The Ugly Side of Looking Pretty

Look, this is going to be a short long post, but it is a very important one nonetheless, so stay with me.

So, part of the reason why I have been so slow to post is because some things happened recently in my life. I'm not trying to use this as an excuse, we are all busy, but this is different.

Now, I like having a set day to post on the blog because if I don't have a deadline, generally, things don't happen. So, my goal is to try to post something on  Saturdays that is sewing related, and occasionally on Fridays as I can. If I miss the Saturday deadline, it's not a big deal, I won't beat myself up too much, but I'll try to get it done as quickly as possible after Saturday has passed.

Three Saturdays ago I had a cold. I was doing pretty well to keep it from hitting me too hard-lots of tea and fresh orange juice-but I was still pretty tired. I decided that I would give myself a break for the weekend and just relax so that I wouldn't have to miss any work on Monday. I straightened my hair on Sunday night, set out my new skirt, and made sure that I would be all set for a photo shoot for my next post.

I still felt a little tired but I felt really good about how well put together I was. I even wore my heels to work. I never really feel so well put together so even though my cold was making me tired, I was still feeling really happy. As happy as the first time I wore the jungle dress out.

Now, part of the reason why we all sew our own clothes is because it feels satisfying! There is something so satisfying knowing that you have created something with your bare hands. You figured out what fabric to use, you decided which pattern to make, and you came up with all the little details that make the piece of clothing so much more than what a store bought article could ever be. And the clothes actually fit to boot! It is something unique that is literally made by you. It puts you in control, instead the corporations who manufacture cheap trends using, essentially, slave labour.

Another reason why we make our own clothes is because, let's face it, the attention that you get while wearing your own clothes feels awesome. Homemade clothes look so different that people can't help but comment. The first time I wore my jungle dress a lady at a store asked where I bought it and when I told her I made it, she was so amazed that she asked if I had my own store! That felt pretty damn good! We all like getting good attention, whether we like to admit it or not, and when you feel good in what you wear, and when what you wear looks great on, then the positive remarks tend to flow in constantly.

Unfortunately, sometimes we can get negative attention too. We can get whistles and catcalls and creepy stares. Sometimes we can get worse.

Trevor and I were walking around a store after work on said Monday evening and while we were looking around for a new toilet brush, we felt like we were being followed. Now, I wasn't being paranoid. If you've ever been followed before, you know the feeling I am talking about. Everywhere you walk, the other person walks. If you pick up your speed, so do they. The last time I felt like this was in England when someone was trying to pickpocket my wallet from my purse.

I moved my purse to the front, thinking that the man behind us was going to try to grab my purse, but we were still being followed. I think Trevor felt it too because he said we should just go back to the car. On the way out the door, the man moved so close that I thought he was going to grab my bum. Seriously. He sort of quickly bent down and then walked away. As soon as he turned, I saw it. In his hand he had a cell phone with the camera facing up. This man took a picture up my skirt.

It was so surreal. Did I imagine it? I told Trevor to try to make sure he suspected something had happened too. He did. I wanted to find a phone and call the police (of course, my cell was dead), but I didn't want the perp to get away. Trevor wanted to confront him but I said no. The man, luckily walked into a nearby store where we could watch him as we called the police.

Now, I'm not going to get into too much detail past this point, other than to say that the police showed up super fast (thanks!), but could do nothing because the man had (e-mailed and then deleted?) no evidence on his phone. What I want to say is this:

My cell phone was dead and I did not know the phone number for the Niagara Regional Police. The skirt that I was wearing was modest in length (you'll see), so the thought of some creep taking advantage never crossed my mind. I was lucky enough to be: a) with my husband, b) in a high traffic area, and c) near a store with some amazingly helpful and caring people (Thanks Commisso's!) who let me use their phone. If I was else where and alone, I would have been screwed and this creep would not have his name recorded in the police file.

So, first: PLEASE REPORT IT TO THE POLICE IF SOMETHING LIKE THIS HAPPENS TO YOU. If it isn't reported by you and it happens again to someone else, then he might get away with it again and again. If his name is on the police report, even if he isn't caught, and there is another person accusing him of the same act again in the future, then the police have something to work with. I want this creep behind bars dammit!

Second: PLEASE MAKE SURE THAT YOUR CELL PHONE IS ALWAYS CHARGED AND PLEASE ADD THE PHONE NUMBER OF YOUR LOCAL POLICE SERVICE INTO IT RIGHT NOW. I mean it. I will wait here while you add it...................Are you done yet? No? Geeze you are a slow phone-typer............Done? Okay. Good. Thank you.

I never thought something like this would happen to me, so I'm sure you are thinking the same. I hope it doesn't, because I was in a real funk for the week after it happened. I was real shook up after it happened. I was really down the next day. I didn't want to do my photo shoot and I didn't want to wear my skirt (or any skirt). But at the same time I wanted to wear it all the time as if to say, "I'm not going to let you stop me from doing what I want!" I was basically a walking mixed bag of emotions.

The following night after work one our mousetraps went off in the kitchen and the trap had caught it's teeny tiny leg, but he was still alive. Trevor hates mice (I think they are fricking cute as hell, I'd just rather they not be in my house eating my food), so I had to release him from the trap. I felt AWFUL for the little guy. He clearly was in pain. I let him out outside (not thinking), and he proceeded to crawl back under the deck (and likely back into the house, ha!). It is at this point that I lost it. So I decided to give myself a break from the blog until I felt good enough to tell you all about my ordeal.

Luckily for me, when karma gives you a really awful few days, it tries to make up for it. I took the day off that Wednesday to recoup. Trevor found out that his police check came in (He can start supply working finally! He was waiting for over a month for this thing.), I got to FEED SOME CHICKENS (It is actually a dream of mine to one day own chickens. They are hilarious.), and we went out for a great dinner with some friends on that Friday, where I ordered a locally-sourced maple syrup cotton candy for dessert that literally towered three feet into the air. While wearing my jungle dress. :)

I also made a face out of my cotton candy when I had eaten too much of it and was waiting for it to get packed up:

Notice he sports a fancy moustache.
As for the next Saturday, it was Thanksgiving! So Trev and I took some much needed time off. And this Saturday? It was Oktoberfest, silly! But hey, here is my post. And the skirt photo shoot has taken place already, and is in the works for real soon. Perhaps even during the week? We'll see.

So please. Don't feel bad for me or apologize that this happened to me. It did. It sucked. I'm over it. Just promise me you'll report it if it happens to you.

And keep wearing those damn skirts, ladies!


[powered by: This guy- because serious posts require silly videos, and this song]


Foodie Friday: Tom-ay-to, Tom-ah-to!

Sorry for being M.I.A. lately. Long story! Regardless, since this is one of the last weekends that you will be able to get tomatoes at the farmer's market and off your tomato plants (at least here in Niagara), I though I would show you how Trevor and I freeze our tomatoes for sauce.

But first a little garden story: When Trevor and I bought this house, one of the first things we did was start to plan out the garden. I went online to Johnny's Select Seeds and onto Salt Spring Seeds and went crazy! I just love growing plants from seed. It is very satisfying knowing that your tender loving care is what produced such a bounty of food in such a short time! Even better than that, I like growing heirloom varieties that no one else really grows.

Chillin' on my tomato plant: If you know what kind of caterpillar this is, please let me know!
This is especially true with tomatoes. Did you know that you can grow tomatoes that are red, green, yellow, orange, pink, white, purple, brown/black, striped, in husks, marble-sized, softball-sized, pepper-shaped, pear-shaped, smooth, bumpy, and everything in between? This means that I have lots of variety to choose from each year. (Next year? Yes, please!)

This year we chose three varieties: black cherry, wild, and riesetomate, which is my favourite, because it looks weird.

Unriped Riesetomate in my garden
We ended up with ten plants in the ground between the three varieties. Then, Trevor's tutor family gave him two giant flats of tomato plants (!!!). So, we dug a giant hole in the ground, planted ten more and put the rest in pots. The ones in pots sadly, did not do as well as the others (mostly because I tend to forget to water, and it was smokin' hot this summer), but the ones in the ground did great! Check out this one day's bounty:

We did not know what variety the plants that were given to us. My best guess is some saladette, some beefsteak, some roma, and some san marzano. Regardless, that means we had a garden, almost exclusively, of a lot of tomatoes! And anyone who has a few tomato plants knows that tomatoes don't always turn at the same time. So instead of canning them, we decided to freeze our tomatoes in a way that they would just need a little cooking down before becoming sauce.

I will warn you if you wish to give it a try: this is messy. And rewarding!

First get out your tomatoes! It is okay if they are a little green, or have yucky (not moldy), parts on them: you can cut them off. You don't want them to be too ripe and mushy (firm is good).

The next thing you have to do is give all your tomatoes two slices in the shape of an X on the "bum end" of the tomato. Make sure it is as shallow as you can get it. The aim is to pierce the skin.

Once all your tomatoes are ready and pierced, you need a large pot of boiling water, a pot of ice water (we just used super cold water, we had no ice), and something to move the tomatoes out of the hot into the cold. Place a few tomatoes at a time into the boiling water.

They will only need to be in there for about one minute. If you notice that the skin is already coming off, like the big tomato in the photo above, it is definitely ready! Next, transfer the tomatoes into the ice water to stop the cooking and get the next batch of tomatoes into the boiling water as you work.

After about a minute or two, you can take the tomatoes out of the ice water and peel the skins off. You can discard the skins. Once peeled, cut out any of the aforementioned "yucky" spots, and slice in half.

Finally, SQUEEZE out the seeds, toss the "goods" into a strainer, and once you are finished all the tomatoes, take the tomatoes from the strainer and place into some freezer bags. Try to get out as much air as possible.

Enjoy on a cold winter's night!

Special thanks to the guide on Pick Your Own for getting us through the first time!

See you soon!

Carlee :)

[powered by: Attack of the Killer Tomatoes]