Friday, January 29, 2021

Friday Favourites


Happy Friday! Some highlights from our week (lowlights not photographed).

Instead of drawing what we did on the weekend, Q and I molded our family out of clay.  We all got a hiking stick and a mug for our hot chocolate/coffee.

Dave walked up the street with the boys at lunch on Tuesday and found some fun cookies for them. 

Q's class talked about space this week.  We made this solar system out of paper.  Q wanted to add all of the dwarf planets, not just Pluto, so we had to add some paper at the bottom.  We also made our own astronauts.

I took some time to help E with his work too, and we enjoyed the sunshine coming in the front windows.

We had enough snow piled up after Tuesday to build a snow fort.  The neighbour boys got involved too.

Some matching games before school.

Working on his art project.

Coffee after lunch is always a treat.

With the temperature in minus double digits (Celsius) on Thursday morning, my running group decided not to meet.  So I got a different workout in later in the day. I had to snap a photo to share with my group to stay accountable!

We continued our new tradition of family game night on Thursdays and ordered out for supper.  This time we tried My Roti Place. As usual we ordered too much food, but it was all so delicious.  We would highly recommend it and we will get it again.  For our games we played Hungry Hungry Hippos, Scrabble Jr., and Twister (which is not a great game to play when you've just eaten a big Indian meal! haha). 

Check out this graph created by artist @common_wild.  This is all too accurate. 

 We are looking forward to pizza night tonight, and going sledding this weekend.  Have a nice weekend. 

Linking up with Andrea and Erika.

Thursday, January 28, 2021

January Book Review

Only one book this month.  With the kids out of school and home all day I have little free time to read.  This book is the first one from my 2021 Reading List - The Skin We're In by Desmond Cole.  As I said when I added this book to my reading list, I purchased this book in June of last year when the Black Lives Matter movement heated up.  With all of the various topical books being suggested, I thought I would start with a Canadian one. 

This book takes us through 2016 and discusses various race related events experienced by the author directly, or indirectly, and Black and Indigenous people he knew personally or from the media who suffered at the hands of police.  He writes about a kindergarten student handcuffed by police at a Mississauga school, a mentally unstable man beat to death by Ottawa police, a local Toronto artist arrested and beat up for having an art show without a liquor licence, and a young refugee from Somalia on the road to deportation. 

No one book is going to be the answer for us white folks who will all of a sudden understand the prejudice and downright violence experienced by people of colour.  These books can only help to build on our understanding, contribute to our knowledge, and introduce another perspective from what we have always known with our privilege.  It's one thing to talk about specific people who have been killed or injured by police, we know those names, we have heard those stories, and those things are easier to see as problems.  What this book does is go beyond that and address deeper issues of systemic racism.  There are two such topics I wanted to talk about here:

A few years ago I remember that the Black Lives Matter movement wanted the Toronto Police Department banned from participating in the Pride Parade.  I remember at the time thinking that didn't make any sense, why does BLM get to say what happened at Pride, those are two different groups.  And the police department has gay people so why can't they participate.  I didn't pay too much attention to the story and didn't ask any questions.  Because of my privilege, I was able to ignore it since it didn't have any effect on my life. 

But after reading this book, I now get it; I know why it was a big deal for BLM to speak out on this, how Pride has evolved over time, and why having uniformed officers in a parade may cause trauma for marginalized folks who have often been targeted by police.  I also learned that the message that I was getting did not tell the nuanced story, which is partly why I didn't understand what the big deal was.  The media, although can usually be trusted to tell the accurate story, is also suffering from white supremacy history.  Because of that, we should be discerning about what we hear and ask more questions, do the research, and know that there is likely more to the story than what we are hearing.  Check your privilege and avoid making an ignorant comment, like I probably did when the BLM/Pride thing was happening. .

The other topic is about immigration policy in Canada. We are all very familiar with the people being detained at the border of Mexico and the United States, but you know, the very same thing happens here in Canada.  We keep people in jails when we are deciding whether to deport them.  We send people back to countries where they have no real ties, and could still be in danger.  We may think our system is perfect but it isn't.  That all being said, there was only one chapter about that in the book, and I'm sure there is a lot more to this story (see above point), but I think it is important to realize that systematic racism is alive and well in Canada, we can't pretend we are much better than the United States. 

Also he talks about my hometown Shelburne, Nova Scotia, where many Black Loyalists went during and after the American Resolution.   

So if you're looking for topical book on racism, please pick up this one.  If you are local to me, I'm happy to lend you my copy, just message me.  And you can follow the author on Twitter @DesmondCole.  

Wednesday, January 27, 2021

What's Up Wednesday

What we're eating this week...
Sunday - Wings and Caesar Salad 
Monday - Red Lentil Curry with Mango Chutney (from Oh She Glows for Dinner)
Tuesday - Tacos
Wednesday - Quiche and Arugula Salad
Thursday - Order something (Family Game Night)
Friday - (Homemade) Pizza Night
Saturday - not planned yet.

What I'm reminiscing about...
Monday marked one year since the first case of Covid was diagnosed in Canada.  It has been a long year and one that no one could have predicted. I remember thinking of what would happen if things were shut down (like the business that my company does, although mining has been considered essential this whole time and our operations did not get shut down), and it seems unrealistic that the government could ever tell us to stay home in a country such as ours, but they did and we continue to stay at home. Everything happened rather quickly between that first case and March when the first lock down began.  I wrote last week about how we are faring. 

This time last year we were skiing!

What I'm loving...
I recently started following @CanadaPaintings on Twitter and my feed is blessed on a regular basis with beautiful paintings by Canadian artists.  

What we've been up to...
Getting outside for winter hikes.  We hadn't had any snow at our house, but once you're north of the 401 (major highway that runs East/West through Toronto) there is usually more snow so that makes the hike a bit more fun. We always bring some hot water to make hot chocolate, instant coffee, and apple cider (we all like something different) and that keeps us moving and we can do several kilometres. 

What I'm dreading...
I have a week in February where I need to participate in full day virtual discoveries and that means I won't be able to help with the kids.  Dave is also extremely busy at work so Q may be watching quite a bit of TV that week instead of being "at school".  I know it probably won't be as bad as I think it will be, but it is the dread that answers this question. 

What I'm working on...
With the various demands of eating well, staying active, making sure E gets his work done, trying to keep Q engaged in his class time on Zoom, oh yeah, and holding down a full time job, I am trying to remember my new year's resolution of giving myself and others grace.

What I'm excited about...
We got a bunch of snow yesterday and it looks like we will have cold temperatures for awhile, and maybe get some more snow in the next week.  We are excited that we can go sledding with the kids, maybe make another snowman, and work on our fort in the front yard. 

What I'm watching/reading...
We are now watching Schitt's Creek.  It is a nice easy show to watch and we can easily get through several episodes a night.

I am just finishing up The Skin We're In and will write about it tomorrow. 

What I'm listening to...
After watching Soul on Disney, I have been playing a Funk and Soul Classics playlist on Spotify, and in that same vein "Sam Cooke Radio". This music will get you bopping along at your desk.

What I'm doing this weekend...
We will get out for another winter hike and do some baking. 

What I'm looking forward to next month...
I'm not holding out much hope for a return to school on February 11, as is currently the earliest day the kids would return.  But I guess I am looking forward for updates to our lock down. I am also looking forward to Valentine's Day, we will try to find some things to make is special for everyone.

What else is new...
E is now an orthodontist patient. He needs a spacer and night guard so we had our first visit this week and he got his molds made.  I didn't have braces or anything like that as a child, so this is new for me, but Dave had a retainer. To be honest I wondered if this was anything we really needed to do, since it seems so minor, but we have the insurance to pay for most of it and can afford the rest, and I didn't want E to grow up with a memory that we didn't bother doing anything to help his teeth just because we didn't think it was worth it.  Does that make sense? 

Thanks for checking in with me today.

Linking up with Shay.


Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Weekend Recap

I took this photo on Friday, during school, Q was using my computer and I was drawing.  Isn't that how it should all go?

I got up early on Saturday morning to do some work and then I got a workout in, with Dave!

It was a cold day so we didn't plan on doing too much.  We went outside to take down the Christmas lights, and then played inside the rest of the day.  We got E to go up the ladder.

Q got this ice cream stand for Christmas.

Then we made some oatmeal chocolate chip cookies.

We had an easy meal of appetizers and meat, cheese, and crackers.  And then watched Night at the Museum 2.  After the kids went to bed, Dave and I continued on Season 1 of Schitt's Creek. 

On Sunday morning, we got up for another hike.  I saw someone I follow on Instagram go on a hike on Saturday so I asked her where she went and she sent me the coordinates for this place and we tried it out.  It was called Happy Valley Forest, parking was at the end of a dead end road so that was perfect.

Photo bomb!

A beautiful day to be outsides.  There was some nice snow cover and although colder than it has been, it wasn't that bad.

Time for our hot drinks. 

On the way back we played a game where E ran ahead and hid and then Q had to come along and find him.   Not sure if you can see, but E is lying down in the middle of this photo (black and blue jacket).

Lunch tailgate.

When we got home, we booked some campsites for Canada Day weekend (coordinating with two other families). Then we watched the Green Bay Packers game and had wings and caesar salad for supper.