Thursday 17 July 2014

A Freaking Celiac in Atlantic Canada

Life is a messy business. If you are doing it right, your life should not be boring. That's just the way I like it. I panic at boring. I can't do monotony, I don't know how anyone could. I like the chaos and the last minute crazy that happens to me all the time. Not drama, I don't do drama. Keep your passive aggressive, gossip whispering OMGs to yourselves.

However, I will always embrace the change and the flux of a well embraced life.

My husband, has accepted a transfer to the City of Halifax for one year starting in September. For those of you who aren't Canadian, which more and more of my readers everyday are not ( step it up Canada seriously) it's the same as moving from Montana to Maine or Moscow to Khabarovsk (can I google or what bitches? Могу ли я таращить карту или что суки?)

Halifax is far from Calgary (about a 5 day drive going balls to walls), but it's not the other side of the world. Our two cities are very different in industry and size and I am really excited to have the spawn experience something new. When his company first came to us with this idea, I screamed 'YES'! I love stuff like this. I love shaking life up. However, shaking your life up comes with a lot of shit along with it.

Such as?

-  A To Do List that is taller than my body

 - A house to pack up and feeling like I'm on an episode of Hoarders. "We are all just five bad decisions away from shitting in a bucket." Cory Chalmers, Hoarders. Make the right call people, seventeen chafing dishes is seventeen too many.

 - Mail forwarding, which is a huge pain in the ass -would we expect anything less from the postal service? I might have to train some pigeons or pony expresses or whatever can get my monthly subscription of  'US' Magazine to me. Gotta keep up with those Kardashians (that was a joke -don't stop reading my blog and throw rotten lettuce at me).

 - Property management companies (who look like nice people in golf shirts but they are really just judgy assholes with clipboards)

 - Renters - who are super duper weird sometimes. One guy gave me a 'pet name' during our email exchange to set up the time for viewing. No honey, Poopsey here isn't going to give you her address. The nice ones have some minor reason for not taking it, "Oh, does it have 16 cupboards in the kitchen? Jeez louise darnit all, we were looking for 17, too bad."

 - Two kids who can't decide if they like this idea or not. One minute, it's like we are going to Disneyland and the next, it's like I am forcing them to live in the back of a sketchy carneys semi-truck for 12 months - they are all panic and fear and clutching toys to their chests like tsunami survivors.

 - Insurance companies who seem to be confused about who works for who. Here's how it is, I pay you a shit ton of money, you save that money, and if my house is blown up in a botched meth lab operation by the creepy renter people, you give me all that money and some extra because I am pretty. What shouldn't happen, is you telling me that I can't leave my home or there will be consequences. It's like the mafia has taken over my insurance company, "Yous betta do what we tells ya doll, or Vinny here's gonna get reeeeeeeel upsetted bout it." If my insurance company has the word "CANADA" in it, and I am moving within the country of "CANADA" this should not be complicated. It's not Abu Dhabi, it's Halifax for the love of God, they have a Costco.

 - Trying to find people to take care of my kids shitty pets is like trying to adopt out a rabid, feces tossing, ill-tempered orangutan rather than a fucking hamster. I knew I would regret the stupid lizard that does nothing but watch my son sleep and lick it's eyeballs. Still, people, seriously, foster the fucking fish for the love of all that is holy. I'm not asking you to take one of the kids, which you totally could by the way if that shit's on the table but either spawn comes with a lizard, a hamster, a swimming frog and two stupid fish. None of these things need to be returned alive at the end of the year, or returned at all to be honest. If you wanna pay for my genius kid to go to MIT, giver shit. The other one wants to be on 'Toddlers and Tiaras' and be Jane Goddall at the same time.... have fun with that.

What I haven't had time to think about is my Celiacs. Do they have restaurants there that are Gluten Friendly? Do they have health food stores that carry the weird ingredients I need to make something as simple as a chocolate chip cookie? Do they have gastroenterologists in case this shit (literally there) goes south?

Who knows? I don't have time to research. If anyone wants to be my helper monkey on that, I would give you a gold star and send a midget stripper to your house.

I've booked my flight, which might or might not be taken with a lizard and a hamster shoved in my bra and a frog in my contact case, I've picked out our new home and packed up thirty bulging eyed, smelly stuffed animals for their trek across our fine country.

I will figure it out. At the very least, lobster is gluten free and I can eat that bit of golden love three meals a day if I have to.

Check back here for updates on A Freaking Celiac in Atlantic Canada. All I can figure, is that life going to get messier from here on out....just the way I like it.

Monday 7 July 2014

Indulgence at Rouge

I have been married for thirteen years as of last month. Am I some sort of marriage expert? Hardly. I feel like my marriage is so personal that trying to give anyone advice on how to do it is silly. It's like asking you how you are a best friend to your best friend, it's not possible. You just DO it. I can tell you though, that my marriage is built on laughter, a...lot....of......laughter. If you have ever laughed out loud at this blog, you would love my husband because he is WAY funnier than I am.

 The main theme of our marriage though, is indulgence. My husband indulges me, incessantly. He has stopped by the side of the road, in a suit, to pick up a rusted old firepit and heft it into the back of the truck because I thought it had charm. Indulgence. He then took the same fireplace to the dump three weeks later because it was so rusty, it started to disintegrate in the back yard causing a volcano like lava to run across the deck towards the kids toes. He saved the children, put out the fire and didn't make me feel bad about any of it. Indulgence. He buys me Gluten Free Chocolates once a month, and reads all of my novels multiple times. He hears me when I tell him we are going to go to Antigua or Africa one day, and he will make it happen, because he indulges me.

The theme of our 13th Anniversary dinner was certainly one of indulgence.

We went to Rouge.

I have been wanting to go to the historic home of AE Cross for a while. Not only has it been ranked number sixty in the top 100 restaurants, Rouge has been a Calgary favorite for years now and after visiting last night, I can see why. It's the indulgence. Plain and simple. Rouge indulges it's guests and truly makes them feel special. Often, with higher end restaurants, even the most experienced diner can be made to feel judged and looked down upon. But Rouge has a way about it that is very unique indeed.

Maybe it's because it's in an old home that you feel so comfortable. Maybe it's the jolly reddish color of the exterior or the lush lawns and gardens surrounding the house in the middle of the urban sprawl. I think it's the people too. Rouge has hired staff that love their job and love the food they serve you and love that you love it. There is a personal touch to everything and it felt both personal and indulgent.

My Celiacs of course was no problem for the fine chefs at Rouge. When informed of my Celiacs, the  server told me with confidence that I could have almost anything I liked and that the chef's would alter my meal accordingly. He offered to get the details of any modifications for my approval but I felt so comfortable that I told him to let the chef's decide for themselves. And they did a beautiful job.

Let's talk about indulgence shall we?

Appetizer was a Risotto 'Carbonara', Poached Duck Egg, Lamb Bacon (LAMB BACON PEOPLE) and Grana Padano. My entrée was a 36 Hour Pork Belly and Atlantic Lobster, Parisienne Gnocchi and Shitake Mushrooms, Spiced Yoghurt - obviously the Gnocchi was omitted from my dish but I didn't notice because someone had put pork belly and lobster on the same plate in front of me. Basically, I just blacked out with happiness at that point. Dessert was a Flourless Chocolate Torte.....self explanatory there.

There were soft palate cleaners, presented without any pomposity, a wine suggestion made without snootiness and a genuine feeling that everyone just wanted you to love it there.

Rouge is easy to love, much like my husband.

After dinner, Trev and I asked to see the gardens and after slipping off my heels and sauntering through the spring grass barefoot, were then indulged and given a personal tour by a server Andrew and one of the Sous Chef's, Eric. Their enthusiasm was infectious and we spent twenty minutes touring the garden and property. Rouge grows as much of it's own produce as it can and indeed, while we chatted, several chefs came out with scissors, selected an herb, snipped it off and returned to the kitchen. Can you GET fresher than that? Hot house tomatoes, micro-greens and fifty year old rubarb plants square neatly in the shadow of this (by today's standard) modest house. It was indulgence at it's finest.

I don't remember ever having a better experience at a restaurant and will certainly be back.

After all, I have many more anniversaries to come. Because I will let you in on a little secret, no one on this planet, would put up with me the way my husband does. No one.  He puts up with my shenanigans, the swearing, the wild manic laughter, the crazy beyond crazy ideas and dreams and on top of all that, he puts up with my Celiacs.
 Now that is what I call, indulgence.