It’s a cool and cloudy day in Jasper. And while all the tourists are unhappy with the grey skies, poor views, and a chance of rain, I couldn’t be happier. It’ll be a busy Saturday in the bakery as they all come in to drown their sorrows in cappuccinos and highly sugared sticky rolls or the ever so slightly healthier morning glory muffins. But even better than that, is that this cool weather might take the temperature in the back down a notch or two and I won’t be sweating buckets all day long.
I have roughly an hour to kill before I go to work. I’d forgotten that the swimming pool doesn’t have morning swim on weekends, and so I find myself in the laundromat/coffee house Snowdome. I’ve been spending more time here lately, because they have great internet access (albiet not free, but $3 per hour…ouch!), good washing machines ($4/load…double ouch!), but best of all, great coffee. Until this morning I have pronounced Coco’s as the hands down Americano winner. I’ve been assured by others that Snowdome has the best coffee, and so today I decided to test that claim. For only $3.15 you can get yourself a stellar double Americano. Can we sense a theme of price gouging here? I’m used to paying $2.50-$2.75 for a really good Americano, certainly not over $3. This will have to become a treat, and I will need to track down where in the world my Aeropress is packed. That makes for a much cheaper morning joe. And if it’s made with freshly ground, good coffee, it’ll rival and good Americano.
Today is the first day in four days that I don’t feel like utter crap. My roommate keeps having people over in the evening, when all I want to do is curl up in silence, read a book, and go to bed early. It’s one of the unfortunate parts of sharing a bachelor pad. Thankfully, I’m counting down until my move in to my new place. It’s July 21 and I’ve only got to wait for ten more days. I couldn’t be happier. Finally I’ll have my own room, and a roommate who doesn’t keep crazy hours, coming in at anywhere between 1:30 and 5:30 am every night, that is, assuming that she comes home. It’s funny, because at the beginning of the summer, she’d guaranteed me that she wasn’t a night owl and preferred to go to be rather early, like elevenish. Liar liar pants on fire. Hmm…I’m wondering if that is a British phrase. If so, that mental picture just got a whole lot more entertaining.
In other life areas, I’ve been doing some numer crunching on my budget for the rest of the year. While my needs are few and compared to many North Americans I have a relatively small cost of living, I also take in a relatively small income. After crunching the numbers, I’ve discovered that I come out in the red. Not much in the red, but in the red none the less. Anyone who knows me, who knows my fiscal handling tendencies, also knows that this is simply unacceptable to me. As such, I need to find a way to take on some extra cash so I can get out of the red, into the black, pay off my student line of credit faster, and start putting some away– whether that be for retirement or a down payment on a house or business, who knows? But it’s always best to save. The question becomes, when I already work 40 hours a week, and my schedule can flex hours on either side of my shift, what can I do to bring in extra income? It would be dangerous to take on another traditional job unless it’s on my days off. Also, I want it to be a job I can maintain during the winter in a small town where nothing happens during the winter. The town dwindles to a small local population, and the only imports are people who come out to ski on the weekends. As far as I can tell, this requires me making money via selling some sort of product on the internet. But what could that product be? As for the rest of the summer, my sister and I are thinking we might take on a table at the Farmer’s Market. She’ll make the goods, I’ll sell ’em. Maybe I’ll even look into making some goods to sell– although hers would be crafty and mine would undoubtedly be food related. I’ve already got my food handler’s certificate, which is one of the requirements for food vendors, but apparently there is some online farmer’s market course I’d need to take as well. Not a problem in my books. But if I were to do food, what would I sell? Traditional baking is out. I don’t really want to tick off my current boss. I could do salsas, chutneys, and dips. I could do dry mix blends. Or I could do non-traditional baking, such as vegan, lactose intolerant, and celiac friendly items. Those seem to be few and far between in this town. Coco’s is really the only place to go that even recognizes these populations. Actually, that’s not true. Snowdome does a vegan peanut butter cookie, and the Bear’s Paw has a wheat free macaroon. Oh wait, macaroons are always wheat free. Granted, I have to give Bear’s Paw props because they’re going to start carrying gluten-free bread on an every-other day basis. One day on, one day off, and alternating between white and brown. Kudos! No longer is it simply a special order item that many people don’t know about. They also do gluten-free cakes by special order, although I’ve never seen that happen. Now, if they’ll just start carrying gluten-free muffins, we’ll be off to the races! Although my preference would be a gluten-free, dairy-free muffin so that my sister can have them. Often people who are gluten intolerant are often lactose intolerant as well. And the truth is that switching out milk for soy milk or almond milk isn’t that big of a deal. It’s pretty much a one-for-one exchange. Or I could make dry mixes for these items. Just add water! Although that makes me wonder, is there such a thing as powdered soy or almond milk? That might be stretching it.
In a little less than two weeks I make a trip into Edmonton to help me with my moving stuff. By that time I need to know what I’ll do at the Farmer’s Market so I can pick up ingredients. I tell you, the prices for things like soy milk, tofu, and gluten-free flours in this town are absurd! They’re a good 25% mark-up over what I could pay for them in Edmonton. I suppose that’s due to shipping costs. Also, if I have items that need to be kept cold, then I’ll also need to invest in some coolers and such. My last stellar cooler is living in Lethbridge. Fat lot of good it’s going to do me there! I don’t expect to make it down there until Christmas. By that point I’m sure a cooler will be high on my priority list. Oh well. I had been planning on taking some time off to do some travelling during November, but seeing as I’m already looking at ending this year in the red, there may not be the fundage for province wide family visits. That, and it turns out that while we close at work for the whole month of November, you’re really only given two weeks off, as the other two weeks are used to do some deep cleaning. It’s hard for me to believe that if people are working hard that it would take two weeks to clean that small space. I think the entire back should be done in four days, but that’s just my opinion.
For now, I think that’s enough. I have more to talk about, but first I need to do some (expensive) internet research before sharing with you my latest exciting find! It’s one of those finds that you never actually shell out the money for, but the concept is exciting none the less. I can feel the curiosity already.