Monday, August 31, 2020


Here we go again (or rather, here we are still)...reminiscent of June when people took the street to protest police killings of black people, culminating with George Floyd.  Everyone jumped on the Black Lives Matter bandwagon and waved their social justice flags, including me.  I wrote some posts about it, I posted my black square on Instagram, I donated to some black focused charities, and bought some books by black authors. I knew we needed change but like most people didn't really know what that meant and although we were trying, I felt like things sort of petered out, including my own efforts.  So now another black man, Jacob Blake, is shot by police and still here we are.  I know change can be slow but it seems significantly slow here.

What I have heard a few people saying lately is that they don't really watch the news or pay attention to what is going on, that they like to stay positive.  Sadly, that's not going to cut it.  We all need to be paying attention, and to say you don't watch the news is short-sighted and a little ignorant.  I want to be positive too, but I can't ignore the terrible things happening in our world.  I don't really watch the news on a regular basis, but I stay up to date with Twitter and podcasts, and when there are big things happening I watch The National to get the full story.

Something I have been making a practice of doing in the last few years, and will continue to do is listen and learn and try to understand different perspectives and motivations.  I have a very small worldview if I'm just looking through my own eyes and I can't understand everything at first glance, I need to think critically about it.  So here are some of those first glances, and then how I've proceeded beyond that to consider different points of view.  I'm not always convinced by everything, but it does help me to consider why change is not only important, but necessary:

"What does cancelling basketball games do anyway? If the players just go home they haven't made a difference."  Well we have seen the NBA players return to the court now, and they have set in place some positive actions for the league to take, as well as their home communities.  Alone, the NBA can't change the world, but by speaking up, demanding change, and showing us how they are affected on a day to day basis, it all matters, and it contributes to overall change.  People who may not have otherwise paid attention, may have sat up a bit to take notice when "their" game wasn't on.

"We can't tear down statues of historical figures, they helped to create our country (this specifically refers to the statue of John A. Macdonald, Canadas first prime minster)". And similarly "We can't change the name of every school or street named after an old politician who did some things wrong." Yes, we can all agree that people, including historical figures are complicated, they have done good and bad things, but removing a statue isn't ignoring the good things they did, we can still learn about those things, but removing the statue (or the name from the building or street) means that people who may feel triggered by the bad things done by that person don't need to relive that trauma on a regular basis.  John A. Macdonald had terrible policies and said terrible things (many of which I have only learned about because of the statue in Montreal being torn down this weekend) and if I was an Indigenous person who had to walk by that statue everyday, that would probably be upsetting.  Also our new Conservative leader, Erin O'Toole tweeted this photo, and I think it's a bit disingenuous.  There wasn't really a mob, and we don't deny Canada wouldn't exist with John A. MacDonald, just that we may not need a statue of him. Saying we are defacing our past isn't really accurate, since it comes with the assumption that our past is beyond reproach, which is clearly not the case.  Speaking the truth about our past isn't defacing it, just learning the full and true story.

"Why was Black Panther so important anyway? It's just another superhero movie." For Black people, it was pretty important to see a main character (along with the rest of the characters in Wakanda) that looked like them, on the big screen, being more than the side kick.  I am just used to seeing people like me as the hero so it may not seem that important, but it is a pretty big deal, and also important for white kids to see Black people on those positions so they grow up to think it is normal. 

RIP Chadwick Boseman, this loss hurt a lot. 

"Why do we have to mention the original Indigenous groups that lived on this land before every single school event or public meeting?"  To be honest, this did bother me at first, but now I really do appreciate it.  For those of you who don't know what I'm talking about, often at the beginning of a public event, the emcee will start by saying, "We acknowledge that this event is being held on the traditional lands of the [insert indigenous group name here]."  I mean, really, it's just more information and doesn't really hurt anyone to mention it, and the kids are growing up becoming accustomed to hearing it and that's not a bad thing. It's a gesture since for many years we just ignored mention of any sort of traditional lands and people.

Keep it going people, keep challenging what is comfortable and normal for you, keep learning about trauma suffered by people of colour, and other marginalized group, change is going to come, but it's not going to happen without us.

Friday, August 28, 2020

Friday Favourites

Here we go for another edition of Friday Favourites.  

Dave was up on the roof installing gutter guards.  This part of the roof is actually flat so it wasn't so bad, and he can easily get up there from the back of the house.  I was "supervising".

I got my haircut on Tuesday and then went into the office for a few hours.  I was the only one there and had a productive day.

Since the kids were away we got out go out for dinner on Tuesday.  We tried going to Playa Cubana Cantina but it was closed. Luckily another taco place was open, Maiz, so we went there.

I finally got a real desk to work from at home.  It's from Ikea and fits into the corner of the living room by the windows.  We can also charge the ipad here and that will clean up the kitchen counter a bit.  We were lucky because Ikea hardly had any desks left so it was good they had the one I actually liked.  I may get a desk chair when they are back in stock, but this dining room chair will work for now.

I want to say more about Black Lives Matter, the cancelled NBA games, the new Conservative leader in Canada, and the upcoming US election, but I feel like I need to think a bit more about it.  I'll try to post about it on Monday. 

Linking up with Andrea and Erika.

Wednesday, August 26, 2020

What's Up Wednesday

What we're eating this week...
Sunday - Salads and a cheese plate
Monday - Pancetta, pea and mint pasta
Tuesday - Tacos
Wednesday to Saturday - not sure yet, we will be in Sarnia Thursday to Saturday

What I'm reminiscing about...
As we get ready to go back to school (!) I am thinking about E's first day of school as it will be Q's first year this year. I can't imagine that E was that young when he started school but I know he was.  Q will have a great time and I think he will do well there. 

What I'm loving...
When we had our fish fries up at Manion Lake this summer, they made their french fries with this spice.  Interestingly I went to this steak house when I was in Chicago but didn't realize the spice was a big deal.  We bought some here and have been putting in our fries and it is a game changer.  We toss the raw potatoes in oil and the spice before we bake them, and then toss them in it again when we take them out of the oven.

What we've been up to...
Fighting the racoons.  We put in new sod (and watering system) in the front yard and since then the racoons come by every night and turn up some pieces.  We will win this war and it will be D-Day for them eventually (no actual racoons will be harmed).  We put down some chicken wire type fencing over the sod so hopefully that will help.

What I'm dreading...
I am dreading the next few months and whatever they may bring.  We are still living with so much uncertainty that it can be difficult at times.  The kids will be going back to school but what if there are Covid cases and they all get sent home?  Will I ever go back to the office full time?  I went into the office yesterday for a few a hours and it's so sad downtown. There is one food place open in my building (Basil Box and I got lunch there) and to be down in the food court with absolutely no one is depressing.  We have all of this infrastructure and it sits empty. 

What I'm working on...
The kids are away this week so I want to tidy up their rooms and closets.  We went through a lot of their toys the other day and got rid of a bunch of things.  It felt good to get rid of some things including little bits and pieces.

What I'm excited about...
I am excited about the kids going back to school, I really am.  Any worry I have is outweighed by them getting back to a routine, learning, seeing friends, speaking to people other than us, and (dare I say it?) packing lunches. I have always loved back to school time so even though this year will be quite different, I am carrying through with the excitement of this time of year. 
Masks, check! (but we still need more)

What I'm watching/reading...
We are watching Broadchurch and Mr. Robot, and the Raptors playoffs!

I am reading The Innocents by Michael Crummey.  I really like it but I have not found much time to ready lately.

What I'm listening to...
Taylor Swift's new album folklore.  I love this song in particular.

What I'm doing this weekend...
We will go down to Dave's parents' house to spend a few days with them and bring the kids home. We should be able to get to the beach and maybe out for a sail.

What I'm looking forward to next month...
School starting, welcoming fall and Q's 4th birthday. 

What else is new...
If you have not seen this flow chart and you're Canadian, I think you'll get a kick out of it.  It's very accurate.  Dave asked me why I was telling him the pool temperature was 82 degrees.  Please consult the chart!  Haha.

Linking up with Shay.

Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Weekend Recap

Just a few quick photos from our weekend.  First E wrapped up his week at golf camp.  This time the session was in the morning so he got started around 9:30.  He got a new hat this week too.

After camp Dave picked him and they went golfing at Centennial.  They also hit a bucket of balls beforehand so E had a full golf day!  For supper Q and I picked up some pizzas and wine from Queen Margherita Pizza.  We have not been there since the pandemic began so it was a nice treat.  Q was a little upset we weren't eating at the restaurant though.

We had a bonfire on Friday night and roasted a few marshmallows.

On Saturday we drove to Woodstock to meet with Dave's parents who took the kids for this week. We had a quick picnic lunch at a park.

Then Dave and I met up with our friend Vic and played a round of golf at Grey Silo in Waterloo.  It was a beautiful day to be golfing.

On Sunday morning we went golfing again! This time we went to Trafalgar Golf and Country Club for another beautiful day.

We did a few errands our way home and then I had a nap :)  We trimmed some of our tree branches and then settled in to watch the Raptors game.  I made a big salad and then we had some cheese, meat and crackers. 

Thursday, August 20, 2020

Recipe - Marinated Chicken

I have written before how I like to make my own salad dressings and sauce where possible, rather than buying a premade bottle of something.  The same goes for marinades.  It is not complicated so why buy something (even though there are many choices at the grocery store).  It's so easy this is barely a recipe.

Place your boneless/skinless chicken breasts, enough for the size meal you're making, into a shallow bowl or baking dish.  You can also use a Ziploc if you prefer.

Drizzle with a generous amount of olive oil and lemon juice, equal amounts of each.  You can't really overdo it, just make sure the breasts are sitting in a pool of the liquid.

Sprinkle with salt, pepper, garlic powder and dried oregano.  The amounts will vary depending on the amount of chicken you are using, so again, just eyeball it.  

Turn the chicken over, and sprinkle the other sides with the salt, pepper, garlic powder, and dried oregano. 

Chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes or for a few hours.  You'll want to turn the chicken every 30 minutes or so until you're ready to cook it.  

You can grill this on your BBQ or cook in a frying pan.  We like to add it to pasta (like this lemon pasta), salad bowl, or just eat it on its own.  Last night we ate it with corn and potatoes. 

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Little Things

A few little things I am appreciating right now...

 Going to a store without having to wait in line.  I'm not sure if I am just hitting the stores at the right time or they are letting more people in than they used to, but I like not having to wait in line. 

Watching a show with E that isn't a kids show.  We watched World's Toughest Race on Prime and it is nice that we can enjoy a show that everyone wants to see (except Q who is in bed).

Sports on TV! I like hearing the call of a baseball game on weekend afternoons and now playoff basketball.  I even enjoyed watching the Leafs (ahem, short) playoff run.

Eating outside.  We try to eat our supper outside most nights and it is a nice treat during our relatively short summer.  

Summer storms.  I love a good thunderstorm (when I'm safe inside that is!) and this week we even had some hail!

Tuesday, August 18, 2020

Weekend Recap

I took Friday off of work so I could take the kids to the dentist and then spend the day at High Park.  
Masks in the waiting room when we arrived.

It was Q's first visit to the dentist and he did really well.

Then we went to High Park.  We dropped E off at his soccer camp and then met up with one of Q's friends for a picnic and splash pad time.

And we rode the High Park train.

When E's camp was over we went home so he could get ready for golf with Dave.  They met up with one of E's friends from school and his dad.  Q and I did a few errands and then had an easy night, we made eggs for supper, and while Q watched Paw Patrol, I listened to some podcasts.  After he went to bed, the rest of us watched The World's Toughest Race on Prime. 

I got up early on Saturday for a run and workout.

I then picked up a few groceries and after lunch we went to a birthday party.  There was a massive bouncy castle/waterslide which was pretty fun.

Throwing some water balloons, but he didn't actually hit me.

Cake time.

We got home at a good time, by 6:00, put Q to bed and then we watched more World's Toughest Race.

On Sunday morning I decided to go to Costco.  We needed some gas and since there was no line up I went in to pick up a few things. 

When I got back, Dave had the bikes ready for us to bike down to the Stackt Market.  You may recall that Dave and I tried going there earlier this summer and it was a fail.  This time was better, still a bit of an issue to get a seat, but we did get the fried chicken we had been looking for the first time. 

Shivering on the ski lift.

We ordered fruit punch for them.  It was Mexican pop so the sugar content was through the roof I'm sure, good thing we had the dentist on Friday!

Photo bomb

Very tasty chicken sandwiches, but the fries were a little too crispy/greasy for me.

Fried chicken was good but needed the dipping sauce.


It started raining on our way home but we managed to get home without getting too wet.  Then it was movie/nap time when we got home.  We made burgers and fries for supper.  The kids were pretty tired so once they were in bed, we still had time for a movie, The Way Back with Ben Affleck.