Things I’ve Learned Since Last Tuesday…NEW POST!

As most of my readers know, I started a new temporary job last week…I am the Acting Production Manager for the Saint John City Market for the next seven weeks. The job is going to allow me to use my skills in administration, communications, public relations and marketing. The past few days have been one big learning curve! I thought it would be fun to put some of the things I’ve been doing into the context of what they’ve taught me…hope you enjoy it!

1. Sometimes “be-backers” actually come back.  We have people we call “be-backers” come into the bookstore all the time: the ones who take a long time to look at everything, and then leave without buying anything.  They always say as they’re going out the door, “I’ll be back!” (none of them look the least bit like Arnold Schwarzenegger!).  We never see them again…usually.  Last Tuesday, the first cruise ship of the season was in port.  We had two couples come in from the ship.  While they were there, we learned that one of the couples lived in Wooster, Ohio, which is near where my dad went to Theological School in Defiance.  The men were in the U.S. military, and one was quite interested in a Canadian Army training manual we had.  He didn’t buy it, but said that they would go to lunch and think about it.  Two hours later, they all came back with their parents in tow!  He bought the book…

2.  If one is going to attend a two-hour concert at a church, bring a cushion.  My dad sings bass with the Saint John Men’s Chorus, which had its annual spring concert at Portland United Church on Tuesday evening.  Jim, his mom and I went to the show (Jim’s dad wasn’t feeling well).  We all enjoyed it, but were reminded once again of how hard church pews can be!  On a sidenote, there was group of women singers called Still Waters which also performed at the concert.  They sang a Carpenters song which I quite enjoyed, but never knew that it was called “Superstar” (my mom loved The Carpenters, and we often had their albums playing in the 70s).

3. I have very few suitable work clothes that still fit me (or they all shrunk).  It’s been a long time since I’ve had to wear anything more than jeans to work (I usually wear a top, too…cuts down on the staring and pointing!).  I find myself having to buy new clothes, which is rather frustrating when:

a) one is fatter than she wants to be

b) one has very little money to spend

c) one hates shopping for anything besides books and earrings

4. One should start to peel a banana from the bottom.  This handy tip comes from a friend – apparently, that’s how monkeys peel bananas!

How to peel a banana...these are not my hairy hands - photo from

5. I have too many blog subscriptions, and I’m way behind on reading.  I don’t subscribe to anyone who doesn’t write well, but trying to keep up with everyone’s posts is challenging my sanity!  I feel a bit like I’m trying to choose my favourite children when I open up my e-mail at night!  If I haven’t been around to visit you lately, it’s not because I don’t love you any more…”It’s not you, it’s me!”  I hope to get caught up eventually.

6. The food at Cora’s restaurant is outstanding, and the service goes above and beyond.  On Friday, Jim took me to lunch at Cora’s in Parkway Mall to celebrate the new job.  I ordered Chicken and Swiss Panini-Crepe, with no peppers.  The waitress asked if I wanted the Soup of the Day or tomato juice…since I hate tomato juice (it’s a texture thing), I asked what the soup was.  “Squash and Honey,” was the reply.  I ignored Jim’s stricken look (he’s not a squash fan!) and ordered the soup.  It was delicious!  When the waitress came back, I mentioned that I should learn how to make it because I grew squash in my garden.  A couple of minutes later, she came back with a piece of paper and handed it to me.  Imagine my surprise when I found the soup recipe printed on the back of a Cora’s colouring page!  The recipe was for 48 portions, so I may have to play with it a little…

Soon, the waitress came back with our lunch.  Jim had ordered the “Construction Plate” which is essentially a “He-Man’s Breakfast”: bacon, toast, home fries, eggs, and a tiny bit of fruit.  I was putting the dressing on my salad when the girl told me she’d just been informed that there were peppers on my sandwich:  “Just to be clear, is it an allergy?” she asked, as she picked it up to took it away.

“No,” I answered.  “I just don’t really like green peppers.”

A “pepper-free” Panini soon appeared, and was excellent: like Philly Cheese Steak, only with chicken and Swiss…the Spanish onions were cooked to sweet perfection!  Instead of bread, the sandwich was actually wrapped in a crepe.

As Jim paid for our lunch, we helped ourselves to the complimentary brown sugar fudge at the desk…a perfect ending to our meal!

This is the beef version of my sandwich (I picked the radishes out of my salad) from Cora website

7. I’m not the type of person people remember.  Several times this week, I’ve been (re-)introduced to people I’ve met, and they don’t remember me at first.  I try not to take that personally…I’ve been one of those “beige” people ever since I was a kid…not very exciting!  I’m doing my darnedest to remember all the new people I’ve met so far.

8. The vendors at the Saint John City Market are some of the friendliest folks on the planet.  They interact with many different customers every day: locals, tourists, young people, seniors, and eccentrics…they take it all in stride, and still have smiles on their faces at the end of the day!  Although some of them are distressed (even tearful!) that the woman I’m replacing is leaving, they’ve been nice to me so far!

9. June 11th is too late to buy vegetable plants for the garden.  Remember those seedlings I put in a couple weeks ago while they were ripping up my back yard?  Most of them aren’t doing very well, especially the cruciferous veggies: broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, and cabbage.  I managed to pick up some tomato and pepper plants at Co-Op yesterday, but a trip to Brunswick Nurseries to find others was fruitless.  Jim came back with 16 cauliflower seedlings from Superstore last night, which I will plant later today.  I’m hoping that the rest of my plants will rally.  The seeds I planted are coming along nicely, except for the lima beans (only three plants came up) and the sugar snap peas (none of which came up).  Our back yard is still a big hole…

10. A pressure washer is very handy when one lives in an old house.  Jim bought a new toy while I was at work on Friday: he’s been using it to clean all the bird seed debris off the back deck.  We were surprised yesterday after an afternoon of spraying to learn that our house is actually white!  We can see through the windows too!  Years of dirt and other crap has been blasted off my white plastic lawn furniture.  Jim also picked up a new porch glider yesterday…we’ll set it up once the deck is clean.

I’ll be running more pieces from the archives this week, and hope to have another brand-new post next Sunday…have a great week!



Filed under blogging, family, food, gardening, self-discovery

47 responses to “Things I’ve Learned Since Last Tuesday…NEW POST!

  1. Great lunch but that’s probably why its hard to get some clothes to fit. I’m not judging, I am having the same problem cause Curt cooks too good and I keep having seconds.

  2. Wow…you’ve learned a lot! Okay, I need to address some of these items…so one at a time…

    1) I’m on the fence about be-backing. I’ve gone both ways when I’ve said I’ll be back…but most of the time I do return. Unless the person I’m dealing with is just as insincere about things as my intention to return is. 😉

    2) LOVE Superstar…it is SUCH a fantastic song. My familiy had a Carpenters Christmas album that always got played when we were putting up the tree when I lived back home in Niagara Falls. Fond memories…

    3) Yeah, I feel you on this one. It’s only fun to purchase new clothes when it’s because of a person’s shrinking…not the other way around.

    4) I don’t think I can change almost 34 years of training on the whole peeling a banana the “wrong” way now…

    5) I can barely keep up anymore. On another note, this is a suitable explanation (along with your new job) for why we haven’t seen you around. 😉

    6) Looooooove Cora’s! The last time I was there, I had a plate FULL of fruit and some cheese. The Samara Wakeup or something? Delicious!

    7) Okay…I think I’m done with addressing stuff…so technically this shouldn’t be labeled #7…but alas…what’s done is done. 🙂

    • Hey, Suzanne! #4 – If I can change after almost 50 years, I’m pretty sure you can too! Cora’s is amazing…my favourite thing to get is the Peggy’s Poached, which is essentially a plate full of fruit with cottage cheese and a poached egg on toast… Wendy

  3. Sounds like you’ve had a busy week, Wendy! Everybody needs a pressure washer. You have no idea how dirty your deck/sidewalk/siding is until you start washing it. Then, you’re like, wow. Plus, there’s a real satisfaction to getting ride of all that grime.

  4. I hear you on the blog reading front. I try to stay on top, honest I do, but as you say, there are so many to keep up with. I guess maybe it’s impossible to be everywheres, not to mention there is a whole other world beyond blogging.

  5. Don’t work too hard! Thanks for the practical advice about bananas– have to try it out!

  6. Good to see you ‘LIVE”, Wendy! (Though the pre-recorded Wendy is good, too.)
    My husband peels a banana the way you mentioned. The thing I find is that the tip (bottom, depending on your perspective) that some don’t eat because it is a stem or whatever … well, when you peel it from the ‘newly found way’, you have tear that black part off. However, if you peel the banana the way monkey’s don’t – the black part comes off automatically. Does this make sense? I am chuckling that I even am sharing the information.

    I hope your new gig is going well. You did not say whether or not you were enjoying it. And regardless of the reason for getting new clothes – do you like what you are getting? (smile)

    Have a wonderful week, Wendy!
    ~ Lenore

    • The second time I peeled the banana the “monkey way”, I used my thumbnail to nip off the end as I started to peel it, Lenore…look Ma…no stem! I am enjoying the new job. I’m mostly buying used clothes, because I hate spending money on new ones to fit my too fat butt! Wendy

  7. Thanks for sharing all the information you have acquired in such a very short time. And I take it you are enjoying your new job.
    Cora’s sounds like my kind of place. Friendly, helpful people there and good food too. Is it just a local place?
    Just peeled the banana in the new way – well, it popped right out of the skin and landed on the kitchen floor. Guess I will have to practice.
    And I apologize publicly to those people on whose blogs I haven’t commented recently. Life just gets in the way sometimes.

    • I am enjoying the new job, Judith. Cora’s started in Quebec, and has expanded to 122 locations in Canada…they just do breakfast and lunch…fancy fresh fruit is a huge part of their menu! I forgot to mention the fish carved out of a whole honeydew melon that was sitting as a decoration on the counter when we were there. Sorry about the banana incident… I’m still trying to catch up on my reading…was up until 11:30 last night…too late for me! Wendy

  8. I hate it that all my clothes have shrunk, too! Damn driers!

  9. I’ve got to get a pressure washer. Enjoy the job, we’ll be here when you get time to write (and for the archival stuff)

    • The pressure washer will come in handy when you get your weinermobile, Oma! I’m enjoying the job so far…the stress levels may rise once the woman I’m replacing is gone… Wendy

  10. I always read your posts and get hungry!

  11. jacquelincangro

    I’d love to hear more about the St. John City Market in your next post. Sounds like a great place to work with lots of fun and interesting folks.

    Note to self: get a pressure washer.

    And I don’t think you’re “beige” at all. More like a nice sunny shade.

    • I’m not sure how much I can write about the Market in my blog…I’ll have to check with my boss on that one, Jacquelin! There are some really nice people there! Thank you for your kind words about my personality…I appreciate it! Wendy

  12. I’ll try peeling the banana from the bottom just for you, but I worry I’m to old to start eating my fruit differently.

  13. You sound energized, Wendy. I’m glad to hear the job is going well. I didn’t imagine you as one of the beige people (I am, too). You seem like the unforgettable type.

    And I didn’t know you could peel a banana from the bottom. What’s the advantage?

    • The job just got a whole lot scarier, Charles…instead of going “solo” next Tuesday as I expected, it will probably be Wednesday (as in two days from now!)…yikes! I think I’m far more exciting on paper than I am in person… Apparently, it’s just a whole lot easier to get the peeling started from the bottom, especially if the banana is a little green. Wendy

  14. My garden is waiting for the rain. What are the benefits of opening a banana from the bottom? Our Farmers Market just hired a new director too.

    • We’re having rain today…supposed to keep raining right through Wednesday, Colleen. As I told Charles, opening the banana from the bottom is easier, especially if it’s a little green…it opens right up! Wendy

  15. I always tell my kids the eat banana’s like they are monkeys. I stand corrected! They eat a lot of bananas completely backwards. Who knew.

    Congrats on the new job. Very exciting!

  16. Glad you’re enjoying the new job 🙂 Enjoyed listening to Superstar while reading. The Carpenters are a huge favorite of our family’s too 🙂 That lunch certainly sounds divine…although squash and honey huh…who’d have thunk it?!

    As for being a ‘beige’ person…don’t know what you’re talking about! I’ve never met you and I’m not likely to forget you any time soon 😀

    Hugs, H.

  17. I love my pressure washer….My kid loves using it. So it is a win-win. Be-backers, I guess I am guilty of saying that more than once or twice. I hate to leave places without buying anything-I always feel like need to make an excuse!

    Good Luck with the gig.

  18. Let me know when you have party featuring squash soup for 48 – I’ll bring a loaf of bread!

  19. Congratulations on the new job, Wendy! I feel your pain about shopping for new clothes. Oh, and I’m glad to hear you wear a top with your jeans thought if you didn’t that would make an interesting post…LOL

    Pressure washers rock! We pulled ours out this weekend and I had a blast with it…literally. Big hugs, Diane

    • Thanks, Diane…you know that you’re the only one who commented on the “no top” joke? I’m enjoying the new job so far, but I’m solo now, so it’s going to be a lot scarier from now on…


  20. “beige people” I love it!

    And you’re not beige to me! I’m like you…a very busy mama and I keep coming back to your site. So I’d say you’re hot pink or fuschia in my literary, (also) pepper free panini world!


  21. izziedarling

    Hey Wendy! you are so NOT beige! This post is chock full of so many interesting things – you are amazing! Glad you are enjoying your temp post! What a fun adventure. Just got back in town. Will read more later. x iz

  22. I had a rough season on seed starts myself. Had to regrow some two or three times. But now my garden is up and rocking it! I have already begun to harvest salads. Is this a Farmers Market you are moonlighting for? If so, it’s all good. Thoughtful of you to wear tops with your pants. And ‘no way’ on the bananas – I do not want banana starch funk under my nails all morning. I will continue eating them like a propper human. When Monkeys can drive cars, I may consider trying their banana-eating techniques. But not before then.

    • Hi Spectra: I just got back in from dowsing my remaining beans, cauliflower, cabbage and broccoli leaves with hot sauce to discourage whatever critter is chewing the leaves off them…out of 16 cauliflower plants I put in on Sunday afternoon, I only have seven left! I’m working for the Saint John City Market, which started as a “Farmer’s Market” in 1876, but has morphed into a whole different beast: Ewww…banana starch funk… Thanks for reading! Wendy

  23. Pingback: Blossoms, Babies, Bell-Ringers, Breakfast, and BBQ…NEW POST! | Herding Cats in Hammond River

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