February 25, 2009

6 Things about... Victoria

To even attempt to compete (*wink*) with my blogging partner Kelly and her interesting list of 6 things unique to her would be fool-hardy; I am definitely not a descendent of royalty (nope - no mountains either), I don’t have a favourite sexy car (well… not one that I own!) and Rate My Space won’t be calling me anytime soon!! ;-) With that caveat in mind, I humbly present my 6 things. Interesting? Maybe. Regardless, you’re destined to learn a little about me for sure!


I'm a Mom.
Like many women I'm sure, I dreamed of being a Mom from the time I was a small child. What I didn't dream about was taking on this role while single! In fact, I was a single parent from the moment my son Matt was born until he was 16. I was very lucky to have the phenominal support of my Mom - and Matt's Dad has always played a role in his life. Even with that support, being a Mom has been challenging... but it's also been my greatest success. Matt will be 21 years old next week. He's intellegent, charasmatic, funny, generous, kind, talented (he's an actor) and, if I do say so myself, good looking! Let me introduce you to my son...


I'm an "army" brat - well actually, my Dad was in the US Marine Corps, and typical to the army brat lifestyle, we were regularly on the move. When I reflect back on my grade school years I remember them in connection with where my family lived. Grade 1 was spent in Oceanside and in grade 2 we lived in Twentynine Palms (both in California, the latter in the Mojave Desert). In grade 3 we were stationed in Hawaii; grade 4 was back in California (El Cajon/San Diego). There were other places before and after (even to this day I've not lived in one place longer then 3 years... but that could change!), but the one place that stands out in my mind as the most important and memorable is Ocean Falls, British Columbia, Canada. My parents had recently divorced and Mom brought us back to Canada where she took a job as an accounting clerk at the paper mill in Ocean Falls. So what makes Ocean Falls so unique and special? Well... the extremely remote (no roads in/out) and beautiful (situated in the fjords of British Columbia) town was tiny with a population at the time of no more then 1500 people on a good day. Remember... I'd just come from California - land of a mass-populace, innerstate highways and Disneyland - so you can imagine the culture shock!! In Ocean Falls I learned about people, community and above all... friendship. Unfortunately in the summer of 1980 the provinical government (the owner of Ocean Falls at the time) shut the mill down - and hence the town - and we all had to move away. Many of the wonderful old houses and apartment buildings were burned down to allow the forest to reclaim segments of the area, while other buildings were allowed to fall into ruins. The photo below was taken recently - not much is left. People still live in Ocean Falls, although not many; fishers, artisans, loggers... and there's some eco-tourism that goes on in the area. Those of us who claim a connection to Ocean Falls would all say the same thing: the Falls is a part of us!


Here's a short and sweet one...
At 17 I was in a beauty pageant - the winner represented our city and would go on to the Miss Canada pageant. Nope... I didn't win :-) But I did get to wear one of the princesses' crowns... for a few minutes anyway!!


In the fall of 2001 I moved to South Korea to teach English as a second language in a "hogwan", or private language school. What an experience! There were so many things I loved about my time in Korea: my students, my travels around the country, exploring the open markets (I discovered pigs' heads being sold in this one section of the market - I'm told people hang them at special gatherings and guests put money in the pig's mouth to bring good luck for the hosts... not 100% sure this is accurate - but it's interesting!), exploring Korean mega-department stores (oh the shopping!) and of course Korean BBQ and other delicious Korean foods like tofu soups, bibimbap and kimchi (soooo yummy! I had some kimchi in my salad today!!). I think one of my most favourite things to do, however, was to explore the old pagodas and temples. The Korean's built similar buildings to the Japanese - I'm far from an expert, but the primary difference between the two styles (apart from Japanese structures being taller) is that Koreans paint the ceiling polls supporting the roofs in stunning, detailed and colourful patterns whereas in Japan the buildings are generally kept a natural wood. It's simply beautiful!! And you know what... somehow it's even more beautiful on the extremely old temples, where the paint has worn off with time like at this building, the Bulguksa Temple in Gyeongju built in 751. Still... I wonder how fabulous it would have looked if the detailing on the underside of the roof (and interior ceilings, by the way) were painted as brightly as the traditional roof-polls in my photo to the right? I loved exploring these temple grounds!


When my partner Brian and I renovated our first kitchen I confidently told him that we could tile the floor ourselves... afterall, I'd seen it done on TV and it looked pretty dooable! So we planned and prepared with that in mind. On the day that we were to start tiling the floor we set ourselves up - Brian mixed the motar and cut the first tile. Then he gave me the trowel and said, "Here you go. You said you'd watched it done on TV. Go to it." "OH!" I said in surprise. The look on his face said it all... down on my knees I got and I started tiling. To be fair, he does help from time-to-time... and he's always been my mixer of motar and grout, my tile cuter and general helper... but all of our tiling jobs have been predominately mine. Take a look at the bathroom I tiled - you'll find it in my post Bathroom Fantasies. And, of course, there are the two fireplaces I shared in another earlier post. I love tiling and I'm pretty darn good at it!! In the picture below I'm tiling in preparation for our second kitchen renovation (our current house). And in future posts (check out our March 2nd Met Monday post!) you'll get a chance to see some of my other handywork.


I'm crazy about "Circus Animal Cookies" made by Mother's Cookies!! They remind me of my childhood :-) They're overly sweet, turn your tongue pink and leave a bit of an aftertaste... but I love them!! Unfortunately these wonderful treats aren't sold in Canada, so over the years I've had to make special stops at grocery stores when ever I travel to the States where I pick up multiple bags for the cupboards back home. Bad news though!! As I was googling for images of those wonderful pink and white frosted animals today, I learned that Mother's Cookies shut down all operations :-( They're out of business!! Some possible good news... Keloggs has purchased the tradmarks and recipies of some of Mother's most loved cookies (yes, Circus Animal Cookies are one of them!). The hope is that they will produce these scruptious blobs of sugar and transfats for those of us going through sweet animal cookie withdrawl! Maybe we'll get extra lucky and they'll distribute them in Canada!!

Thanks for reading through my list of 6 things about me.
Kelly mentioned that I would tag 6 additional bloggers... I found coming up with 6 things about myself an extremely painful exercise and so I find I'm reluctant to expect it of someone else! I have to say, though, that it IS fun to read about the people who write the blogs we love to read. So if I send you a message - TAG, YOU'RE IT!!

As they say in Korea: Kam'sa'ham'nida... Thank You!

And, thank you to Maria at
Colour Me Happy for tagging Kelly and me -- this was fun :-)


Marty@A Stroll Thru Life said...

Victoria, you have had a very interesting life. I loved hearing all about you. You're really a very special person, and you really can tile up a storm. Hugs, Marty

Karla said...

Victoria, I haven't even read through your six things yet, and I won't be able to for now because I have to get the kids to bed, BUT I had to say, in regards to your comment about not getting on RMS anytime soon...your fireplace makeover in the condo is STUNNING!!! It is one of my absolute favorite things that I have seen while blogging! I wouldn't be surprised if you DO find yourself on RMS! And when you do, I am going to say "I told you so!" :)

Off to get the kids to bed. I'll be back...

~Karla @ It's The Little Things...

Maria Killam said...

Okay, the tiling the kitchen floor yourself! That is very impressive. This is a great list, thanks for playing the game!!

Anonymous said...

I love circus animals! Did you know they were discontinued? :( Depressing!

Velvet and Linen said...

Hi Girls!
Thank you for including me in on the fun.
I will definitely participate over the weekend!
So nice to get to know you both a little better. You are both such interesting women. I am going to have to think of some good things to make myself sound even half as exciting.
BTW: Love pizza! Chicago thick crust is the best although I do love a good thin crust too!


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