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.

2014-09-05 12.07.05




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

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

2014-09-14 15.35.12

Crater Lake!

I was a bridesmaid for the first time.

2014-09-06 21.54.06

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.

2014-09-15 17.52.38

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.


The Story of Walter

Well, it’s been officially 24 hours since we became parents. And we are in love.

How, you ask? Here’s how.


His name is Walter and this is how he became ours.

Steve and I both grew up with cats in the family, but 6-10 years ago, both of our best feline friends died – one due to tainted cat food and one due to an unfortunate accident involving a canoe, a woodpile and a tire. Simon and Jean-Claude ruined us for all other cats, or so we thought.

Around Christmastime, we started talking about kitties. But in our home, this is not unusual – at least once a day, babies or puppies or kitties or anything else small and adorable are mentioned.

This time was different. Out of curiousity, we started perusing Craigslist to see if there were any free cats.

Heh. Only about 500!

We narrowed the search. “Neutered/Spayed,” “Ginger,” “Under 10 years old”.
Long story short, we ended up calling a number in Chilliwack, which is almost a good hour away from us. But this cat was beautiful and we had to take a look. So we made an appointment over the phone to come see the kitty the next day by 10am. We woke up early, shivering and excited. We were almost out the door when we thought that maybe we should give a quick call over just to say that we were on our way.

“Oh hey, sorry, I forgot to tell you, but I actually gave the cat away last night.”

We accepted this graciously, but I’m inclined to think that if we had driven all the way there only to be told this, some fecal matter might have hit a whirling dervish.

Not long after that, we found another gorgeous cat that was being advertised because the owner’s apartment wouldn’t allow cats. Because of pedigree and perks it came with, he was $100, but we were willing to work with that so we emailed them.

The response was a little weird: “I’m sorry, but I’ve had SO MANY HITS on this cat that I’ve had to raise the price to $250; you’re better off looking elsewhere.”

I’m sorry, is this an auction? Does the price of the cat go up with each person that’s interested? Scammer. We SHUN you.

Two strikes in two days. We were feeling kind of “over it” so we let Christmas and New Year’s happen with great rejoicing and happy times. But we still kept a portfolio of  our favourite cat ads on the back burner.

This is where we would find Walter.


May I divert for a moment to introduce you to another Walter?

He is from a show that JUST ENDED *sniff* called Fringe. It’s a super out-there story with supernatural science, alternate universes and an overall conspiracy to control the world by…well, how about I just shut up.

The Fringe Walter is adorable. He has made Steve and I cry real tears more than once in 5 seasons. He’s brilliant to a fault, and even though you know that he is capable of doing some pretty freaky experiments, you still want to put him in your pocket and take him home at the end of the day and feed him endless amounts of strawberry milkshakes, red licorice and maybe, just maybe, a shot of LSD.


You may recognize him as “Bad Father of the Year” award-winner Denethor from LOTR’s The Return of the King, but you can’t let that bias your opinion of him as Walter.
Denethor = no, Walter = yes.


Back to the cat.

Basically, when we learned his name was Walter, we knew we had to give it a try.

Fast forward through emails and calls to last Sunday, when we learned that in order for us to even SEE Walter, his rescuer would need to come to OUR house first to make sure it would be a good place for him. She was in the serious business of rescuing cats and she wasn’t going to hand her baby over to us just because we looked nice.

So, for the first time since we moved in, we into **CRAZY** mode on the house organization and cleaning up. I will say that, even if we’d been rejected at the end of the day, it would have been worth the effort; our house has never been more functional or looked more awesome.

On Monday, Super Kitty Rescue Ranger came to the house and only stayed 20 minutes before deeming us as decent members of society, but with the concern that the house might be too small for Walter’s wandering tendencies.

On Tuesday, stuff got real. We went to the house where Walter was being kept, and saw firsthand what abandonment and neglect had done to Walter’s trust, even though he was now safely esconced in a mansion that provided for his every need. Super Kitty Rescue Ranger left us alone in his room and we sat in there for an hour, just waiting for him to come out of hiding. I guess we weren’t the only ones who thought we were ruined by previous experience.

Despite his severe shyness, we decided we would try and take him for a week anyway. (We paid $75 and not only did we get a cat, but we got his kennel, litterbox, scratching post, toys, catnip and food!) Our time with him yesterday was spent saying his name a lot, petting him gently (he’s softer than the underside of a duck’s feathers, I swear!) and telling him how great our house was and how much fun he was going to have being loved.

At one point, tears gathered in my eyes as I realized that this practice is not new. How many times have we as humans heard the voice of Love saying, “Come out, come out wherever you are! I know you’ve been hurt before, but have I got a plan for you! You’re going to love where I will take you if you let me.” How many wonderful things have I missed out on because I refused to let myself be adopted and taken in? This motivated me all the more to prove to Walter that this time, things were going to be different.

Now, here we are 24 hours later, and I cannot believe the change that has been brought about in this boy. After he spent 9 hours in the bathroom, he finally decided that we were his best friends with the best food and the best laps and the best bed ever. And our hearts have been opened again as well, to the possibility of loving another living thing that you could very possibly lose.

It will be interesting to see where we are at the end of our one-week trial. I’m hoping the word used will be “inseparable.”




Welcome home, Walter. You’re one of us now! (mwahahaha….)