Ten New Things 2017 – Part 2

And so it continues…

6. Bought a bike – I’ve owned bikes in the past that my parents got me growing up, but I have never bought a bike that I can remember, so it was pretty exciting to get this beauty 1950s Raleigh and bike around the city this summer.  Sadly, it isn’t built for a hilly city like Vancouver and I’ll be upgrading next spring.


7. Hiked to Garibaldi Lake – This had been on my bucket list for at least 6 years.  This is the hike that everyone in Vancouver talks about.  A beautiful glacier lake in the mountains by Squamish. We went in August with some of my coworkers.  It was about 8hrs round trip with a break for lunch by the lake in the middle.  The forest fire smoke had cleared up the day before, so the timing was perfect.


8. Volunteering with seniors – After my two year stint on strata ended I wanted to volunteer somewhere local with people.  I found a nursing home type residence in a local hospital and go in and help on Saturdays.  It is almost all Cantonese, so I’m mostly smiling and saying néih hóu.  This makes it tough to connect to the residence, but I try to and I think they like seeing new faces around.

9. Ate at new restaurants and cafe’s for a month – Dave and I realized we were getting into a bit of a Main Street rut, and decided to only eat a new or long ago visited restaurants and cafes for a month (unless you were invited somewhere by friends).  We finally went to Lucy’s Diner, the German club and the mysterious Japanese Yakitori place I’ve been walking past for 8 years (it was awesome!).

Oreo milkshake and cheese burger at Lucy’s.

10. Worked with refugees – Our church owns a house beside the main building that they plan to tear down and replace next year, but in the meantime the main part was vacant, so Journey Home worked with the church to get a refugee family to live in it until it is taken down.  Housing in Vancouver is in a crisis right now, we have thousands of empty condos, but almost no access to them because they are owned by foreign investors, and those few rentals available cost thousands per month.  And with a high volume of refugees coming in from the US this year there is almost no where to put them in Vancouver where many of the resources are for refugees.

Dave and I wanted to learn more about how Canada works with this group of people, so we volunteered to help with the family that would stay in the church’s house.  We took a course to get a better understanding of what their needs would be and how to go through the claimant process to stay in Canada.  It has been very eye opening and really opened our eyes to how amazing we have it in Canada and how hard it is for people to uproot their lives and start new.  Imagine learning a new language, navigating a court system, trying to get kids back in school, waiting months for work permits, finding housing and healthcare and dealing with emotional loss over leaving your homeland and everyone you know.  Now imagine it all happening at the same time and with little to no money.

Working with this family has truly been one of the hardest and best parts of my year.

A game we played in our course to understand the order refugees need to do the basics of getting started in Canada.

A special extra!

11. Reading through the Bible in Year – I have never read the Bible cover to cover before. What a great thing to do to finally piece together all the passages and parts of the Bible that I read through and hear in Sermons. It was such an awesome experience and gave me so much more depth and background to my faith. I don’t know why I didn’t do it sooner. Crazily enough, I did this almost completely on my phone on my commute to work (remember that selling the car thing?). Looking forward to diving deeper in 2018. Special thanks goes out to Megan Auld for telling me about the Read Scripture app. Each book of the Bible has a video that illustrates what the book is about, which is really helpful before reading. I highly recommend it.

Extras – Saw Cirque du Soleil (Kurios), bought a Japanese knife (two actually), saw Arcade Fire, got a yoga membership, had a professional headshot taken, made ramen, snaked and fixed a drain, did an Escape Room (and won!), bought a hot dog from the hot dog guy on Main St (finally!), ran into Elijah Wood (3 times), collected eggs from under a chicken and cooked ribs!

Escape Room.JPG

Studio Session-293 (1)

I hope you try some new things in 2018.  Looking forward to hearing your stories.

Dana (and Dave)



Ten New Things 2017 – Part 1

It’s been a pretty fun year for Dave and I.  We went on one of our favourite trips, met lots of interesting people, and started serving in new ways.  Here are my firsts for 2017.

1 Sold my car – This was something I was not looking forward to figuring out.  Insurance, Craigslist competition, money transfer and most importantly finding a good home for my baby.  Turns out after we figured out the reposting thing on Craigslist so it wouldn’t get buried in the thousands of cars for sale, it was relatively easy.  We had one person come and look, a teenage girl looking for her first car, and she took it on the spot (with only her uncle test driving it because she forgot her license!).  The next night we met at the Superstore with her mom, did all the paperwork at the bank/insurance spot there and it was done.  The only thing left for Dave and I to do was spy from the parking lot as the mom went over the car with her daughter and she drove away.  This was my first car, I drove it around Ontario, across Canada and then from Vancouver to San Diego. It was a great ten years together. I’ll miss you Jude!

IMG_54282. Taiwan and Japan – We did so many things on this trip that were new including singing karaoke in a bar in Osaka, eating wagyu beef (the best in the world), ate conveyor belt sushi, visited Tsukiji fish market (the largest in the world), stayed at a 5 star hotel and made a Japanese meal complete with sushi, miso soup and tamago.

Visiting Taroko Gorge in Taiwan, one of the natural wonders of the world.
Roadside steambuns and other delights in Taipei
Eating in a single stall ramen joint in Tokyo.  Your food comes through a little window in front.
New Japanese friends in a bar in Osaka (that is the entire bar!)

3. Onsen/Ryoken Experience in Kinosaki – Dave and I wanted to do a really traditional night in Japan at a ryoken hotel that provides dinner in the room, which later converts to your sleeping space.  The next morning you have a huge breakfast in a group dining area.  Here I had my first fish for breakfast experience. We did this in Kinosaki which is a town with seven onsens (hot spring bathhouses) that you walk to in wooden shoes and a robe.  They are split into mens and women’s areas because you can only use them naked.  And you get used to it pretty fast.

These ladies knew what to do.
Ready for our meal.
Sashimi boat in the middle.  Dave could not get the eye out of the fish head to eat.
In front of one of the onsens.  Check out those sandals!

4. Going to a Japanese baseball game – This was so much fun!  We saw the two Tokyo teams face off.  ‘Our’ team the Swallows didn’t win, but it was such a different experience that it didn’t matter.  These games involve weird ballgame food, keg girls, and songs for every player that goes up to bat many with hand actions.


Baseball Food
Not your regular hot dog and fries.

5. Completed Tough Mudder – Dave and I signed up with a bunch of my co-workers for the half distance, which took us several hours and got us very wet and muddy, but it was definitely a fun day.  I have never had so much dirt caked on me that I almost couldn’t scrub it off in the shower.

Tough Mudder

More to come later this week…






2016 Is Going To Be An Offal Year

That’s right, this year I will be digging deeper into offal.  The offcuts of meat that North American’s rarely use.  Kidneys, sweetbreads, beef cheeks, tongue, those are on the menu this year.  My sister, Bre, gave me Sarah Wilson’s newest print cookbook, Simplicious for Christmas and it as a section on cooking offal.  I have dabbled in this a bit in the last year and think it’s time to kick it up a notch. 

This is a great way to save money while still having quality meat in our diet. Buying a quarter of an animal certainly helped, but they never include the offal (other than the pig’s trotter).  I assume they just don’t think people want those cuts or know what to do with them.

I’ve already cooked the Chinese Beef Cheeks from this book last weekend and will admit I didn’t love the flavour and have done beef cheeks better, but I will be trying the following recipes:

  • Mum’s Steak and Kidney Stew with Herby Dumplings
  • Sweetbread Tacos with Easy Slaw
  • Homemade Bacon

My butcher is going to love me.

Cutie Pie

I have been thinking of making these little lemon meringue pies since I bought the I Quit Sugar book last year in Australia and it was finally time that I did.  

The recipe calls for stevia instead of sugar for the lemon custard and it turned out to be lemony yum.  I had to tweak the meringue as it called for rice malt syrup, which didn’t end up working for me.  In the end I used stevia for that too and it puffed up fairly well.   It isn’t one I’ll make a lot as it took a bit of time, but I did learn a couple new things and that is always worth the effort. Maybe I’ll try the Chocolate Mudcake next….

I hope you are enjoying some lovely treats as well!

Massaging Pig’s Feet

So this happened a couple weeks ago.  It was pretty much the end of our pig supply from Windsor Meats and I was determined to make it happen.  I have read about Marco-Pierre White bringing pig’s trotters back to fashion in London in the 80s, it was time for Dana Prescott to attempt something just as crazy in Vancouver.  Did it work?  No.  It was terrible.  But I can definitely claim it as a Ten New Things.  It certainly was the first time I shaved a pig’s foot with a ladies razor and massaged between the toes (hooves) to get rid of the dirt and ‘stuff’ that grows there.  You can picture it right? 

I have Asian friends who love these, but my version didn’t work out so well.  I followed this recipe, called Honey-roasted Pig’s Trotters with Vegetables, which would allow me not to have to spend 4-5 hours cooking them that I just didn’t have that day.  Also most recipes asked that they be cut into smaller portions by the butcher, so that was out too.

This is how they ended up.  Not too terrible looking.  Note the hot pepper stabbed in for just for Dave.

I kid you not, we got a quarter size piece of meat off of each foot and the cartilage was so unappealing that we didn’t eat it.

Has this ruined me for trotters?  No.  Knowing that in China people know how to cook them gives me hope that I could eat tasty pig’s feet.  So bring it on!  I also hear duck head soup is lovely, but I’m not willing to try that recipe at home…not yet anyway!

Our Visa forms are filled out and need to be submitted as our final big item to check off our list before we leave for China on March 26th.  35ish days to go!

If you would like to contribute a little to our trip to China to work with International China Concern click here.  Prayers are appreciated too, as Dave is hitting a tough patch in his Chinese learning and I’m fighting through exhaustion with anemia.  Pray that we build up energy and language skills before our trip so we are able to put our full efforts into helping the kids we meet.  Thanks!  Time for a nap!


We’re Going to China!

Remember how I said in my Ten New Things blog that Dave and I had something new and exciting coming up.  Well that new and exciting thing is a trip to China in March/April to volunteer with International China Concern.  We have been supporting this amazing organization for the past few years.  They provide housing, medical care, education, and most importantly love and a chance at life for children who are abandoned and/or have disabilities.

Every year, almost one million children are born in China with a disability, and often parents are unable to care or provide the medical needs for these children, so they are abandoned in fields, in dumpsters or on the doorsteps of orphanages, without much hope for a chance at life.  ICC has been very successful in its 20+ year history and has had such an impact that the Chinese government has started to provide financial support for the homes and programs they have created to help these vulnerable kids.

Location of ICC care home:  Sanmenxia, pop. 100,000
Location of ICC care home:  Sanmenxia, pop. 100,000

Dave and I will be going with a group of people from all over the world to meet in Beijing, then head inland to Sanmenxia, where we will spend two weeks interacting, helping and loving these kids.  This gives the long term volunteers and the local support workers a helping hand, relief, renewed energy and help in what is very tiring work.   

I’m writing this post to share this adventure that Dave and I are going on, but we would also love your support in prayer and encouraging words as we prepare for this journey.  We leave on March 26th and return April 12.  We would love prayer for safety, strength and health.  Along side that we would like to raise a small portion of funds for the trip to cover some of our out of pocket, non tax-deductible expenses such as flights, shots, insurance and visas.  Don’t feel the need to donate if you can’t, your prayers and encouraging words are plenty enough.  

However, if you would like to donate click this link: China Trip Plumfund

This trip to China will be emotional and mentally and physically challenging, but in the same way life giving and eye-opening.  We are really excited to see how God grows us as individuals and as a couple as we spend time with these special kids. 

More to come as we prepare to head out the end of March!



It’s been a while since I have posted a finished project.  There have been a couple, but my knitting has slowed down a bit and I’ve been spending more time reading and cooking.  I’ve been trying to find more knitting projects that spark my interest and lately, they seem far and few between.  But this project that I made for my newest nephew, Enders, had me doing a simple fair isle knitting, which I’ve done very little of before.  I rarely knit with two colours, but this turned out really well and it wasn’t that difficult.  

Here are the details:

Pattern: Campfire by tin can knits

Yarn:  Malabrigo Silky Merino (Green) and I can’t remember what the brown is, I lost the tag.

Colour: Lettuce and Brown

Needles: US 4 / 3.5mm and US 6 / 4.0mm

Knit For: Enders

It’s still a little big for Enders, but I suspect he’ll be fitting in it just in time for fall/winter.  Can’t wait to see it on him.