Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Since the last time I wrote, the calendar has flipped into December, moving us inexorably closer to Christmas.  I managed to get the lights up outside - well the additional strings, since one of the trees at the front door stays lit up all years since Daniel likes the look of it.  I've purchased one or two small gifts, Danika has been creating a few here and there, and Logan made a batch of chocolate chip shortbread last night (locating the recipe, making the cookies and cleaning up the mess all on his own!). He's just started the cooking portion of home ec in school and seems to be somewhat inspired.  Apparently they are making cookies in class this week and he advised me he had to take in butter as the school only provides margarine and he's a bit of a butter snob.  Granny and Grandpa arrived on Sunday to stay with the kids while Daniel and I enjoy a bit of time in New Orleans.  Daniel left 3 days ago...although freak ice storms in Louisiana meant it took him a day and a half to get there.  I'm en route at this moment and hoping for better connections.  I've left a list of the kids activities with addresses and notes to help the grandparents get the kids where they are supposed to be over the next 8 days - with Christmas concerts and pre-holiday activities, they will be on the go.  Granny was wise and brought her GPS with her this time. Looks like it might be almost time to board!

Thursday, November 30, 2017

It’s November, almost December.  It’s gray.  And wet.  And dark.  We should be lighting candles and fireplaces, mulling things.  Okay, I have been mulling things – apple cider and red wine.  Perhaps more wine than cider since it’s just such a nice thing to sip when I’m cooking supper and it’s dark outside and I’m damp and chilly from the journey home.  It’s good weather for crafting though. And Danika has been doing just that.  I volunteered for a shift on Saturday at the Doncaster school annual craft fair – I asked Danika if she wanted to come with me, but when I explained the vendors would be selling crafts they’d made rather than supplies for her to use in her own projects she declined, wondering why anyone would want to buy rather than make their own crafts.  She received a kit in the last Scholastic order that involves punching chenille yarn through burlap to create a pillow top (similar to hooked rugs). Once she got the hang of it, she zoomed through the project and that meant a trip to Michaels to purchase more supplies for additional projects – we now have enough burlap to create a large area rug! And while the crafting has been going on, we’ve been listening to Logan practicing carols on his saxophone and violin.  He’s set up his music stand in what will be the downstairs bathroom (once the plumber returns from Shanghai in January) because the saxophone is just too loud to play upstairs.  The first performance is coming up in 2 weeks and there’s still some practicing to be done!

Monday, November 13, 2017

A photo from the October Scout trip - that's Logan in shorts
Logan is on his way home from a Scout trip - they hiked about half of the Juan de Fuca trail this weekend.  There have been torrential rains and a wind warning in effect for the past 24 hours.  Assuming their tents didn't blow or float into the ocean last night, they should be loading up wet gear right about now and loading up for the drive back into Victoria.  I'm guessing they arrive back cold, wet, tired and hungry!
The rest of us watched the rain from inside the house, close to the fireplace.  We watched a Harry Potter movie, ventured to the mall to buy Danika a pair of runners, and spent yesterday afternoon at Crystal Pool (followed by a stop at Wildfire Bakery, for peppermint tea and vegan chocolate chunk cookies).  I keep waiting for a break in the rain to plant my garlic, as I am now 2 weeks behind schedule, but it isn't looking promising.....

Update - I picked up a tired, hungry Scouter. His backpack and every item in it, including his sleeping bag, was wet.  In addition to hiking in the downpours, rain got in the tent the first night and then Logan stepped in a creek at one point so the "dry" socks and his boot were wet.  He set them a little too close to the evening campfire to try drying them out, and burnt a sock and a brand new boot (I'm going to try using Visa purchase insurance for the first time - fingers crossed that works). Sockless, he duct taped ziploc bags to his feet one day (that's the red stuff on his legs in the upper photo), miraculously avoiding any blisters. I guess that's what the leader was referring to when he phoned from the car to provide an ETA and laughed that Logan had "Loganned the whole trip".   

Sunday, November 05, 2017

For awhile we were actually flying THROUGH a rainbow!
It was a crazy week all around.  There was Halloween, and all of the accompanying activity that surrounds that, what with pumpkin carving, decorating, costume preparation, treat purchases, school activities, and of course the trick or treating.  On top of that, there was a parent teacher conference and I was in Vancouver both Tuesday and Thursday.  Getting to the float planes on time means leaving the house at least an hour earlier in the morning, which means more evening preparation.  And, it's now November, and as one pilot announced "Sorry guys, the sun is gone for the year and it's going to be bumpy".  Low ceilings, wind, rain, and on Thursday night - snow.  The weather was bad enough that we had to be shuttled from downtown out to the Vancouver airport to catch a regular plane back to the island and then taxi home, arriving two hours later than expected, but just in time for my taxi to meet Daniel and the kids on the road as they drove to Guides/Scouts and hand over Danika's girl guide sash. I had it with me in Vancouver so I could sew on her badges, which I managed to do on the shuttle to the airport, promising my co-worker sitting next to me that I wouldn't stab him in the eye with my needle.  I realized after I'd handed the sash off to her that I'd forgotten to remove the pins, but she spotted them in time.  All in all, it was time for a glass of wine and a low-key weekend after all of that.

Friday, November 03, 2017

the mask - didn't actually get a photo of him wearing it

There are at least an extra 10 pounds of junk food in our house, probably a little more than that.  Halloween has come and gone again.  Danika went as Bambi - there weren't any monkey costumes for older kids at the store and selection was somewhat limited when we went on Friday after school, before the Doncaster Halloween dance.  She made a cute deer though.  A bit tired of tagging after Logan and his friends, we arranged for her to trick or treat with a friend this year (that's Meira in the robot-alien costume), which meant she and I walked around a new neighborhood.  She had fun and has 85 treats that contain dairy that she's hoping to trade with Logan.  We decided she could have a once a year cheat and pick her two favorite chocolate bars (coffee crisp and a cookies and cream bar).  Logan went as a grim reaper for the third year.  He left costumes to the night before, and when he dug out the reaper, the mask/hood was missing.  Since I was in Vancouver all day for meetings, he was going to have to figure out a ghost costume when he got home from school.....except by some amazing stroke of luck, I went for a 15 minute walk at lunch and just happened to pass by a little costume store that just happened to have a reaper mask that worked perfectly!  I even got it at a huge discount since it was 1:00 on the 31st.  Perhaps there was a sprinkle of magic dust in the air!

The Halloween fun actually started last weekend - since we didn't do a party with Logan's friends when he turned 11 at the end of June, he invited 2 boys for an evening at Galey's farm.  We started with a Little Ceasar's pizza picnic, followed by a trip through the haunted corn maze, a ride on the crazy train around the farm (complete with mini-donuts) and a walk through the Carnevil Haunted House.  The last one was PG13 and by the time we'd stood in line and listened to the screams and clanking noises, all three boys were just a little apprehensive.  Right before we went in, I told them it sometimes helps to hold hands when you're nervous, and Logan's friends grabbed onto each other in an iron grip! We all made it safely through, without having to resort to the "chicken exits".

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

There are a few conversations that happen in our house that didn't happen when I was growing up.  Probably the result of living in an urban West Coast community in 2017 instead of a prairie village in the 1980s.  Daniel and I were going out to a Jesse Cook concert last week and I reminded Danika that a teenager from our neighbourhood would be coming over to stay with her and Logan while we were out.  She asked the teen's name and whether it was a boy or a girl.  I wasn't quite sure on either count - she looked at me perplexed and exclaimed, "How can you not know their gender?!"  Because when I went over to ask if the teen was available to babysit, things were not quite what I remembered but it's a little rude/awkward to say, "Wait, didn't you used to be a girl?".  When the dad and the teen knocked on the door before we headed out, I was able to somewhat discreetly (or maybe not) confirm the teen's new name and preferred pronoun (the dad repeatedly used "he").  Everything went fine - they played some games (hide and seek is still a big hit in this house), played on the Wii, and he drew with Danika.  However, when Danika was telling me everything they'd done and using the feminine pronoun and I said, "I actually think XXX is a boy" she looked at me like I'd lost my marbles. We might have to revisit that conversation before our next evening out....

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Image result for chris de burgh better world tour

Okay, so I don't have much for photos as there was no flash photography allowed and I didn't jump into the aisle when he went from one end of the auditorium to the other hugging women in red dresses, but last night I got to see Chris de Burgh live in concert in Calgary.  Along with Elton John (whom I also saw in concert in Calgary years ago) he's one of the few performers I've always wanted to see perform live.  And the show was fantastic - all the best songs from the greatest hits album that I've been listening to for 25 years in addition to some newer stuff. Plus I got to go with Marla, whom I haven't seen for way too long and that was just as awesome.  And now we get to hang out for another day before I fly back to Victoria just in time for the weekend.