up an episode of 30 Rock.

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Snack attack: blueberries and vanilla greek yogurt on a homemade biscuit.

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Step-family portrait in a frame from Janetha.
I happen to collect elephant figurines. They’re my favourite animal!

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Water tower in Hillsborough, NB.
Severely disappointed the Animaniacs were nowhere to be seen.

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One of my favourite meals from all the farm fresh tomatoes I got:
bagel + cream cheese + tomato + S&P

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Archie is able to sense when I plan on taking him for a walk.
Even before I put my shoes on or start getting ready, he’ll jump up on this bench and try to get at his leash in the closet.

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I recently discovered I have the same haircut now as I did 20 years ago.

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But wouldn’t it be awesome if chemotherapy was like drinking a milkshake?

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My hobbies have gone from running and working out to knitting and rug hooking.

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Painting in the hospital that I think looks like Conan O’Brien, my mom in turn thinks I’m crazy.
I can’t be the only one who sees it?

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Attempt at taking cute picture with kitty leads to a kitty attack.
It’s how they show their love, right?

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Rainbow!

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Archie trying to get at his leash again.
That’s the “You finally got off the computer which means you are taking me for a walk!” face.

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Randomly had a craving for junk food the other day and bought these items at the grocery store. Only these items.
Scotsburn is the best ice cream other than Cows in the Maritimes, FYI.

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Watching Parks and Recreation with Cashew.

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Best part of baking = licking the bowl and utensils.

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A piece of the coconut cream pie I made for my mom’s birthday!
The crust was meh, but the filling was superb.

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Buddy is the most forlorn dog I’ve ever met. Always a frown and big, big sighs.

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Brunch at Calactus! Tofu rancheros with a side of potatoes.

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Brunch is my favourite time of the week! With my mom and aunt.

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Boxers take up significantly more room in bed than poodles.

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Buddy patiently waiting for Mommy to come home.

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Taken yesterday after finally getting dressed and going for a walk at 5pm. It went up to 27C!

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I will never grow tired of living in a small town surrounded by TREES!
The big city was certainly missing that.

Off to get poked and prodded this morning. Have a good one!

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