I am completely overwhelmed by the kind comments you left on my last post. I am struggling to know what to say that would convey how much it meant to me to see so many people leave comments, and how helpful and encouraging those comments were. Thank you all so much!
I thought in light of my worrying about blogging about all the great things about our new home, and how that might sound like I was bragging, I would do a post about some of the things here that aren't so spectacular.
Dud # 1
The first day I drove out to the blueberry farm I saw a sign for a local winery. I decided to stop by and see what they had to offer. I mean, how great was this - fresh blueberries and wine all within a few kilometres of my front door! As I walked into the small shop, which was really just a room in an old shed, I was overcome by a smell I hadn't encountered since being in Jay's aunt's basement a number of years ago. Trust me, this is not a smell I wanted to ever encounter again, especially since the source of it was a rat infestation.
It wasn't just the smell that was off-putting. The bottles of wine were all labelled "Grapes Wine." I was puzzled by the addition of the "s" at the end of grape until I heard the owner trying to help the other unfortunate customers. She had an Eastern European accent that was very hard to understand, and the customers she was helping were Chinese. It was fascinating to observe. I don't think a single word was understood by either party, but in the end the Chinese family managed to walk out with a couple bottles of Grapes Wine.
I wasn't in the market for Grapes Wine though. I was looking for a nice fruit wine, and the lady told me she would have some in a couple weeks. So two weeks later, and with an adjustment downward in my expectations, I returned. The minute I entered the room she was motioning me over for a sample. Not good. I am really, really picky about what I drink from, and here was this lady pulling out a rather sketchy looking glass and pouring some even sketchier looking wine into it, with the vague smell of rats lingering in the background. There was no gracious way to say no, and even if there was there was the small problem of the language barrier so I wouldn't have been understood anyway. I drank the sample. For a full two weeks I kept waiting to come down with some rare disease.
The wine itself is hard to accurately describe. Aged vinegar would cover some of its characteristics, but there was a hint of some other mysterious flavour there as well. Hopefully it had nothing to do with rats. In case you're wondering, yes I did buy a bottle. I felt sorry for her. It was, of course, undrinkable. For a few brief moments I considered mixing it with some olive oil to make an oil and vinegar salad dressing, but there was that little issue of the unidentified flavour...the contents went down the kitchen drain.
Dud # 2
Just outside a small community near us is an ice cream factory. I love finding local sources of food, so imagine how excited I was to discover I could contribute to the local food economy by eating ice cream! There is an ice cream stand in front of the factory, and I was impressed by all the flavours they offered. I asked the lady if it was possible to by a container of the ice cream rather than a cone and she told me it was only available in large pails. A large pail sounded perfect, so I asked what flavours she had. She told me chocolate, vanilla and strawberry. I thought it a bit odd given all the flavours they were offering in cones, but I was determined to do my bit for the local food economy even if the choices were rather limited.
When she handed me the pail I was shocked. It wasn't the brand of ice cream they were selling at the stand. It was one of those budget, super junkie ice creams full of unpronounceable mystery ingredients. Reading the long list was like prepping for a chemistry exam. This is the part where you would expect me to tell you I walked away empty-handed, and I really should have. But I was too embarrassed to tell her I didn't want it. And here's the worst thing about the whole story. That ice cream is now gone, and it didn't go down the kitchen drain. Jay and I ate every spoonful of the junky stuff. I still feel a great sense of shame every time I think about it.
Dud # 3
The final dud would be me for writing a post titled Four Generations and completely forgetting to put a picture of the four generations in the post. I blame it on all those chemicals I ingested eating that ice cream. Or worse, it could be the early onset of the disease I have been waiting to be struck down with since I drank that wine sample. So here, better late than never, is a picture of four generations of Hammonds.
I have a big, BIG announcement to make on my blog, and I am hoping to have all the details by the time I write my next post. Any guesses?