Dump Etiquette

A few weeks ago, I took a big step in the world of fashion: I bought my first above-the-knee skirt (above? below? It’s shorter than my legs are, period.) I love wearing skirts, especially in the summer, especially if they have enough material to allow a little swirl in my twirl.

This skirt is all that and a bag of chips. It’s from Bootlegger, navy blue with colored anchors and cutesy shit all over it. I can wear it with literally anything. It even looks good wrinkled, not that I would know that. *ahem*

So last weekend, I was emptying our storage barn of garbage and recycling, getting ready to make a dump run – maybe make some money at the bottle depot. (To buy more pop and beer, of course. It’s the ciiiiiircle of liiiiiife.)

I don’t know what possessed me to decide that wearing the Skirt of Wonder to the dump was a great idea. Probably the same demon that convinced me to wear my lacy white underwear underneath it. I guess I was feeling good about myself.

So there I was, tossing bags of garbage and bottles into my car in a manner that would make a Tetris champion cry.

When I got to the dump, I had to unload a bag of recycling to get to the garbage underneath.

And then, a hurricane-force gale blew in from the coast of South America to make all hell break loose.

The big blue bag of bottles and cans tipped over, and all of my drinking problems scattered around the dump.

Have you ever been to a Walmart on a Saturday? Then you’ve been to our local dump on a Saturday.

I chased my recycling all over the gravel parking lot, hoping one of the thousand people there might help me, but alas. Also? It’s very difficult to grab errant recycling when you’re busy trying to keep your extra-twirly skirt (God why did I choose the extra-twirl?!) where it belongs.

I’m not saying I publicly exposed myself indecently – I’m just saying that Marilyn Monroe would have been embarrassed.


"Really? Lacy white underwear to the dump? Oh, honey."

After a few moments of “The Carly Show”, I finally dumped my shit, re-packed my other shit and peeled out. To their credit, I didn’t see anyone staring after me.

Less than an hour later, I made $23 dollars at the Bottle Depot. Suck it, Marilyn.

I told Steve when we saw each other that evening, and we had a bit of a giggle. Then I moved on.

The very next day, we were at the grocery store. (Like I said, we had $23 fresh dollars.) We turned down the pet aisle and saw our friend Mik pushing her cart towards us, her 9-month pregnant belly being adorable. We smiled and chatted for a couple of minutes, and then she threw in this offhand comment – “Oh hey, I saw you at the dump the other day!”

“Oh!” I replied nonchalantly. And then I remembered. “…oh?”

She smiled compassionately. “Yyyyeaaahh.”

“I am so sorry you had to see that.” I’m surprised the sight of my booty didn’t send you into labor immediately.

She was full-out laughing now. “I thought you recovered very gracefully!”

In an attempt to change the subject, I *very gracefully* gestured to her belly and very loudly did my Brian Regan impersonation: “So when’s that BABY due, eh?!” #ProudDoula

What am I trying to say?

A.) Buy the cute skirt, no matter how insecure you are about your legs. Cause your legs are awesome.
B.) Don’t wear it to the dump.
C.) Even if you think you’re at a place where you don’t know anyone, you’re wrong. You live in a town with less than 10,000 people; you are never alone.
D.) Seriously, don’t wear a skirt to the dump.
E.) All of the above.


Carly the Barista & the Blustery Day

Level Of Desperation To Blog: Sitting At A Laundromat.

You guys. SO MUCH has happened in the past 2 weeks.

I became a certified barista, and even had an apron pin to prove it until it got chewed up in the washer.

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(Bonus: I think, in general, people like me.)

I joined Zumba and Spin classes, and hiked a mountain and didn’t die.

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Crater Lake!

I was a bridesmaid for the first time.

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Team Bride, partyin’ round the walls of “Jerica!” (Joanna & Eric’s celebrity couple name…needs work…)

I celebrated being married myself for 2 years.

2nd anniversary

And last, but certainly not least – I found us a place to live, and last weekend, we moved in. It’s utter chaos right now, and it’s awesome.

new place

Being adorable and excited.

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This is our backyard.

We have been so busy and so blessed and so tired. But with it comes a peace and happiness that we have not known for quite some time. When we wake up in the morning, we make coffee to sit and gaze lovingly at our backyard out the living room window.
Smithereens are a little incredulous that we’ve actually chosen to live a little ways out of town – 20 minutes to be exact. We just laugh and reassure them that we used to drive that far for the ocean or the skytrain or the local movie theatre – and in a sea of traffic, no less. 20 minutes of highway miles, autumnal colours and wildlife is NOT hard on our gas tank or eyes AT ALL. We breathe in relief and exhale “thank you” on a regular basis in this place.

But as with any transition, there comes a little upheaval and paperwork. We still have to change the hydro bill into our names, hook up Internets and Cable – and I’m at said laundromat because our well needs to be transformed from “egg fart” water into “nice clean drinky bathy water.”

That’s okay. It will come.

In the meantime, I realized today that WIND has been a theme in my life lately, and I don’t know what that means. I’m not talking about the Winds of Change – like, literal wind.

Blustery Event  #1:

I had my first, all-on-my-own, “closing shift” at Starbucks last week. I was a little nervous, but I had a clear to-do list to help me remember all the important tasks. I was supposed to “clock out” and be done by 9:15pm, with Safeway closing at 10pm.

I was getting to the end of the evening, and it had been pretty quiet for most of the night, so I figured I was pretty safe to start cleaning espresso machinery 10 minutes before I closed.

8 minutes before I closed, six people showed up ALL needing espresso-related drinks.

Whatever, I could clean it again.

But I couldn’t find any of the tools used to scrape encrusted milk and coffee droplets from what was supposed to be shiny metal.

Eh, I can wipe that down pretty spic and span for now.

The finish line was in sight – all I needed to do was clean the sinks, and vacuum the counters of any remaining bits of coffee grinds. I had been told the vacuum cleaner resided in the back of the store, in a place called “Starbucks Storage Room.” I had been there before; it wasn’t very big, so I had no doubt I would find a vacuum-like object pretty easily.

So I did what we do: I loaded up a grocery cart with full trash bags to take back to the disposal, intending to bring the vacuum with me on the return trip.

When I got into the storage room, it was like a cardboard box maze. And the only apparatus I could see that had a long nozzle, a handle and an electrical cord was way in the back. I did my best to suck in my cheeks (nope, not those ones) so I could squeeze my way through. Yes! Victory! *Must grab vacuum cleaner, squeeze cheeks once more and get through the maze.* Home run approaching.

I unwound the electrical cord, plugged it in and WWWWHHHHHIIIIRRRRRR.

The expected noise of a vacuum cleaner, no?


A mushroom cloud of dirt, hair, leaves and dust bunnies exploded FROM the nozzle. My pristine counters and displays and floors were no more.

What fresh hell is this? I thought as I angrily yanked the electrical cord from its socket. I peered at the dirty offender very closely….sure enough, in tiny black lettering, it said: electric leaf blower AKA boom sucka.

And so I did not “clock out” until the actual Safeway store started shutting their lights off.

I still have absolutely no idea what an effing LEAF BLOWER was doing in a Starbucks Storage Room.


Blustery Incident #2:

Steven left for Langley again this morning, to take his dad back home, who had graciously given up his week to help us move. In return, I was given a to-do list to help me remember all the important tasks…again. One of those things was to get a post office box. (I thought about mentioning here that Steven put his own name on the to-do list, but then I thought, “Mmm, better not.”)

I knew I would get off work at 3pm today, with plenty of time to take our rental agreement to the post office and get a mailbox. But it ended up being incredibly busy, so I stayed until 3:30pm. On my way out of town, I filled up at the gas station. I was done and ready to drive away – but then a gust of wind THRUST my debit card away from me and UNDERNEATH the gas fill-up station. There was a car waiting to drive in after me, but I got down on my hands and knees; I could see my card, but after a few tries, I knew that it was *just* beyond my fingertips. Plus side: at least no one else in heaven or earth would have access to it either.

So I made an unplanned trek to the Credit Union to get a new card. By the time I ACTUALLY got out of town to open up a mail box, it was almost 4:30pm.

Imagine my surprise when I found out that the post office was still open! (Hey, it was almost 5 on a Tuesday – you never know! #smalltownlife)

And now I’m happy to announce that:



When I finally got to the laundromat 2 hours later, feeling like I’d just run a marathon, I had to laugh. How could I not appreciate the pure drama of this scene? Winter be like “Games of Thrones was right…I’m COMING for you, boys and girls!”


Welcome to Autumn in the North, mutha lovah.

Blustery Incident #3:

It hasn’t actually happened yet. But I feel like…tomorrow….it just *could*. I learned today that my boss’s boss’s BOSS is arriving to inspect and survey the entire store + employees.

And so today has been like


Blustery night, barista’s delight?

Bring it, boss’s boss’s BOSS!!! I have a Facebook wall full of happy customers, and now I know the difference between a leaf blower and a vacuum cleaner AND I KNOW HOW TO USE IT.

Pray for us.

A Barista’s Guide To Traumatizing Small Children (Without Really Trying)

As most of you know, a few weeks ago, we left Vancouver to visit my hometown of Smithers, in the wake of our miscarriage.

As most of you may also know, after that vacation, I left a cryptic post here.

Or maybe you’re one of those lucky people who have had quite the vacation-full, Internet-less summer. Are there people out there still fine with that? Saints preserve us.

So I’m here to finally decode the crypt.

I moved. Back home, to Smithers, approximately 5 days ago. Without my husband. *le sob*

Let me back up.

Obviously, our summer was crappy. But Smithers has ALWAYS been our eventual destination, for having kids and maybe money and a house. (Vancouver, you do us no favours.) It was just a matter of when.

So when we visited Smithers and heard about the current economic boom it’s experiencing, as well as witnessed many “Help Wanted” signs posted in windows (bless the quaint-ness!), we decided to toss our fishing rod out there in the form of a resume and see what took a bite.

Long story short, I am a barista again! In a Safeway! In the only Starbucks present in a town of 5,000+ people!

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* has no idea how to make your Pumpkin Spice Latte*

Gosh, I feel so corporate. I’m part of a union now. I have other foreign words like benefits and direct deposit and Training Against the Success of Shoplifters.

Soooo….you’re saying I CANNOT take this action?

You know what I do not have? A nose ring. Again.

Four years ago, I briefly dated someone who was, shall we say, an uber conservative Baptist boy who was training up to go be a missionary in Africa – complete with a backpack full of pressed cotton shirts, pants, pamphlets and Bibles. People asked me more than once: “Is he Mormon or JW?”

He was not amused by the nose ring. So, like the lovesick fool I was, I took it out.

The day after we broke up, I found the hole and re-pierced it with much blood, sweat and tears. It had been healing for 5 months.

Ever since then, I’ve had one butt-ugly little stud permanently attached to my shnoz. I had always kinda figured that my skin had started to seal around the stud inside AND out, but I didn’t realize how much until yesterday.

I already knew that Safeway’s conservative dress code was gonna mess with my jam – no piercings, no visible tattoos, no funky hair colours. (Oh, but that cashier in aisle 3 can have a hair-hive higher than Marge Simpson’s! That doesn’t make people stare at ALL.)

But I forgot about my nose-ring until yesterday afternoon, just before my orientation was due to start. I had double-checked everything: black pants, black shoes, SIN card, void check. I was good.

Nope nope nope. Not good.

I had just sat down in the cafe area, enjoying my Blackberry Mojito Iced Tea in my brand-new mug from Steven,

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Isn’t it purty and culturally appropriate?

when I realized that I was about to get called in at any minute, and there was still a highly offensive piece of jewelry defacing my…face.

So, as discreetly as I could, I started twisting and pulling at the tiny metal bit.

It did not go well.





It is stuck. I give up.

Half way through, like Pooh Bear after eating too much honey.

It could neither come out, nor go back in. I gave myself a break, because I was starting to sweat. I needed a sip of tea.

I looked up, and saw a family of 4 small children staring at me intently, eyes wide.

Was she picking her nose? Why is she crying?

I took a sip of the tea and promptly swallowed it too fast, causing me to start choking and coughing like a sailor on his first day at sea.

“Are you okay?” said the mother of the 4 traumatized ones.

“I’m *cough choke* fine! Just *choke* went down *cough* the wrong *gag* tube!”

She couldn’t help asking, it was programmed in her now, she said.

A couple moments later, a very brisk (but ultimately nice) Customer Service Manager came to pick me up for orientation, along with one other young man who was training for Night Crew. She gave me until the next time I arrived for work to bring the nose ring to full completion away from my face.

We spent the next 4 hours together in a backroom with paperwork and educational videos, as well as a tour around the store for things I’ll never need.

She left us alone at a computer with no speakers for the video part of the training. I now know why.

1. ) You can barely hear anything. Because no speakers.

2.) They are gen-yoo-wine made-in-the-80s godawful. If you’ve ever gotten your Food Safe Training and seen those videos, these are pretty much the same, but with worse actors and less vomit.

There were 3 modules for Shoplifting and 12 modules for Hazardous Chemicals used in the work place. There were quizzes for each module, to make sure you’d been paying attention to the videos you couldn’t hear. And every time there was printed information instead of a video, Night Crew Boy next to me mouthed every. single. word. on the screen along with the woman’s robot voice. Maybe his superpower is memorization through his tongue? That would be cool. No, weird. Cool. Weird. Wool.

I was so bored by the 9th module that I started pulling on my stubborn stud once again. After a few minutes, it came out. I (and small children everywhere) rejoiced.

And that’s basically all I’ve done with my new life so far, besides search high and low for rentals that are still available for us Buttons to live in once Steve gets here. My actual training for actual Starbucks begins tomorrow at 9:30am. I already have high hopes that I’m going to have no clue what the f*ck is going on.

So I’m just gonna sit here in my cupcake onesie until then.


Steve the Lean & Mean Marine…McQueen!!!

I’m gonna be honest, the past 2 days haven’t been so great. My body has once again been battling a UTI; not that you needed to know that on its own! But I thought you’d be proud that I, instead of waiting a week for it to heal and ending up in the ER like I did last time, went straight to the walk-in clinic and paid $53 for two different kinds of antibiotics that are hopefully bacteria butt-kickers before the week is out.

And of course, as it MORE OFTEN THAN NOT SEEMS TO OCCUR, my time of the month ALSO arrived today, bringing to mind this brutally accurate statement:


Husband knows I’m lying.

My face. All of the time.

I think you get the idea.

So when Steve came home from work today, I had already been planted on the couch for an uncertain amount of hours, and I was not interested in stopping.

Steve: “I’m gonna take a shower. You okay?”

Zombie Me: “Yep. Go ahead.”

About half an hour later, I realize that I’ve never actually heard any water running.

No. All I’ve heard is the occasional *bzzzzz* *bzzzz* *bzzzzz*

It didn’t register in my brain that something might actually be going on, other than a shower.

Which basically means that when I’m having an “off day” in the future and my 4-year-old gets some brilliant idea involving glue, scissors and nudity…

I might not get on that right away.

Suddenly, the bathroom door opens and Steve comes out with only half the amount of hair he had when he entered the bathroom. HALF.

I lol’d pretty hard, friends.

“I was bored! And wanted to make your day better! Can you help me?”

I nearly choked. CAN I HELP YOU. I, the one with NO depth perception, NO artistic tendencies in the realm of hair…or make-up…or general beauty?

The first and last time I cut a boy’s hair, we broke up a month later.

But unfortunately, when it comes to pure, unadulterated opportunity, the 5-year-old Barbie Killer in me can’t resist.Image
So I did this.

And this.

And maybe took a video. Which I will figure out how to post later.

Then somehow, we got to the point where we said, “SCREW IT!!” and turned Steve into a Marine.


Now all that’s left is accessorizing.





We’re still working on it. 😉

Ahhh, the lengths a man will go to so his wife feels better. Chivalry still lives!