Where`s My Meat and Potatoes?

Growing up in the country I`ve grown accustomed to many things. Including conservative, grumpy old men. And what do old men like to complain about? Food that their wives make for them every single day (and have been for fifty odd years or so) half-willingly. (I use the word willingly rather lightly.) Meat and potatoes is every old man`s favourite. When there aren`t meat and potatoes on the table that night, there will probably be some complaining. And when there are meat and potatoes there`s probably something wrong with how you cooked them.

It`s not like my town is entirely populated with grumpy white men either. There are many Sikhs in our community including many of my peers. I`ve grown up having bites to eat from my Indian friends` lunchboxes. In fact, I had the honour of making one of my peer`s her first cup of  ``white person tea``. We have an Indian and a Thai restaurant that are both very good. I love my pasta, enchiladas, french pastries, flat breads and curries. Yet, my uncles and grandpa still can`t figure out why anyone would even want to eat a bowl of curry.

The problem with this anti-ethnic taste is that I have become too accustomed with Grandma`s country cooking. And I`ve gone far too long without my country cooking. I was away at camp for a few weeks earlier this month and everything we ate seemed to be on some sort of bun or wrap. Now, I`m in the city and I`m trying various ethnic foods and my relatives are constantly cooking me Medditeranean and Middle-Eastern eats. All I have eaten since I stepped off the plane is rice, pitas, hummus, curries, shrawma, poutine, french pastries and coffee. And now, despite my love of ethnic food, all I want to do is crawl back to my Grandma`s kitchen and eat roast beef, mashed potatoes, gravy and some asparagus or greens or something other than ethnic food.

How to be Cute

I feel like I often get the compliment, ``You`re so cute, Katie.`` I think it`s because I`m rather short. As in just over five foot one short. But being `cute` isn`t all about physical appearance. I know rather tall females that are cute as well. Another thing before I start giving instructions on how to be cute, please remember that these are guidelines and that if you try too hard at being cute, you`ll just be acting fake. But here goes nothing:

Vertically Challenged
This is one of the key things to being cute. The word cute is often used to desribe children. Those who are short are often mistaken for being younger than they actually are. Therefore being short will add about 50% more cute factor to your persona.

What to Wear
Think of what typical Asian girls wear. For some reason all these little Oriental women have the cutest style. Little skirts with tights, bows in their hair, polka dots, collars,
hearts, sweaters, button downs, etc. Don`t over-do it though (no Hello Kitty please). Also oversized sweaters with too long of sleeves are adorable. And if you`re tiny, like myself, finding an oversize anything, is never a problem.

Having a cute smile or smirk looks good on anybody. Angsty or grumpy is never cute.

Puppy Dog Eyes
If the time is right.

No matter your size or appearance, kindness is always an option and usually the solution. Being friendly, approachable and sweet is always a necessity. Whether you`re talking to a good friend, a street person or a not so friendly store clerk, be kind. 

I hope this helps with being an all around cuter person. Stay lovely!

Sunsets and Urbansprawl

People always wonder why I like living in the country. I mean isn't filled with uneducated hicks? I mean there's no Starbucks or Wal-Mart anywhere. How can I possibly survive without lattes and crap made in China? I actually go to a rodeo every year? I like cowboy boots? I listen to country music? I have to deal with tractors and farmers all the time? That's just not normal to not have an urban sprawl growing around you. Or is it?

When I was younger I hated this place. I wanted to be in a city bustling with people and life. I've grown to love it, but over the last few weeks I've discovered how lovely it truly is. And maybe you with the urban sprawl will re-discover how great the world is.

Recently I stayed with my grandparents while my parents were out of town. Even though my grandpa has lived here his entire life and has never traveled anywhere he is still thankful that he lives here every single day. Every morning my grandparents and I would have coffee on their front porch. And every morning he would say, "don't we live in a nice place". Or, "listen to that. Just birds chirpin'. They don't get to listen to that sound much in the city." We'd watch the quiet street to see if anyone we knew drove past and gossip and watch the neighborhood squirrel run along the fence. Every morning. Then about two hours later, it would be coffee time and we'd do the exact same thing and then we'd eat our lunch outside another two hours later. Every single day. And they never once complained about it.

But it wasn't just my grandparents love for this magical place that re-ignited my passion for my hometown. One night while I was at my grandparents we had just come home from visiting family and I noticed the most beautiful sunset I had every seen. It had so many different colours and the blue sky was so blue and also such a strange colour of blue. It was gorgeous. I went to go get my camera and right away I started to think of all the cheeky things I could say when I posted the picture on Facebook. But I couldn't find my camera. It was no where to be found. I decided to go watch the sun go down anyway, despite my lack of technology. I went out and found a nice place on the fence. (Yes I was sitting on a fence in my grandparents' pasture.) I probably sat out there for a good ten minutes. Just sitting and staring. No music, no people, no carhorns or sirens. Just me, the sky, a few cows staring at me and the chirp of crickets and birds. If I would've had my camera I wouldn't have just relaxed like I did. I realized out in the pasture that night what my grandpa was talking about that whole time. I mean I've almost always been thankful for being raised in such a unique and beautiful place, but I really realized why my grandpa has stayed here literally forever. I saw my hometown through his eyes. 

That may explain why I'm not ashamed of my hometown unlike many of my peers. But what can the rest of the world stuck in the concrete jungle learn from my little experience on the farm? Enjoy where you live.  Cities do have the ability to have nice sunsets. Put down your damn phone. Turn it off. Drink your morning coffee outside. Just stare out your window. Enjoy the view. Really look and listen to the world around you. And please remember that we're not all hicks out here. We're not any different than you with the Starbucks and Wal-Mart. We might even be luckier.

A gorgeous city sunset above some apartments in the city.

A sunset at my grandparents' farm on another evening.


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