Becca Jane St Clair

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I Met Patrick Stewart!

About a week ago, I received an alert about a gala event happening in support of Unique Voice, a charity in Bristol that works with schools and the community to “empower children emotionally through the use of Drama and the Arts” (source: About Us section of their website). Their Patron is Sir Patrick Stewart, and he would be hosting their Summer Gala.

I wanted to go.

With everything that’s been going on, and all the other things we have planned this year, it wasn’t looking like a possibility until someone close to me decided they wanted to purchase a ticket for me to attend. They have asked that I not say publicly who they were, but they are someone I love very much. My ticket arrived in my inbox a few days ago, and I became excited.

I decided to wear my LindyBop dress because it gives me confidence and I love the way it looks on me. I wore it with the underskirt this time for extra poof, and added a little feathery blue clip in my hair to try to dress it up a bit. I didn’t clean up too bad if I say so myself!

I was sat at a table with 9 strangers, but fortunately, they were all amazing and immediately drew me into their fold as they all knew each other. I can’t remember everyone’s names (sorry!) but table 9 had a blast. We shared stories and laughed and it was like I had been friends with these people for years and not just minutes.

One of the organizers recognized me from my Twitter photo and we had a short conversation with a promise to talk later, but we sadly never got the chance…but I’m sure I’ll be around again as I really like this charity and wish we lived closer to Bristol so I could work with them!

There were signs on the table telling us not to ask Patrick for selfies, but to take photos and to share them on social media. I took a few from my vantage point that didn’t really come out the best, but I’ll share them here anyway.

After dinner, Patrick was coming around to the individual tables to talk to everyone – the room had 13 tables of 10, but at least two of the tables were all people related to/working with the organisation, so it was an intimate gala. When he got to our table, he was on the other side from me and chatting and one of the men at our table said “She’s come all the way from New Jersey to see you!” I called back “He’s lying, I live here, I promise,” but Patrick Stewart came over to speak with me. His hand came down on the back of my chair and he said, “You know, I used to be married to someone from New Jersey.” I answered back in the only way I possibly could – “Well, then on behalf of my home state, I do apologize.” He laughed and stretched out his hand to shake mine.

Our minute was over…or was it?

During the auction, I was trying to win one of the items – all winning bidders would get a picture with Sir Pat – but it got too high for me. Especially when he auctioned off breakfast with him the following morning and it went for £350!

The rest of the night there was dancing, drinking, and talking to my new group of friends. After the Gala, we went to a speakeasy, and that was a new experience for me too.

In the morning, I had breakfast in the same restaurant Patrick Stewart was in, and after I was standing outside waiting for my taxi and he came out. He had his suitcase, and we made polite conversation. We both were complaining about how long it was taking our taxis to show up and he said he was trying to catch a train at a specific time. Since I have the ability to take whatever train I want, I offered him my taxi when it showed up first. He thanked me, and I had another handshake.

Ironically, his taxi turned up only about 30 seconds later. When I got to the railway station, I needed to speak with the gate attendant to be waved through the barriers. Who was standing there talking to the man? None other than Patrick Stewart! I made some silly joke about meeting again, and we both went through the barriers and started heading in the same direction. More jokes about “I’m not following you/You’re not following me” and the like and it turned out we would be boarding the same train. We both went into the waiting room, but when they called our train, I noticed he went out the door for the opposite platform.

When I didn’t spot him on the platform, I thought I had better let him know, so I walked over to him and gently tapped him on the shoulder to let him know. He thanked me with a hand pressed against my shoulder and another handshake.

These small encounters with one of my absolute favourite actors will stay with me for a long time, even without photos of the event. Who can forget getting three handshakes within a 12 hour span?

First two images from Unique Voice on Twitter.

The contents of this post, including images are © Rebecca J Lockley and Tim Lockley unless otherwise stated and should not be reproduced without permission.

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Renting Space in Your Brain


I’ve been a user of the internet in all of its many forms since the mid 90s, and since then I have had my fair share of trolls and mean comments – usually simple one offs like “I don’t like your voice” left on a video (which is ironic when I have acted and sang semi professionally!). But in my history of using the internet and becoming a content creator, I can count on one hand the number of people who just don’t know when to stop and start to become a nuisance . The first incident happened around 15 years ago and was a guy my husband and sister dubbed “Batteries” and things got so bad with him and his threats that I did have to go to the police. The second was about 10 years ago, and it might have been more than one person but at any rate, the result was *me* getting banned from a useful website I posted on and I had to speak with the police about the harassment. Then we delve into the land of psycho expats with more than one just losing their shit and stalking several fellow expats…and now we get to the most recent, ridiculous harassment/trolling efforts of someone who…well, they’re anon as far as I know. They do have internet handles, but I’m not going to mention them out of politeness.

Here’s where we get to the title of my post – Renting space in your brain. It’s incredible how ONE SINGLE COMMENT can kill you. For example, ONE music director in 2002 didn’t like my voice and I didn’t sing for 10 years. These comments weren’t about my singing, but another way I contribute to the arts – these comments were on the words I wrote.

The first comment came in September on my account over on It was from a fellow “author”, and it was nasty and harrassive. FFN doesn’t let you remove nasty comments from registered users, so I simply deleted (And later re-posted) the story the comment had been left on and blocked the user id. Speaking to a fellow reader, I found out that the author in question “does this to any author who writes better than them and has a following”. Ok, so it was down to sheer jealousy then. Fine, whatever. I kept publishing.

I made the move to Archive of Our Own a few months ago after I finally got my invite to the site. I moved over much of my fic from FFN, but I also made an announcement on FFN that I was going to be posting on AO3 and if I wasn’t updating on FFN, to check me on AO3 and I listed my AO3 pseudo – AnnaOnTheMoon.

AO3 allows you to screen comments before they are posted, and a few came in from a person. Again, they were filled with harassment and well, they tried to tell me what I should write. Like, telling me “You need to write blahblahblah and blahblahblah needs to happen.” My response wanted to be “Go write it yourself”, but instead I just deleted the messages, figuring they would get the hint that I wasn’t interested in their “orders”. Other readers left comments requesting different storylines and if I felt I could write them, I did.  But when someone demanded I do something or another…no. AO3 doesn’t have a block feature, so I just had to delete the comments as they came in.

Finally, they stopped using their registered profile, and swapped to posting anon. And funny enough, the only reason I found out they were the same person was due to what they wrote in their comments when they referenced “a lack of negative feedback”.  Now, why would you assume someone even had negative feedback unless you had been the one who tried to leave it in the first place under your other nom de plume?

It was at this point I turned to getting advice from Author Dayton Ward on Twitter:

Dayton Ward was right. Just ignore, ignore, ignore. Don’t let them have space in my brain. But…it was hard. Especially with the comments that were coming through. At one point, they seemed to blame me for the entire Picard/Crusher fandom.

They decided that a fic I wrote called “The Comment Box” was about them. The fic itself was a tongue in cheek story about the ridiculous comments that are posted on Trek pages. Their response? Dedicating a story to me (and a friend of mine who is a big supporter of my writing.)

They thought they were writing an opt-ed. Uhm…no.  They also decided to steal my own tag of tongue in cheek, because…well, why not.

They admitted they had been reading me on FFN and had been the FFN user I blocked. They claimed to have “Been stalked in high school” (I also should note, that basing their age on what they mention in their own author’s notes, they aren’t much out of HS) and yet they decided to stalk me. (oh, and told me my depiction of stalking was wrong, because the way they were stalked is the absolute only way things ever happen)

The story got weird. I was Queen of the kingdom who churned out shit, but then I also inspire people? But the gem had to have been where I basically get blamed for the entire fandom.

I mean…what now?  But this “fic” was the final straw, and I contacted the AO3 admins and reported the story and the user for harassment.

…but I still can’t get their comments out of my head.  It’s poisoned my story, just like it poisoned one of my previous stories.  At this point, I want to either abandon the story (and the series as it’s second in a series), or delete it.  But if I delete it, I doubt I’ll ever re-write it, so then that also means that months of work will just be down the toilet because I can’t evict this asshole from my brain.


*sigh* Hopefully, by getting this all out, I will be able to evict them once and for all and return to my writing…because how does that phrase go? The best revenge is a life well lived?

+Meme made by me, screenshot from Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone
++Meme by Swear Trek
All other screenshots are from Archive Of Our Own or my own Email and Twitter accounts. 

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An Evening with Sir Patrick Stewart

A little over a month ago, my Google Alert for Patrick Stewart (shut up) went off with an interesting alert – Sir Patrick Stewart would be giving a talk during the Huddersfield Literature Festival. Tickets were £15, and I hadn’t yet seen it pop up on Twitter.

…So I blagged front row tickets. And then I waited…and waited..and waited for the day…and OH, was it worth it!

I had a bit of a panic on Thursday when I started to read the weather report for both Yorkshire and Lincolnshire. Snow. But not until the wee hours, so we would likely be fine. To be on the safe side, we packed sleeping bags, extra warm clothing (hats, scarfs, fleeces), water,and snacks into the back of the car just in case the snow turned into a second Beast and we had to sleep in the car.

Our day started off with a walk through Huddersfield. There was an international food fair going on, so we checked that out and we headed to the Town Hall to make sure we knew where we would need to be and we scoped out the place we were meeting up with some friends for dinner before settling down into a local coffee shop (I’ve forgotten the name!) for a cup of Tea. Earl Grey. Hot. (Naturally.)

We met up with friends for dinner at the Zephyr. None of us were familiar with the place. The food was…ok. I had a Cajun grilled chicken burger and there was no spice at all on my chicken, which was disappointing. But the Strawberry gin was good.

We all were scattered around the auditorium, so we parted in the lobby and Tim and I headed to our seats. I still didn’t think it was real…I would actually see one of my heros live on stage? Talking? Telling us about his life and career?

When Nick introduced Sir Pat, he explained that Patrick agreed to photos during the first five minutes (and he even posed for pics), and then asked for phones/cameras to be put away and asked that it wasn’t recorded. In fact, we were told if anyone did get caught with their phone held up during the talk, they would be kicked out. I did spot one guy on the balcony out of the corner of my eye holding up a phone though, so if any footage gets posted online I’ll link it.

Patrick Stewart was brilliant. He warned us that he didn’t give short answers, so there weren’t a whole lot of questions asked, but the stories the man told…it was worth it. I’d have gladly sat there for another hour..two….three…just listening to his stories. Perhaps one day he’ll publish a memoir (and Mr Stewart, if you’re reading this, Please can I edit it?)

We even got a rare treat! Not one accent,not two, but three accents! Sir Pat imitated a local accent when he was telling us about his interview to receive a scholarship to attend the Old Vic (and apologized for it being bad, though as a non-local I couldn’t tell), and then he gave us “Space, ze final frontiere” in a French accent. I have to say, I’m quite happy Paramount didn’t make him use a French accent! His third accent was a recreation of his role in 1967 on Coronation Street, plating a Fireman from Lancashire.

We also learned his favourite episode is the Inner Light (though the questioner asked “What’s your favourite Enterprise episode, so I’m not sure if the questioner was confused over which series Sir Pat was in!). This is honestly no surprise to me as it is an incredible episode and it’s made even better by the appearance of Daniel Stewart playing his son!

Sir Patrick told us about his early days in acting, about meeting and becoming bezzies with Sir Ian McKellen, and how he felt when he was on the BBC’s Who Do You Think You Are and discovered more about his father. We also learned that the two charities he is patron for are in memory of his parents – Refuge for his mother and Combat Stress for his father.

And speaking of his early days in acting – did you know he lied his way into gaining his scholarship? Naughty Patrick! But I think he paid his debt in full back to Yorkshire in the end when he became Chancellor of the Huddersfield Uni.

I’m still giggling over his (former) hair piece having been flown across the atlantic specifically for his audition for Captain Picard…and then it was never used. While he did mention he wore a hair piece in one episode (Violations, in a flashback Beverly has), he didn’t specify if it was the same one or styled the same way. Hmm. Something to ask him in the future, perhaps?

Sir Patrick said in an interview on BBC Radio Leeds on Thursday that his favourite childhood book was Treasure Island…and I really think he should record an audiobook for it, don’t you?


All in all, it was an incredible evening. Sadly, I didn’t get to ask him my question. I wanted to ask him to give advice to those of us in the arts (Performing, writing, creating) who face criticism and how you can bounce back from it…but it wasn’t meant to be and I’ll hopefully get to see him again and ask.

It started to snow on the way home. Not a significant amount, but enough to be annoying.

Thanks Huddersfield Literature Festival for having him, and THANK YOU Sir Patrick Stewart for speaking with us!

You are, forever, O Captain my Captain.


+Photo by Neil Armstrong.

The contents of this post, including images are © Rebecca J Lockley and Tim Lockley unless otherwise stated and should not be reproduced without permission.

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Troll in the Dungeon

troll LOL, well, look at that. My first troll. I’m so pleased. Since the poster deleted their comment after they posted it (so it showed up in my email but not on the video), I didn’t get the chance to reply so I thought I would do so here:

Thank you. I really do value the feedback of my viewers, so let me take the chance to give you some feedback of your own: On the bottom of the video there’s a little slider you can slide back and forth to adjust the volume of the videos that you are watching which will help with the “loudness” you are experiencing. As for my voice being “annoying”, you’ll find at the top of your screen in the right side corner a button that has an X on it. If you click on that X, it will close out of what you are looking at and eliminate you having to listen to my “annoying voice”. Problem solved. You’re welcome.

Regular posts hopefully will resume soon. I’ve not felt like editing much video lately, but I do want to get through the Austria videos and I now have some packing videos I made 5 months ago that should go up too!

The contents of this post, including images are © Rebecca J Lockley and Tim Lockley unless otherwise stated and should not be reproduced without permission. If you are not reading this on, my facebook page, Networked Blogs, the RSS feed(s), or through an e-mail subscription, please notify me.

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Aplogy Owed!

I possibly owe an apology to the author of What the F, UK?. A link to her blog was shared on one of the Ex-pat groups on FB and while there were loads of comments on facebook, I think I was the only one who went to her blog and left her a comment.

I wasn’t myself yesterday. As my friend Brigette said about me, I’m usually not that mean…and I didn’t intend to BE mean. I certainly didn’t expect her to go and mark her blog as private or for a comment to pop up on another ex-pat group (by someone unrelated?) claiming that we were “poor desperate housewives” living in abject poverty!

I can’t access the original post any more because she changed her blog to private, but for whatever reason, it rubbed me the wrong way. I think it was the general tone of her post, the attitude I saw in her post, or her use of sarcastic quotation marks. And I left a comment.

It may have been slightly snarky. I went through her long list of “things that are wrong with the UK” that she had written out in a numbered list and I made my own numbered list in response. Most of her complaints I was able to point out that the “missing” thing was present in the UK…though I suppose I shouldn’t have told her that if she didn’t like living in the UK she should go back to the US. ooops.

So I do apologize. I think that had I not been in a bad mood, I could have written a much nicer reply and addressed her problems with the UK in a better way and maybe even extended the arm of friendship.

Will she ever see this? If she’s anything like me, she would have “stalked” me online and found her way to my blog, so I hope she has seen this and I hope she knows that I didn’t mean to be so snarky and that if she needs another American to talk to, she would be welcomed into any of our ex-pat groups on facebook.

The contents of this post, including images are © Rebecca J Lockley and Tim Lockley unless otherwise stated and should not be reproduced without permission. If you are not reading this on, my facebook page, Networked Blogs, the RSS feed(s), or through an e-mail subscription, please notify me.

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The Wedding

[This is a re-post to my blog of a post appearing in my personal LJ, the wedding plans community, and on my facebook page. Apologies if you’ve already seen it!]

The fifth dawned bright and sunny. Tim and I got up around 8 and decided to go pick up bagels for breakfast before starting to get ready. Tim showered, and headed to the train station to pick up my MOH, Erin and I got in the shower and put on my something blue (Bra & panties set with suspenders/garters) and then put on pajama pants and a tank top while I did my hair and make-up. Our Best Woman and photographer, Laura, arrived, and I even managed to get down a 6-inch sub from Subway before getting zipped into my purple dress and heading out the door!

We got over to the judge’s office with plenty of time to find out it wasn’t really a courthouse at all. Almost felt like it was made up of temporary trailers, but whatever. We were mostly amused that the courtroom was set up for an actual trial and have some funny pics of us behind the tables (on Tim’s mum’s cam, so I haven’t seen them yet). The judge came in, Laura set up our video camera, and our entire ceremony took 2 and a half minutes. After the ceremony, the judge told us we could stay as long as we wanted taking pictures, so we took a few before heading over to Willow Valley – where we intended to take pictures outside before having dinner together.

It started to rain and got chilly. 🙁 Most of the outdoor pics have people still with their coats on, or look like they’re shivering, so after about a half hour, we high-tailed it inside and stayed in the lobby of the restaurant/hotel. My Mother-in-Law and Erin somehow managed to get someone to bring us a pot of coffee and some cups (we never saw it on the bill, either!) and we all just sat around and chatted and took more photos until it was time for dinner.

Dinner was lots of fun. Laura urged Tim to try crab cakes, so we ordered enough for the whole table. He liked them so much, he had them for Lunch on Saturday, too! We “snuck in” our champagne and had a small toast (the rule was we could bring it in as long as the other guests didn’t see it), and then had a small cake mom ordered from the hotel’s bakery. They sat us in a back corner near the big picture windows, so we had relative privacy until around 6PM, when the big dinner/smorgasboard crowd came in.

Tim and I said good-bye to everyone, checked into the hotel and enjoyed the whirlpool tub! 😀

Friday was such a busy day. We started it by heading into downtown Lancaster to see my friend Ramy and to drop off the marriage certificate at my bank (they changed my name on my account earlier in the week when I added Tim, provided we dropped off a copy of the certificate on Friday). Then, we headed over to my mom’s to load up the cars with our reception stuff…boy were we glad we had been upgraded to a mini suv from the rental company! We spent all day Friday at the reception site prepping the food and setting up the tables. Tim took his dad out to Lunch at the Lancaster Brewing Company since there wasn’t a whole lot of “man tasks” to do, but we later set Tim’s dad to work slicing bread! Our cake arrived around 4, and I swear it was all purple. For some reason, all photos make it look blue. We briefly returned to the hotel to change back into our wedding clothes, and that was the first time Tim and I had been alone since we woke up that morning!

Our reception went off without a hitch. Well, maybe a few minor hitches, but I didn’t notice any other than my cake looking blue in photos when it was purple in real life! Dana and Jilly made a beautiful cake, and the teenage waitstaff did a great job circulating the appetizers and doing all things waitress-ey. My small cousin was there and there was a brief problem with her and my “nieces” (my friend Ramy’s daughters call me Aunt). I had one of my nieces on one arm claiming “mine!” and my cousin on the other! Fortunately, by the end of the evening the two older girls were playing friendly and the youngest was tagging along with them! We also missed a few people…some people had either emailed or texted to explain they wouldn’t be there, but in the end, we only had about 30 out of the original 50. I wasn’t upset, but I was annoyed at all the food we had bought! Fortunately, my mom was able to take a lot of the food over to her office to feed the employees while we were away on our honeymoon.

I put three of my closest friends on the spot and asked them to do the toast. Ramy nicely reminded me she thought I was obnoxious when we met (I was 12!) and Sarah (my practically roommate from college) almost brought me to tears with her kind words. Then Tim decided to get in on the speech making and gave a thank you to everyone who helped us.

By this point, I was hungry. I had everyone urging me to make a plate – and I did, I swear I did! But I only managed a few bites in between running around and talking to people. The only bite of cake I had was the one Tim fed me! We did remedy this by putting together a plate of meat, cheese, and rolls for Tim and I to take back to the hotel that night while we were cleaning up.

I barely did any cleaning up. By 9PM, my feet were killing me. Not because my shoes weren’t comfortable, but because my shoes didn’t agree with the flooring of the venue and I kept sliding around which really hurt my ankles and spread down to my feet. A few of my guests stuck around to help with cleaning up too, which was really appreciated! We had to put all the tables and chairs away and clean the kitchen before we could leave, and of course had to load the cars back up.

We opted to put all the perishable stuff in my mom’s car and anything non-perishable in the rental so Tim and I wouldn’t have to drive back to Mom’s house that night. Fortunately, the rental had dark tinted windows so things like the stereo system were hidden.

Saturday morning we checked out of the hotel and headed back to my mom’s briefly to unload our car, pack ourselves some reception leftovers for the road, and packed up our suitcases for the honeymoon – a road trip down to Orlando to visit my relatives with several days at Walt Disney World and a visit to Miss M.

Unfortunately, the Monday after we returned from the honeymoon I had to put Tim on a plane back to the UK. Currently, I’m waiting for my new passport to arrive, and then we’ll be putting together the application for my spousal visa. We estimate we’ll be together permanently by mid-January. I’ve been spending my time trying to pack up my stuff we’re moving and donating or trashing everything else. Wow, 30 years of life = lots of stuff.

….And we get to do this all over again in the UK this Spring for our UK reception, too!

For those of you who are just in it for the pics….

My cat, Will, with my bouquet designed by Jilly

Tim and his Mum, Jen.

Happy at the Judge’s office, right after the ceremony

Me with my girls – Maid of Honour Erin and Best Woman Laura

What this picture really says: “OMG I’M FREEZING!”

The Mrs Ls – me with Tim’s Mum

After retreating inside. Our whole group from Thursday – Tim’s parents are on either side of us and on the top my mom is on the right and my aunt is between our attendants.

Cutting our (first) cake

— Reception —

Our cake & Topper

Tim and I at our own little table….see? I DO have food in front of me!

Sharing cake! Tim was put under orders NOT to smash it in my face or ruin my dress

Tim, mid-speech.

I’m too lazy to go back and rotate this. The little girl in the front is one of my “nieces” and the little one in the back is my cousin

A picture expertly tinted by Laura, who doubled as our photographer for the ceremony day.

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Tim’s uncle passed away yesterday, and before I get back to blogging about trips and things, I wanted to post about meeting him. We stopped by “on our way” to Liverpool and Blackpool to see him. We were expecting to stay for maybe a half hour before he got too tired for visitors, but he managed two and a half hours before we bowed out to leave. I had never met him before, and I think Tim was a little nervous for me meeting his uncle while he was so ill, but I’m glad I got the chance to. While we were there, he pulled out all his old 45s and showed them to us and played a few…at eardrum breaking volume! He had pretty much every single 45 the Beatles released….in original mint condition. It was absolutely amazing to look at his collection and hear him tell us about it and ask his wife (Aunt C) to put on a few records for us.

I’m glad Tim got the opportunity to see his uncle, and I’m glad I got to meet him. Tim’s dad told us he really enjoyed our visit, and that’s what counts.

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Say Goodbye

Tonight was my “going away” of sorts. C invited me over for dinner with her, J, and baby C and also invited over B, L, and their kids. After dinner we had a cake because B & L’s oldest son turns 10 on Tuesday. Imagine how touched I was when L told him he was sharing his cake with two other people – J, who has a birthday this week also, and *me* as a going away cake. It really made me feel fuzzy to know that I was being included. After cake, we played a rousing game of 3 on 3 (girls vs. boys with L and B’s oldest as the extra boy) Canasta. and played, and played. It’s 2AM, and I stumbled into the house about 10-15 minutes ago. But it was loads of fun, and even if I have a lot I still need to do…I’m so glad that I went over and had the chance to see everyone I’ve met here.

I gave L my contact card. They don’t have internet (I know, I was shocked too), but the boys might send me letters :). I’ve been told when I come back they all look forward to seeing me, too.

So it was a really nice send off. I do sort of hope I get to come back someday.

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Potato Soup

Mom was talking about making potato soup over the weekend, and it got me wanting it, so I had her email me the recipe.  I had to go over to the grocery store to get bread and potatos, and I didn’t feel like walking all the way down to Extra Foods, so I just went to Safeway.  Since I was over at the mall, I also stopped in at A&W for, you guessed it, a Root Beer Float.  While I was sitting there enjoying my treat, I noticed a few funny people I just had to share.

The first group were three older adults, the youngest-looking of the three using a walker.  They all came into the restaurant and sat down near the door and just stared at the front counter and the menu board.  After about five minutes, the one man said something to the other about “bad service”.  I honestly think they expected the girl behind the register to walk over to them and take their order!  The man with the walker made a big deal about getting up and then walked without his walker up to the counter to place an order.  Weird.

Across the mall from the A&W is a clothing store.  I watched a customer undress the window mannequin because the mannequin was apparently wearing her size.  I also watched while she just left the poor half naked mannequin with a purse slung over it’s bare chest so she could buy her sweater!

In addition to the potato soup, I decided to make some instant pudding for dessert….only, I had forgotten until yesterday that I had put half my milk in the freezer while I was camping so it would last longer when I got back…..and it’s still frozen.  I managed to squeeze out the 2 cups I needed by scraping the milk-ice..kind of like a milky snowcone, and then waiting for that to melt in the measuring cup until I had 2 cups.  Whoops.  Hope enough is thawed by the morning for my cereal!

It’s going to get down to 4C tonight, so I hope my pajama pants are dry soon!  (I’m also doing laundry today)

If you want my mom’s potato soup recipe, here it is:

Potatoes  diced   – about  8 cups
2 or 3 hard boiled eggs (depends on the size of eggs)
parsley (optional)
1 pint half and half or light cream

After dicing potatoes, cook in large pan with water until slightly soft, Meantime
cook eggs.  Add milk, eggs, and parsley, don’t let it boil but bring
just to boiling point add small bits of butter (also optional) I
usually pepper and salt to give a little flavor.

I served mine up with some pillsbury breadsticks I brushed with egg and topped with poppy seeds.  Yum!  (although, mom’s is better….)

And because no post is complete without cat photos:


Good Food, New Friends, Lots of Fun

Yesterday I attended a Barbecue over at C and J’s. They also invited their friends L and B and their children, who I’ll just refer to as K1-K4. K1 is 7, K4 is 6 weeks old. Later on in the day, R and his wife (another)C showed up. J set up the kiddie pool for the bigger kids (as compared to the babies) to play in and C, L, and I made two fantastic hot dips and a cucumber salad. I don’t know what all goes in the Spinach and Artichoke dip, but I do remember what went into the broccoli dip, since I made part of it-

1 packaged thawed chopped broccoli (we used fresh though)
1/2 cup roasted red peppers (we used fresh red pepper)
1 cup miracle whip
1/2 cup parmesean cheese
1 cup shredded mozzarella

mix it all together and put it in the oven at 350°F until bubbly and melted (15 minutes or so).

So yummy with some whole grain Tostidos. I made some Freezer pickles a few days before with part of the mountain of cucumbers C gave me. I couldn’t remember mom’s recipe, and she wasn’t online for me to ask her, so I looked it up online and sort of combined two recipes into one.


Thinly sliced cucumbers
1 cup sugar (I omitted this and used a few packets of splenda….should have used more!)
1 cup cider vinegar or white vinegar (I used white, and way more than a cup)
Diced onion (I used a leftover red onion Sarah and Joe left)
Dill or celery seed.

Put the cucumbers and onion in a bowl. Add a few tablespoons of water and some salt. Let sit for 2 hours. Drain, but don’t rinse. boil sugar and vinegar until the sugar has dissolved. Add dill (until it tastes the way you want it to) Combine it all into a freezer safe container. Freeze. In two days, you have pickles, or you can keep them in longer and get it out when you’re ready for them!

By omitting the sugar I made *really* tart pickles though, so I don’t really recommend doing that, or if you are going to do that, use more Splenda than just three packets!

We started being attacked by wasps, so we went indoors and the three older boys were watching DVDs. They picked “Enchanted”, which I hadn’t seen yet, so they invited me to watch it with them. I liked it, and the boys were cute in “spoiling me” (the plot was pretty predictable, so I had fun gasping at the appropriate places)

So, here’s some photos from yesterday…or not, because WordPress seems to not want to add photos today. *sigh* Photos later, then.

Okay, photos working now.

Baby C pets the kitten

K4 is only six weeks old. L calls this “burrito baby”.

K1 & K2 were “dissecting” a dead wasp.

C and Baby C

C’s cat, Luka, sitting in the grocery sacks

Hobbes, licking his lips after licking the dill off a chip…he kept begging for one, and Sarah told me if he kept it up to give him one to see what he would do…he just licked off the dill and left the chip on the floor!

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Rude Canadians?

Wow, I really bought into the old stereotype of “All Canadians are nice and polite” until today. I finally had my experience with a rude Canadian.

Last night, I really wanted a milkshake. I couldn’t remember which A&W Sarah told me was okay to go to, so today I decided to just walk down to the McDonald’s and get a milkshake. There was a family ahead of me – two kids, and two adults, and a teenager, who I wasn’t sure if she was with the family or on her own, since she was significantly older than the other two children. The counter person called “next”, and I hesitated for a minute to try to get the teenager’s attention to see if she was next or part of the family, when the man behind me not only barreled in front of me, but banged into me and practically sent me to the floor in his rush to get to the counter! Wow. I mean, if he had really wanted his Lunch that badly, I might have been nice and let him ahead, but I see no reason to push forward.

My second incident of rude – In order to get to the grocery store from Sarah and Joe’s, you have to cross the “highway” – it’s 4 lanes, but there *is* a crosswalk, and I was told that usually people will stop if they see someone waiting to cross, otherwise, you wait for it to be clear and then walk across like a normal crosswalk. I approached the crosswalk, and the cars on the opposite side of the street both stopped, and the car in the left lane on the side I was on stopped. There was a car coming in the right, but I figured as long as the other cars were stopped, it would stop too, so I started across. That jerk sped up! I had to RUN across the right lane so I could finish crossing. Seriously, what? If all the other cars are stopped for the pedestrian….shouldn’t you?

On the flip side….I talked to the man at the small vegetable stand outside the safeway,and he told me how to find the farmer’s market for next Friday (I’m too pooped right now!) and he sold me a cucumber for CDN$0.25, when he was selling them as “nine for $5”!

Oh, and while we’re on the subject of McDonald’s, I noticed what we would refer to as the “dollar menu” is called the “value menu” and most of the items are CDN$1.39, which when you do the conversion, is US$1.30. So even the fast food is more expensive here! But, they do have a CDN$0.99 Mini Milkshake – it’s the size of the happy meal drink and perfect when you just wanted a little bit of milkshake!

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