Monday, November 30, 2020

How we mask

I thought I would do a post about our mask habits.  It's funny how masks have become such a regular part of our routine now, and will likely remain so for awhile.

We have cloth masks - some homemade (not by me), some from The Gap and Old Navy, and Dave and I both got masks from our companies.  We also have a couple of boxes of paper masks.  I keep some in the car in case we need them. 

The kids wear masks all day everyday at school.  I send two cloth masks and an extra paper mask with them each day.  They don't always need the second mask, but it's nice to have. 

I bring a mask with me to drop them off and pick them up, and when I go to stores.  Since I don't wear them for long periods of time, I can usually use them over several days before needing a new one.

Aside from school and other indoor public places, we will wear masks when outside and where it is difficult to maintain distance, such as walking down the street to do errands (up on Bloor where there are lots of other people, not on my own street), and at the playground/park.  I also wear it when at a drive-thru or picking up my groceries.

All dirty/used masks go into the basket at the front door.

Once a week I wash them all.  I put them in a load with our towels. I use powdered Tide for this load (I use Tide Pods for our other laundry).  The powdered Tide goes right into the tub (yes, you can do this).

Then I pick the hot cycle with an extra rinse cycle. 

The towels go into the dryer, but the masks all get hung up.

A side note about the towels - the hot cycle with the powdered Tide and extra rinse is great for them too.  I had found our towels were kind of musty and didn't dry that well.  This summer I stripped them (using gocleanco's method) and wash them like this now.  We have had these towels for 11 years and I thought it was time to replace them, but now they are like new and I think they will be fine for many more years. 

Friday, November 27, 2020

Friday Favourites

I posted this on my Instagram earlier this week.  This is our living room (and my home office set up).  See the snowman decoration outside?  Every single time I walk into the living room I think it is a person at the window.  I know it's a snowman, I know it is there, but my first thought is always that it's a person lurking out there.

The boys wrote their letters to Santa this week.  Q drew some pictures of what he wanted and then I labelled it. We're still working on his name!

And then we stuck them in the mailbox the next day.

I forgot to take a picture before I was almost done, but I made my own peppermint mocha latte the other day.  I found the recipe here.  I used unsweetened cashew milk instead.  It was so easy and a treat to make at home.

We watched the Lego Star Wars Holiday Special on Disney Plus on Wednesday night.  It was nice and cozy down in the basement.  It was a cute show.

I can't stop watching this parody of The Crown I saw on Twitter.  It should work for you to click here to see it

"Oh dear"

Happy Friday everyone!

Linking up with Andrea and Erika.

Thursday, November 26, 2020

November Book Review

I read three books this month!! I only have two left on my 2020 reading list and I have both of them (although they are both overdue at the library so thank goodness for no late fees!).

The first book was Daisy Jones and the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid. 

This was a book that many people had already read and I had heard good things about it.  The book is written as though a researcher/writer is interviewing people about "Daisy Jones and the Six", a fictional band from the 1970s.  It doesn't have a narrative really, it is all recollections from the characters about past events.  It reminded me of Almost Famous and the stories Engineer Jim used to tell on the Jay and Dan Podcast (if you know, then you know).  The story is fiction but it could just as well have been true as well.  It was a quick read, fun, and also touching - pick it up if you haven't read it yet. 

Then I read Three Women by Lisa Taddeo.

I heard a few things about this non-fiction book like that you had to read it and that it sticks with the reader for a long time.  It is a non-fiction book, written like fiction, where the author has followed these three women for a year or so to get their stories, and does some deep research into fact checking the details.  I thought it could probably be considered a soft core porn book if it wasn't non-fiction.  I didn't have a problem with it, but it felt too intimate to be reading about real people. 

The stories were very interesting and nuanced.  You never know what is going on in someone's life or has happened that affects how they will react to the situations in their lives.  

And the last one was Normal People by Sally Rooney.

I think this one will be my favourite of the year.  There was something easy about reading it and it felt all so lovely even though there were sad bits.  It is about two people from Sligo in Ireland and then go to university at Trinity in Dublin.  It jumps around from different times in their lives, while still moving forward, and follows their connection throughout the years.  There are heartbreaking passages and beautiful descriptions of their relationship.  The time spent developing the characters was well done, and we got to know them so well, better than I probably know myself. 

It was a quick read for me, and although the people are younger than I am, I could relate to some of the high school and university scenes.  I love Irish settings, and I remember Trinity College when we went to Dublin in 2010.  

I have heard this is a miniseries now and although I'm sure it could never be as good as the book, I'd like to find it to watch.

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

What's Up Wednesday


What we're eating this week...
Sunday - Swiss Chalet
Monday - Sausage Pasta
Tuesday - Tacos
Wednesday - Chicken, Spinach, and Artichoke Pasta
Thursday - Thai Crunch Salad with Tofu
Friday - Pizza
Saturday - Steak

What I'm reminiscing about...

Last year we were planning our trip to Hawaii.  How lucky we were to go on a trip at the beginning of 2020 before it all came crashing down.  I still follow the Four Seasons Oahu on Instagram and it will take me back to those lovely days we spent there. 

What I'm loving...
I know I'm late the Siracha party but I'm here now.  I always thought it would be too hot, but using just a little is fine. We've had it on our noodles and mixed it with honey for our chicken wings.  Delicious!

What we've been up to...

Diligently wearing our masks.  Dave and I are lucky since we are at home most of the time so our mask wearing is minimal, but the kids wear them all day.  I am impressed with the way they have adapted.  Yesterday Q was still wearing his mask as we drove home and I turned around and told him he could take it off, and he says "oh phew!"  And we wore our masks at the playground since it was a bit crowded.

What I'm dreading...

I am first of all hoping that we will still be able to attend the ski lessons we are registered for starting in January.  However the rules for entering the lodge have changed, and we are not permitted to bring our bags inside to put on our boots, and we can only go inside to eat if we are buying food and we only have 40 minutes to sit at the table.  So that means we will be getting changed at the car, in the cold, and then perhaps have to warm up in the car too.  The ski hill parking lot is always a high stress area, so it should be even more so now!

What I'm working on...

Getting our Christmas cards ready to send out.  They were delivered super quick and have just been sitting there. Now I need to get some stamps and send them out.  I love Christmas cards!  Also working on doing some online shopping.

What I'm excited about...

I am excited about the progress being made with the Covid vaccines.  I know it will still take some time, but that seems to be the answer.  On Peter Mansbridge's podcast this week he recalled a quote he heard "There's a light at the end of the tunnel, we just can't see it yet." It seems very fitting for this situation. 

What I'm watching/reading...

We finished up Queen's Gambit last week and it was really good, highly recommend.  We also watched Totally Under Control, the Covid documentary on Prime.  Setting aside the political commentary about whether Trump did enough, it is very interesting to watch, particularly now that we are into our second lockdown.  We are also watching The Crown, Masked Singer, and Amazing Race.

I'm reading A Gentleman in Moscow.  Tomorrow I will post my November book review.

What I'm listening to...
Taking a break from the Christmas music to listen to some Nelly.  How great was he on Dancing with the Stars!?!  He brought me such joy watching him dance and his medley of hits on Monday was so much fun!!

What I'm doing this weekend...
E is getting his flu shot finally so that's good. But other than that we will probably stick close to home given the current lock down situation.  We may put up some decorations around the house and the kids can put up the small trees in their rooms. 

What I'm looking forward to next month...
A Christmas season with fewer no events but still filled with fun - making cookies, watching holiday movies, driving around to look at lights, wrapping presents, and getting outside when we can.   

What else is new...
Last Thursday was Beaujolais Nouveau Day so I picked up a few bottles for us to enjoy.  One type is my standard favourite Joseph Drouhin and I also got a few bottles of George DeBeouf as I heard it received high marks. Both are delicious.

Linking up with Shay.

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Weekend Recap

We enjoyed some warm temperatures on Friday afternoon at the playground.  The kids didn't have school but they were at the YMCA all day instead.  I picked them up early so we could spend some time outside and we also got to meet one of Q's friends.

When we got home Dave had put up most of the Christmas lights.  Then we made some pizza for our supper.  

On Saturday morning I went to pick up our groceries and do a few more errands before our lockdown started on Monday.  Meanwhile Dave and Q sorted through the toys in the living room.

We fixed up the rest of the Christmas lights outside and then I went out to search for some greenery urns and a wreath.  I thought I would have to go to Sheridan Nurseries all the way in Mississauga, but instead I was able to find things closer to home.  There are a couple of florists on Scarlett Road so I tried those first and got what I wanted.  
When I got home I raked up one more bag of leaves and then went to the park with the kids. 

Our wreath.

E did some piano practicing with my old books.

After supper I joined online trivia with Boxing Rock in Shelburne NS (my hometown).  This was purely an online thing in March and April but now it's a combination of online and people actually in the taproom.  It worked out really well. 

After that we watched The Mandalorian and then Dave and I started watching The Crown.  
On Sunday morning we woke up to some snow and I walked up the street to do a few more local errands and then turned on our church's live stream service.  I lit my own candle along with the minister.

After lunch we went for a walk by the river.  

Everett had left his winter boots at school so he had to wear his old sneakers.

Snowball in midair

Q went right through that large puddle in front of him.

Then we went home, got dry and warm, made popcorn and hot apple cider and watched a Christmas movie.

We ordered Swiss Chalet for our supper, tidied up, got the kids showered and Q got to bed early. Then Dave, E and I watched Great British Bake Off. 

Great simple weekend :)