Safety First!

Travelling to Powell River for the Family Day weekend, we arrived at the ferry terminal at twilight. Even the wet, yucky weather couldn’t diminish the beautiful scene of water, sky and clouds (lots, of damn rain-producing clouds!)

Once we were on the ferry, my sailor and I went upstairs for coffee and snacks. Our boy and Chihuahua remained in the truck. He was in the back seat (hidden from view by the tinted windows) watching a movie. She hopped onto the driver’s seat the moment my sailor’s bottom vacated it so she could glare at everyone passing in the manner of small dogs who think they should rule the world.

Well into the voyage, the loud-speaker crackled to life with an important announcement:

“Attention! Would the driver of a silver Ford truck with a Chihuahua return to the car deck. Your Chihuahua has turned on your lights.”

My sailor and I looked at each other. Odds are this was our truck/Chihuahua combination.

The beauty of cell phones is that neither of us had to do the walk of shame through the crowded cafeteria to direct our Chihuahua to stop playing with the lights. I texted our boy to ask him to turn them off and please keep a better eye on the Chihuahua of power.

Whew!–mini Marititme crisis averted.

Wandering through the ferry afterwards, I was impressed by some of the signage.

Clearly, safety is a priority on these vessels.

Oh dear! I think I performed this manoeuver (twice) at a reading conference in Victoria last fall. Where were warning signs like this when I needed them?

My favourite BC Ferries warning sing of all time. This powerful image speaks for itself.


Easiest White Bread?

I got cocky this Family Day weekend.

It’s cold, wet and snowy. Winter is giving us a last wallop before spring arrives, and I’m fed up with these frigid conditions. I craved something comforting to combat Mother Nature’s abuse. What’s more warming than the smell of baking bread when you’re riding out a storm? Nothing, that’s what!

The recipe I found online was amazingly simple.

Dissolve a sachet of active dry yeast in warm water, stir in a little salt, a pinch of sugar, a glug of olive oil and a whole bunch of flour. Knead for an undisclosed amount of time, leave it to rise and voila–a beautiful loaf of bread ready to pop into the oven.

The first indication that something wasn’t right was when my dough barely plumped after its time alone under a tea towel. A quick internet search revealed that the yeast needs time to bubble away in its warm, sugary bath before anything else is added. My super simple recipe neglected to mention this.

Not only did I end up with a rustic slab more like a giant cracker than a loaf of bread, but there was no delicious baking bread scent.

My sailor is at work today because Family Day is a provincial holiday and he works for the federal government so that left my boy as chief guinea pig, er, taster.

“I don’t think we should eat that,” he said poking it with a steak knife. “I overheard you telling someone on the phone that you didn’t do it properly.”

“It’s fine,” I said, taking the knife off him and hacking at the tough crust. “I’m your mother. I’d never intentionally harm you.”

His eyes widened as I passed him a heavy lump.

“It’s the word intentionally that worries me.”

We each tried a crouton-sized bite.

The dog, who is normally the biggest mooch going, didn’t come near the kitchen while I was slicing it. It’s probably for the best as she’s the only one in the family without access to free healthcare.

And my sailor?–He’ll stick to Wonder Bread for the time being.