Saturday, February 18, 2017

Blizzard fatigue

Sorry, no photos today. For some reason I have an aversion to photographing huge accumulations of snow. I have a mountain in my front yard that blocks the view, if we get some nice sunny weather I am going sledding on it.

It's been a long exhausting week, three blizzards in 6 days, one of which set snowfall records in some places. People who were here for White Juan in February 2004 say it doesn't top that, but I think the three blizzards (starting Thursday night, Sunday night and Wednesday night) in 6 days probably does. Environment Canada says there is 77cm of snow on the ground now in Kentville, but they got less snow during the big storm (36cm) than Wolfville (54cm), so I think we probably have more on the ground now. My snowplough guy came 4 times to clear my driveway, he ran out of space on my property to shove the snow so then he started piling it across the street in front of another house he ploughs for. Somewhere under the 250cm of hard packed snow is a sidewalk, don't think that will be getting cleared anytime soon! No one uses the sidewalk on my street in wintertime anyway, too steep and slippery. There's not a lot of car traffic so people just walk in the road, people living on busier nearby streets come to my street to walk down the hill on the road because their sidewalks are just as bad but the car traffic heavier.

In addition to heavy snowfall there have been high winds, these blizzards are called Nor'easters and they don't mess around. They are storms that come up the east coast and then hit a cold front north of us and curl around and wallop us from behind with high winds and heavy snow, ice pellets or rain, depending on location. Halifax and the South Shore usually get snow followed by rain, turning that city into a disaster of snow drifts, ice and thick slush. In Cape Breton they get les suetes: really strong southeast winds.

In the winter of 2015, two years ago, we had an unrelenting series of Nor'easters that left us in the same spot we are in now and delayed spring by over a month. There was still snow on the ground in May which is unusual, it's usually all gone by early April. It started in February and didn't quit until mid-April, the snow kept accumulating because there were never any thaws to melt it. So now we are looking at these storms and all the snow piled everywhere and wondering if we're in for another winter like that. But the good news is that we have a week of relatively warm weather ahead of us, even the possibility of rain showers. It will put a bit of a dint in the accumulation but even better it is a good sign that this winter won't be a repeat of 2015 when there was no thawing at all.

Before the last blizzard I started getting chest tightness and dizziness while shovelling. I managed to get things more or less tidied up before quitting, but after the third storm the chest tightness and dizziness returned when I tried to dig out my car, so I stopped. A few friends that I told this too freaked out and told me to go to Emerge immediately. I resisted. Someone accused me of being in denial. I was sure that was not it, if anything I'm more of a hypochondriac than a denier. I recalled my last time going to Emerge for what appeared to be a heart problem and how it turned out to be for nothing, plus I ended up with complications due to a botched angiogram (nicked my femoral artery). Yesterday I remembered that I had blogged about that whole episode (scattered through February and March 2010 if you want to look it up yourself) so I went back and read the relevant posts. Among other things I read the final diagnosis for that episode and realized that it was the same thing this time. I looked it up on the internet just to be sure and it is. Something called LPR or "silent reflux," a form of acid reflux without the classic heartburn sensations that mimics a heart attack almost exactly. Among the warning signs is coughing and hoarseness, which I have had lately but considered minor and irrelevant. So it turns out that there is a good reason to keep a blog: medical records!

My snow plough guy has 4 kids under 7, they all came down with stomach flu at once. Then he and his wife got it and his mother-in-law too because they were staying with her while their house was being renovated. And on top of that he was busy around the clock with ploughing snow for a week. He's almost a zombie now. I didn't know how I was going to get my car dug out with the chest issue but he brought along a neighbour to dig out my car. I have students living next door to me, one of them had offered last year to do anything I wanted by way of help and I would have asked him to do it except I didn't know his phone number and there was no path into his house that didn't involve floundering through 100cm drifts. He reminded me of his promise when I met him on the street yesterday, almost offended that I hadn't called him. I must get his phone number.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Snow, and a little bit of ice time

In the midst of a blizzard right now, completely snowed in. I can see the road (just barely), and I think it is drivable (just barely), but the snow in the driveway is well over a foot deep and it's supposed to keep coming down for another 24 hours or so with high winds the whole time. Hapi is sleeping outside, it's quiet and just the right temperature for her.

I've been skating and skiing this past week, although I think the ice rink is obliterated now. A big snow storm on Friday, one today (Monday), and another one due on Thursday; the ice rink snow shovelers are not going to have an easy time of it. Too bad, fun while it lasted though. The photo above was taken by another woman (Sue) skating at the time, that's me slightly behind a third woman (Sarah).

The skiing is another story. I went out with a friend yesterday and the conditions were perfect but my skis were not. Even with a special coating to slow them down, they are too fast and out of control for me. I even went to the store where I bought them and they tested them and determined that they are the wrong skis for me. I tried several pairs that they had in stock that looked like they might work for me (shorter and wider) but they weren't perfect and the guy (Frank) advised me to come back when their Ski Tech Bill was in to test further. Frank was on his last day before taking 3 months parental leave and was very excited about the prospect of 3 months with his two little ones (premature 3-month-old and a 13-month-old: what a handful!). He and his wife got 2 years parental leave (2 one-years back-to-back); she's taking the lion's share but he gets a few months.

Anyway, while waiting to see the Ski Tech Bill I went out one more time with the old skis and while it was better than the first time when there was not much snow on the ground, it was still pretty out of control. I fell several times again. My friend Patti tried to help me up the second time and it was quite funny. I was already quite tired (we'd been out the night before celebrating our boss's birthday) and it was on a slope and the snow was soft and deep so I was trying to get up from a position where my head was lower than my feet. It would have been easier if I could have gotten the skis off but I had no leverage to release the bindings. Not to mention also being tangled in a low bush.

It certainly didn't help that we were laughing so hard at the ridiculousness of the situation.

The last time I fell was right by the road as we were returning to my car. Patti was skiing down the ditch by the side of the road and I went to follow her but slipped and fell. I did manage to get the skis off this time but the snow in the ditch was over two feet deep and I immediately sank in over my knees. I was almost literally trying to swim out of that ditch onto the shoulder of the road. I had parked at a church across the road and several people came out of the church to watch me.

Great, an audience!

The day before I took Hapi to the Kentville ravine, a popular dog walking spot. It's an old-growth hemlock forest with a brook running through it. Often inaccessible in the winter because the only trail in is on a steep slope and gets pretty icy after a few people and their dogs have used it. But after a fresh snow it's good.

This is looking down from the entrance trail into the ravine.

This gives an idea of the tree size in the ravine, Hapi for scale. Snowshoers had been through an hour or so before me so the trail was packed down enough to walk on without snowshoes.

Sometimes she just stops to listen to the silence.

I just looked out the window again, can't see the road anymore. Complete whiteout. The province is closed until further notice.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Winter sports I have survived

One of my sons gave me a year's subscription to the New Yorker for Christmas, the first issue arrived this week. I'm not sure I want to be reading about what is happening south of the border this coming year but hopefully there will be lots of other stuff to read in the magazine.

Came in from X-country skiing quite exhausted. I'm a terrible skier with unsuitable skis (too fast), but stupidly determined to master them. Sorry, no photos. Too busy trying not to fall (fell three times) and then struggling to get back up again. And of course I was out with a very good skier who had to keep doubling back to see what had happened to me. It was definitely a workout for me but not so much for her.

On the other hand I went skating on a pond yesterday, that was great. Haven't skated in a few years and I'm only marginally better at it than I am at skiing, but it was good. Hapi went with me, she kept pace with me trotting along in the snow beside the ice until it got boring and she went off into the woods to look for more interesting things.

Somebody cleared an oval skating path and a hockey rink inside the oval. I think this must be the first time anyone has done that, I've never seen anyone skating on this pond, although people tell me it has been done before.

Parts of the ice were very smooth, others a little bumpy. The hockey rink was freshly cleared and I tried skating on it, but the ice made these horrible noises like it was about to break up and I did not feel safe in the middle of the pond. I was told that it was perfectly safe, the noise was just the ice freezing after being exposed to the cold air after the insulating snow was removed.

Falling on ice is harder than falling on snow, but somehow more manageable (I didn't fall). At least I don't have to deal with big sticks attached to my feet. We were only out on the ice for less than an hour, when I got home and was taking off the clothes and emptying the pockets I realized I had lost my driver's licence. It was in the same pocket as my cell phone, and I took the cell out several times to take photos. One of those times the licence must have fallen out. So I had to go back to the pond and look for the licence. A little white card somewhere in the snow. Amazingly I did find it without too much effort! I backtracked to the places I had stopped to take photos and it was at the second spot I checked, just sitting there on top of the snow.

Got the warp on the loom and started weaving. I don't know if you can see the pattern in this picture, but it is called Goose Eyes. I also cut up the previous warp (see this post for a photo) into three pieces (three tea towels), and pinned the hems ready for sewing. Any day now I'll finish them...

Sunday, January 29, 2017

All dressed up and ready to go

The warp is on the loom. All dressed up and ready to go!

There were a few issues--missing warp threads, misplaced warp threads, tangling--but they are hopefully resolved. The remaining issue is that the warp is wider than the loom (30" on 27" loom). I am hoping that 10% shrinkage (the rule of thumb for such things) will take care of that. We shall see.

Right now I am just very pleased that it is on the loom.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Trying to find balance

Busy week socially, so did not make much progress on the loom. Still sleying the reed although with a bit of luck I may finish that tonight. Only 30 threads to go.

I had my needlework group, my book club, my walking group and the writing group all meeting this week, plus a visit to the massage therapist, a book reading by Lisa Moore and a trip out to Waterville to get kindling for the woodstove.

In the needlework group I took a piece of knitting that I have been working on forever, or at least since 2001. That's almost forever. I had not been at the group for quite some time so there was some catching up to do with old knitter friends. One person asked about the weaving and then it turned out that one of the newer members of the group is a retired professional weaver who offered to help me wind the warp on my loom. Winding the warp can be done singlehandedly but is better done with another person, so that offer is fabulous. Hope she's not holding her breath for me to call because I'm nowhere near ready for that step.

In the book club we discussed Room, a novel about a fairly awful situation that does not dwell on the unpleasant details and is in fact quite uplifting. Some members did not want to read the book because they knew the topic and couldn't bear to have to read about it, and then were pleasantly surprised that the book itself just wasn't that awful. A sensitive and insightful look at how one adjusts to "normal life" after having lived a very abnormal life for an extended period of time. Our next book is History's People by Margaret MacMillan which I have already started reading. The second chapter is called Hubris and is about leaders who are so convinced of their own rightness that they cannot brook any compromise or opposition. I've just started that chapter and I have to say the individuals described remind me of no one so much as Donald Trump. The book was written well before the last American presidential election campaign so I'm pretty sure the author did not have that intention, but it is interesting.

The walking group went to the KenWo golf course and we did a circuit that avoided the worst of the ice. Hapi loved it. Someone else brought their dog, a little dog that she kept on leash at first but eventually let loose and he charged after Hapi. He seemed to enjoy following the much bigger dog around.

The massage therapist seems to be doing me some good, at least for several days after the appointment the pain was much reduced. I'll be going back in a few days.

A whole bunch of us from the needlework, book club and walking groups met at the book reading and decided to go out for a drink afterward, it was quite fun. I haven't been out with a group of people for drinks in a very long time.

With all the socializing I just didn't have much time for weaving or writing, so those things are stalled for the moment. It is hard to find the right balance of socializing and getting stuff done that requires a certain amount of solitude. I did meet with the writing group but I didn't read anything. It is just about as interesting to listen to other people's stories. It's like having a bunch of soap operas on the go, I want to hear the next installment.

The trip to pick up kindling also involved walking Hapi in a new location. We were following the rail trail which is long and straight and boring, but there was a side trail onto a large farm. Basically the roads that the farmer uses to get around to his various fields, all posted with signs: Private Property, Stay On Trail. So I turned northward in hopes that this farm extended to the river and the trail would take us there. It actually extended across the river but I only went as far as the bridge and then looped back to the rail trail. It was a cloudy day, not quite foggy but with low clouds that obscured the view so I actually got disoriented by the twisting of the farm roads. I ended up back on the rail trail but headed the wrong direction before I figured out my mistake. On the way back to the car we passed several industrial sites--scrap yards, storage yards, truck depots, the rear sides of woodworking and other establishments. Hapi left the trail to explore those places. Industrial wasteland is more interesting to her than a narrow straight trail from point A to B. I'd catch glimpses of her between the trees loping along looking like a wolf. She got back to the car before I did and was waiting for me.

I didn't get much sleep last night because Hapi decided to sleep on my bed and she takes up a lot of space. If I try to kick her off she waits until I have fallen asleep and then jumps back on, waking me up in the process. I tried to sleep in another room but couldn't do it, I woke up after a few hours and just couldn't get back to sleep until I moved back to the other bed. She could easily sleep in her doghouse outdoors because her fur coat is so thick, but then she would think I was punishing her for something. The older she gets the more she wants to just be with me. The first couple of years that I had her she never came indoors and aside from walking and feeding her it didn't really feel like I had a dog, just a canine presence in the backyard.

Today I am simmering the carcass of a Christmas turkey that a neighbour gave me. She was going to throw it out so I asked for it. It's not nearly done yet but smells wonderful. There was quite a lot of meat left on the carcass so I will probably eat some of that tonight, maybe make a couple of turkey sandwiches and then throw the rest back into the broth after I've removed the bones.

Friday, January 13, 2017

The Wolf Moon

We had a blizzard with lots of snow. I went snowshoeing.

Then we had a thaw and it all melted. I went walking.

This latest full moon was called the Wolf Moon. Full moons always bring higher high tides, this afternoon I was out on the dike along the Cornwallis River with my dog and took some photos of the high tide.

This was higher upriver than I usually go, it is strange to see the river almost overflowing its banks due to a high tide.

I was there for the turning of the tide, shortly after I photographed the high water I could see it visibly ebbing and the current of the river became quite strong again.

My latest weaving project is still progressing slowly. I have threaded the heddles and have started sleying the reed. That is going only marginally faster than threading the heddles.

I am working on my fantasy story again, I wrote a chapter for my last writing group meeting and started a following chapter but quickly bogged down. My main character is confused about what to do next and apparently so am I. However I got some encouragement and suggestions from the group which I will work on.

One of our members started this morning's session by telling us what happened to him last week. He read his story to us and then he says he remembered nothing after that until he was standing outside looking for his car. He said he was confused about where he was, what he was doing, even what day it was. He managed to get home and told his wife about it, she was concerned. Then he phoned one of our writing group and asked her if he had been behaving oddly, because he had no memory at all of how our meeting went after his turn reading out loud. She encouraged him to call his doctor which he did, and the doctor thought he had had a mini-stroke. He has decided to do nothing about it; aside from the memory loss he doesn't feel anything else happened to him. His doctor thinks the mini-stroke may have been triggered by stress due to the nature of the material he was reading to us.

I don't remember anything odd about his behaviour or appearance last week. I was sitting beside him and I noticed nothing. I know we spoke briefly to each other but I can't actually say whether it was before or after he read his piece. It is disconcerting to think that he was having a significant health event only a few feet away from me and I noticed nothing.

Friday, January 6, 2017

Another year

I have been thinking about making changes in 2017. I think that my best chance at success is to not be too drastic.

Two things I want to address are sugar and TV. In the evening I watch more TV than I would like, and while I am watching I snack, often on sugary stuff. I never used to have a sweet tooth, but it seems to have grown over the past few years. I think that sitting around watching TV is conducive to mindless snacking. So my goal is to reduce the TV time and the sugar consumption.

So far I have to say that cutting out sugar is at least as hard as, if not harder than, quitting smoking. I tell myself one day at a time, and, I don't have to eliminate it just cut it back. I think that finding something else to do in the evening than watch TV is going to be key. If I am busy I don't snack. I thought I would try not watching TV every other night, but judging by tonight I think that is going to be harder than I imagined.

On another topic, I had a helluva time with the warp on my loom. It got quite tangled and took a long time to untangle. At which point I realized I was missing half a dozen threads. I think I have it fixed but it is still a long way from finished and I won't really know if my fix worked until I get it all on the loom. Slow progress.

I took a break from my writing group (and writing) over the holiday season but went back last night and this morning. Which meant I had to write something. I decided on another Bedtime Story, which worked out pretty well. So far I have three Bedtime Stories, although one is divided into three parts (three nights), so I suppose I have five Bedtime Stories. Sort of. I am aiming for ten. I started rereading The Wheel of Time and was kind of surprised at the similarities between that and my own fantasy story, a little dismaying. You think you have totally made something up out of thin air and it turns out you didn't.

Sunday, January 1, 2017


Hapi on the earthen dam of the Wolfville watershed lake

I often take Hapi to the Wolfville Reservoir, which is really only an emergency reservoir now as Wolfville gets its water from drilled wells near the dykes. When I lived here in the '70s and '80s there was no public access because it really was the town water reservoir. But the real source of water was the Wolfville Reservoir up on Gaspereau Mountain, which was piped down the mountain, across the Gaspereau Valley and the Wolfville Ridge to the town. I don't know if it fed the in-town reservoir or went somewhere else, but the pipe is no longer maintained and the old reservoir on Gaspereau Mountain became the Nature Conservancy, or Wolfville Watershed.

The photo above is the Old Wolfville Reservoir at the heart of the Conservancy/Watershed, which Hapi and I visited yesterday. We followed a couple of trails along the lake and into the woods. It was a cold clear day and there were quite a lot of other people (and dogs) there too. The trails were quite icy. I met three people and their two dogs on one trail, they asked if the trail circled around the lake and I told them that it did not. I've been on this trail several times, initially in hopes that it did circle around the lake but now I know that it does not. So they said that in that case they would head back to the lake and follow the Havey Trail. I'd never heard of that trail so I asked them where it was and they gave me directions. We didn't go, but I made a note of it for another time.

On the trail

At one point I lost Hapi and had to backtrack to find her. She'd found a frozen rabbit carcass and was busy scarfing it down, ignoring my insistent calls to Come. She did not eat her supper last night and this morning her tummy is growling loudly, I do believe it is the rabbit.

On the way home I deeked into the grocery store one last time in 2016 and met a couple, Peter and Anne, that I hadn't seen in a while. We chatted about various things including weaving (turns out Peter is a weaver which I didn't know before) and various aging issues. They had moved from their farm into town and I asked them how that was working out. They found living in town a big adjustment but the town they moved to was a good choice. Anne invited me to drop in any time, "the tea kettle is always on."

I have survived Christmas and New Years for another year. I was invited to two parties for New Years Eve, one of them was a group of single women and the other a large group of Gaspereau neighbours. I did not have the emotional stamina for a large party of mostly couples so had my heart set on the other party, but unfortunately the host came down with a fever and had to cancel. So I didn't go to any parties. I did go for an hour up the street to a neighbour's place and we shared glasses of The Captain (Captain Morgan rum, her favourite). Edna urged me to drink more and was appalled that I put more coke than rum in the glass, but her son admonished her to stop bullying me and let me set my own limits. He's a teetotaller. He had a late Christmas present for Hapi, a squeaky tennis ball, but it was way past Hapi's bedtime and she was only marginally interested.

I went to bed before midnight and there must have been fireworks because when I woke up at 3.00am she was camped outside my bedroom door (she usually sleeps in the basement) and had peed in the kitchen. I invited her onto my bed, she would never come in or get up on the furniture without being invited. But she did get up on the bed and hung out there for maybe half an hour. Then I guess her courage returned and she spent the rest of the night outside in her doghouse.

Hapi recovering her courage

I have started dressing the loom for another project, I will post photos another time. Basically a warp for two small rugs in a goose eye pattern with a warp in two colours, a dark blue grading into a dark red from one side to the other. It is experimental in several ways: the warp colours, the sett which is tighter than it should be in hopes of making a stiffer rug, and the width which is actually wider than the loom itself but I think will shrink down to the allowable width (27") hopefully before it winds around the cloth roller at the front of the loom. Since the warp is long enough for two rugs, I may vary the basic goose eye pattern for the second one to something else, we'll see.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

The ice, the mail and a rug

We had a large amount of snow on the ground last week, I thought we were in for a white Christmas for sure. But over the past weekend we went from -15C to +15C (with rain) and then back to -15C (briefly) so most of the snow is gone and what remained froze. Most of the trails are now quite icy. But with sun and temperatures this side of zero in the daytime I expect we'll lose the remaining little bit of snow before Christmas.

I took the picture above at the reservoir; the pond that used to be full of ducks is now covered by ice so smooth and glassy you can see the reflection of surrounding trees in it.

In October I ordered a used book online that just arrived today. Very disappointing because it is not what it purported to be. I wanted the revised edition of A Handweaver's Pattern Book and got the first edition, which is a very different book. The revised edition is more extensive and errors in the first edition have been corrected. I ordered it form Abe Books but it came from Powell's Books in Portland Oregon. I called their 1-800 number and they apologized for it not being what it was supposed to be and told me they were unable to fulfill the order correctly, so they would refund my money and I could keep the book and perhaps pass it on to someone else who might like it, since I already have a copy. Very nice of them but still disappointing, I was really looking forward to getting my hands on this book.

I have now emailed a place in Ontario that says they have the book, both in new and possibly used copies. The used copies would be cheaper but at this point I am prepared to pay the extra for the newer version. From their online description they at least seem to understand the difference between the first and second editions so I await their response with optimism. Unfortunately they are closed over the holiday season so I doubt I will hear from them before January.

In my town we don't have door-to-door mail delivery, we pick up our mail at the Post Office. I read and hear about the controversy around discontinuing home mail delivery in favour of group postal boxes, and how it will be so hard on disabled and elderly citizens. But here, we have never had home delivery, going to the Post Office is the accepted way to get your mail. And it is such a social occasion: you meet people there, it's a great source of local gossip, and they give biscuits to dogs. My dog is hugely in favour of that. I would be far more concerned it they shut down the local Post Office. A Postal Outlet has opened in the neighbouring drugstore but it is not the same thing at all, all you get is mail and postal supplies, no socializing, no gossip, no dog biscuits.

I have devised a rug pattern in my head for my next weaving project. It is too difficult to draw it on paper (I wish I had software to do it for me) so I can only go by numbers (how many warp threads of each colour in what order, which heddles they must be threaded through) and hope for the best. It will be quite wonderful if it turns out more or less how I imagine it. I was just going to do a short warp—one rug—but then thought I might go for broke and make it a long warp. Once again I may be biting off more than I can chew, but I have a hard time keeping things simple.

I've been sick with a cold the past week and quite lacking in motivation so consequently I have not done the necessary sewing to complete the first project. I should really finish that before starting a new project I guess, but I am concerned that if I leave warping the loom for too long I will forget my hard-earned knowledge of how to do it.

Friday, December 16, 2016


This is the sun just after noon today, on a really snow-squally cold day. I'm not going anywhere today, Hapi is sleeping in her doghouse and I am nursing another cold. I am supposed to usher for two shows tonight and tomorrow night but I won't make it, too much coughing and snuffling. I hate being sick, it's right up there with hating Christmas, so I guess this is all very well-timed.

I have all these things I could be doing but being sick just saps the motivation right out of me. Look at that photo of the sun, look at how low in the sky it is! At noon! Everything is at its nadir: the sun, the weather, my health, my mood.

One of my neighbours dropped by yesterday to ask if I was thinking about going to the Community Christmas dinner, and it turns out we're both equivocal about it. I think it got left at, if one of us feels the urge to go we should call the other and we'd go together. If not, then we wouldn't go. Then later in the day a friend phoned to invite me for dinner just before Christmas. That would be nice but will hinge on whether I'm any healthier by then. Based on how long my last bout of illness lasted, I am not optimistic. However I had a fever last time and not this time, so perhaps I'm not as sick and will recover faster.

Last night I wanted something easy and tasty for dinner, I thought I'd have baba ganoush on pita bread with a ginger carrot soup. The soup took a little effort but I thought the pita bread would be easy (and tasty). Turned out the pitas were mouldy so that was a no-go, but I had been thinking about how good it was going to taste for so long that it was really hard to give it up. I tried to think of a substitute for pita bread that did not involve baking or shopping. So I ended up putting dollops of the baba ganoush on corn chips and topping them with cut up lettuce leaves. It sort of worked, but I wish the pitas hadn't gotten mouldy. The carrot soup on the other hand turned out really well.

The carrots for the soup were from my garden several years ago. I left them in the ground and in the spring I dug them up but they didn't look like they would keep very long so I cooked and froze them, some as chopped carrot and some as mashed carrot. The soup was from some of the mashed carrot. There is still more in the freezer so I will probably have some more ginger carrot soup this winter. I also added coconut milk, onion, garlic and thai curry mix, and put a dollop of yogurt on top. Could have put some parsley on top, but this was supposed to be an easy meal and I had run out of energy; the thought of cutting parsley was just too tiring. I cut the lettuce for the pita and baba ganoush substitute instead.