Showing posts with label personal. Show all posts
Showing posts with label personal. Show all posts

2.04.2019

making the move from plastic to glass food storage

Pyrex!
I bought these! I love them!

For the longest time, I've had a very large collection of plastic food storage containers. Allan and I have always brought most of our meals to work -- for healthy eating, for convenience (I'd rather not spend any part of my meal break foraging), and to economize. I also tend to cook in batches, plus of course there are always leftovers.

Eons ago, when I bought all the plastic, I didn't know it was unhealthy -- that the polymers break down and enter your food. I knew plastics were bad for the environment, but I thought if I kept the same ones for a long time, it was not as disposable. Plus I commuted by subway to my day-job, with a lot of walking on both ends. Even if I had known that glass food storage existed (which I didn't), it would have been too heavy to carry.

More recently I learned that all this lovely plastic has been leaching into our food for all these years. Yuck. Plus the containers have gotten old and ugly. I was torn between the desire to switch to glass food storage and my attempt to not replace things that are still useable. So I held off for several more years.

Now, in our new small-town lifestyle, we are cooking more, so I'm using a lot of plastic containers, and they are squicking me out. I gave myself permission to replace them. After all, I bought them more than 15 years ago! And I'm not even throwing them away: they will have a new life storing supplies for library craft programs. (I am single-handedly de-cluttering and organizing the Port Hardy Library!)

The next question was: Rubbermaid or Pyrex? Both are known for good quality. Both are safe for dishwasher, microwave, and oven (although not in rapid succession). Both have lots of nice sizes and options. Reading reviews online, it seemed somewhat of a toss-up. This wrap-up at Wirecutter finally tipped the scale to Pyrex.

I bought two of the set pictured above -- one 7-cup, two 4-cups, two 2-cups, and 2 one-cups (times two). Each size has a different colour lid, which is good for organization. I purchased them from Wayfair.ca, my current go-to for online housewares.

I can't do anything about all the carcinogens we've already ingested, but at least we can slow down the overall load. Plus I'm an organization freak: I love containers! I've just received two big boxes of shiny new toys! I find that having nice kitchen tools makes cooking more enjoyable.

1.29.2019

in which we find ourselves the owners of an suv

Add this to the list of things I said I'd never do, along with colour my hair and move to the west coast while my mother is alive. My hair, once a lovely honey blond, became a drab brown. My mom moved to the west coast first! And we need a bigger vehicle that can handle rural road conditions.

And so, we own an SUV.

In 22 years in New York City, I didn't own a car at all. We bought a new hatchback wagon in 2005 and a well-used compact in 2017. And yesterday we bought a big thing: a 2014 Mitsubishi Outlander with two sets of tires (including new snow tires) and 88K kms on the odometer.

As we were shopping, both online and in person, I saw that I really prefer a boxy shape, an SUV that looks more like a small truck -- Subaru Forester, Toyota 4Runner, Volkswagen Tiguan. But the car has to be in good condition and within our budget, and we didn't see any of those that fit.

A 2016 Tiguan did turn my head, but the payments would have been a big stretch (who needs that!), plus the vehicle wouldn't actually give us much more cargo and passenger space than our compact Kia Spectra!

There were also lots of nice-looking red Kia Souls. If we were a two-car family and had one small and one large vehicle, I'd want that red Soul for myself... but that's not us.

In the end, it came down availability, affordability, and an appearance we could live with. So here it is, the third car we have owned, with our new BC plates.




1.27.2019

port hardy in photos

Here are some photos of our town and the area surrounding it.

Our lovely little rental house is an endangered species, a ranch, all on one floor. Excellent for my problematic knees and ankles.



It would have made more sense to build the deck on this side, where there's a lot more space and still plenty of privacy.





Instead, the deck is in the back, up against a neighbour's house -- which I'm guessing was built after ours. But these neighbours are rarely home, they are usually off exploring in their gigantic RV. And we are very happy to have a deck!




Diego wants to play.



Our street -- looking towards the cul-de-sac, the forest.



Our street looking towards the main road. Note the mountains in the distance.



Here's the view from around the corner, on an (extremely rare) clear day.



Less than a five-minutes drive, we are in town. Here's my library!




Downstairs from the Library is the Port Hardy Museum. They've been closed for the winter, but I'm looking forward to working with them.



The Library and Museum are on Market Street, Port Hardy's cute little main street.




Guido's is a local landmark -- an excellent cafe, a lovely small bookstore and gift shop, and a large and extensive shop filled with the work of local artists and artisans. It's the only place like it in our town, and it's an absolute gem.




This restaurant has two names -- the original name, Captain Hardy's -- which most people still use, even though it's no long the name of the place -- and the new name, Fire Chefs. Captain Hardy's had a long history here, and the new owners very smartly kept one of the signs. The food is amazing. I keep trying to order something different, but when you've found the most perfect fish-and-chips -- from halibut, no less -- it's hard to say no.





There are lots of murals in the area. The one above is next to Fire Chefs. The one below is the library and museum building.




Like Guido's, Macandale's is a local landmark.



Unfortunately a lot of Port Hardy looks like this. This is what it means to live in a "resource town," tied to extraction industries. A mill closes, a mine is abandoned, a fishing run is depleted -- and this happens. It's boom or bust.





But facing the other way, you see this. You're never far from mountains and water here.


The Christian Fellowship offers a free, hot -- and reportedly delicious -- breakfast every morning. They serve anywhere from 30 to 150 people each day. They are good people, who treat everyone with dignity and respect, and aren't fishing for converts.



Here's our little post office. There's no door-to-door delivery here. That's no problem for us, as we live five minutes away, but it's definitely an issue for more rural folks. The post-office workers are super friendly and helpful.

That's Allan and Diego going to pick up one of our many packages. It's Sunday -- on weekdays there are always lots of trucks outside and people running in and out.




The sign says mall, but it's really it's just the Save On Foods (supermarket), a pharmacy, a subway, and a lot of empty space. There's also a job bank and some other service agencies inside.



There are a few chain stores here.




This is the intersection at Rt. 19 -- the road down to Campbell River and the rest of the island. You can see our only fast-food restaurant, and our two gas stations.



This guy is everywhere. There are no traffic lights in the whole town! This intersection is known as "the four-way". See the bay and mountains in the distance.




This is a First Nations-owned hotel and restaurant. The food is supposed to be great; we are looking forward to going. I'm planning a separate post about the restaurants of the area, but I'm waiting until we've been to them all once. The options are limited, but so far all the food has been really good.



We heard there was Chinese food in town, but we couldn't find it. Along with several other things I was looking for, I was told, "It's at the old mall". We looked everywhere but still nothing. Finally I asked someone where this "old mall" is. Turns out it's between our place and the main street, but well off the road. It's more properly called a ghost mall, although it is trying to make a comeback.



The Old Mall is on a hill; this is the view from the parking lot.



Of course there's a mural.



This is the Chinese restaurant. There is supposed to be a Filipino grocery store in the mall, but I never found it. There is a nails/beauty place, a couple of kiosks, and not much else. But there was a lot of construction. I'll check back on their progress.





I was very surprised to see a lovely little cafe in the middle of the ghost mall.



On Rt. 19, as you enter the Port Hardy District, you pass a group of these historical plaques. They are really nicely done. Eventually we will visit everything listed here. Five of these communities are home to my libraries. Alert Bay, a First Nations community, also has its own library.

Vancouver Island North:



Port Alice:




Alert Bay:




Port McNeill:



Sointula:

Don't you love tourism history? Those "hardy Scandanavian immigrants"
were striking coal miners! They left out the best part!



Sayward:




Woss:



Telegraph Cove:




Coal Harbor:


And our own Port Hardy:





Some other random facts about the area.






Back in town again: the bay is steps away from Port Hardy's main street. Every time we're there we see at least one bald eagle.











Every town in Canada has a cenotaph, but this one also honours First Nations people who died in the empire's wars.











Here are some views of the bay south of town, and also Storey's Beach, a great place to picnic or take your dog for a run. On the way back from Storey's Beach, we turned off at a sign for wildlife viewing. It was an estuary, said to be excellent environments to see migrating birds -- and animals looking for a migrating-bird dinner. We didn't see either, but it was a lovely walk.











Storey's Beach:















Pretty nice spot to wait for a ferry. This boat goes to Bella Coola, Haida Gwaii, and Prince Rupert, on BC's Inside Passage.






There are huge mountains in the distance, but they usually look like this.





I'll do separate photo posts for each of the towns or sites we visit.