tea

Sincerely, your something or other.

cc: everyone else.


beautiful

Snowy day post

The neighbourhood is covered in snow today. I took Ada out on a little errand walk and it was delightful.

Yesterday I celebrated thirteen years of kissing Elizabeth. We had a nice supper and kissed in a park — park kissing was how it all began :) Our date was brought to us by my two more recent loves, Heather and Andrea, who did supper and bed with the kids after dancing up a storm with me and the younger two at the Ottawa Family Dance. My life is full of love and wonderful people.

Friday I picked up my new bike to replace my stolen one. It felt really good to ride home on a fast, light bike that fits me nicely.

Thursday I attended a union consultation team meeting and got a new title of consultation VP … and managed to pass off a committee seat to keep my workload sort of constant.

I'm waiting for results in a promotion process at work. Wish me luck!

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politics, science

The right Guy?

So, I'm leaning toward throwing my support behind the wonky, bilingual, at least somewhat scrappy decent human being and labour activist who plans to refractor labour law, taxes and benefits in favour of those who need a boost.

I am hoping someone out here wants to geek out on the merits of this.

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tea

Summer fun

July has been an adventure! We started with a wedding in Cambridge (my cousin Mike got married to his girlfriend Caitlyn — now they will go back to wandering the world teaching). It was a grownups-only wedding (a first for us since having kids). My aunt Anne did a ton of groundwork, recruiting a babysitter and giving us a place to stay, and it was fun for us all! Then we staryed in the GTA as Elizabeth started some Waldorf teacher training — we stayed the first week and I touristed with the kids while she did her daytime studying, and we had family time in the evenings. We were staying with a family in Richmond Hill; their grandfather was unexpectedly there and enjoyed the kids, and various people were coming and going. They have had a nomadic life over the years and it was fun to see how they live. They have tried to give a bland rental house as much character as possible with what looks like barn wood dividers and musical instruments and art everywhere. It was Richmond Hill, so I spend a lot of time driving (but mostly to TTC stations: the kids find the transit almost as much fun as the parks and museums, it seems).

Originally I was steeling myself for a trip from Toronto to Ottawa alone in the car with three kids, but my cousin Mary had a plane to catch in Ottawa (to get to an icebreaker, so she could scoop up Arctic water for Science) so I had adult company on the ride home. I’m getting to know the route and good places to stop! Amazing Coffee in Madoc and The Hungry 7 in Perth are quickly becoming traditions. She crashed with us overnight, which meant she got to meet Heather, and then caught the plane up North (and the weather was merciful, so it only took one try for the airline to get her up there). We came home to a questionable fridge, so the evening was full of coolers and thawing and delivery pizza.

Elizabeth's training was three weeks, so for the last two Heather stayed over. She had to work during the day, so I did home-making and running the kids around: Oscar had day camp with the UQO kinesiology students and I found parks and people and errands to fill the rest of the days. Evenings were good — the kids accepted that bedtimes without Mama could happen for days on end, Ada started sleeping the night, and with a bit of videoconferencing and some cranky moments, we made it through missing her during the week. Sharing the routine and spending time with Heather was really nice. Elizabeth came in for a semi-flying trip on the weekend in between, with a pagan potluck and traditional Sunday pancakes.

Now we’ve got a week and a bit of homebody time before Kaleidoscope Gathering. Elizabeth has found some time to keep working on the back stairs with Oscar's help, and we've been having pretty unstructured days. Oscar has had a cold and ear infection this week, but he seems in better shape today. Elizabeth and I got to go out for supper and a walk last night while Heather fed and did bedtime with tired kids. It was a nice time to catch up on being a couple.

I saved the pictures for the end — here are some of the nicest ones from June and July. We generally unplug in the woods, so you'll have to imagine all the fabulous dress, campfires and various degrees of extravagant camping rather than getting photos…

Ada is such a kid.

Two-year-old Ada with bubbles.

On the grounds at the Slit Barn in Cambridge, for my cousin's wedding.

Elizabeth, Eric and a rusty giant eagle sculpture.

Oscar being adventurous at Edwards Gardens in Toronto.

Oscar balancing on some rocks in a stream.

Viv enjoying being in nature at Edwards Garden.

Viv looking up in front of some trees. six more…Collapse )

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tea

Ada quotes

Ada is having a good language month:

"Pizza, here [points to mouth]… Papa, here plate!"

"Castle! Bounce bounce bounce. Whee, slide!"

"More orange juice. More orange juice, mummy. More orange juice, now. All done orange juice."

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tea

Viv is awesome

Viv and Oscar have been out playing at a neighbour's place today, leaving us to be ruled by delightful Ada. But I wanted to record a couple of fun Viv moments.

First, when discussing bugs in the kitchen, she wanted to know if ants have necks. Siri had trouble parsing the question, but a little searching got a yes answer — and those necks are apparently very strong.

Second, she wanted to play Set this morning… and she pretty much figured it out (on the solid-only deck) and was able to pick out sets and explain why (or work out what was wrong with them when she made a mistake).

Smart and delightful kid.

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beautiful

May flowers

This week has been hard on toothpaste stores as Ada seems to like dumping toothpaste in the toilet — especially my high-end remineralizing stuff.

It was also a week where a bunch of us Positive Space volunteers and senior managers handed out Rockets (rainbow-coloured, everyone can eat them, inexpensive) and flyers on how to contact us for listening and referral or to help out to people coming in to work in honour of the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia. It went well and made me happy.

I also have some pictures!

Ada ready to roll in the fall.

Ada in a go-kart in front of an old Ferguson tractor.

Christmas crowns and big smiles.

Vivien and Elizabeth smiling.  Elizabeth is wearing two paper crowns.

Chairs!

Ada and Vivien with child-sized chairs on their heads. eight more…Collapse )

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tea

Summer pics

Here are some pictures from the summer in kind of random order. It's been a fun and busy summer, with lots of weddings. And not that many pictures...



The bunch of us at Heather's family's cottage.

Me reading to the family on a chaise longue with a log wall in the background.

Ada looking heroic on a tricycle. With our nascent garden boxes in the background.

Ada on a tricycle on our front lawn.

Lord magus Vivien at the Museum of Civilization.

Vivien with a horned hat in a theatre set. seven more…Collapse )

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beautiful

Solstice picture grab bag

Posted on the Solstice, not about it (we were rushing the ritual to avoid getting rained on hard and to get the kids home to bed — and we don’t usually take pictures at rituals, anyway). Here are some pictures from late winter and spring. I managed to get back to work and do many fun things, so pictures just kind of accumulated.



These three adorn my office wall:

Oscar on an outdoor portable climbing wall

Viv in a bear hat

Ada on a swing in a snowy park fourteen more…Collapse )

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food

Spring beginnings

The allergist's waiting room may be good for my writing, now that I've finished the Persepolis graphic novels (in the original French — my European-style swearing will be greatly improved) — thanks, spacefem for the impetus! Persepolis got more personal and relatable as I got further along; the voice was funny and poignant and the drawing was always expressive. It is well worth the read.

I'm out on the bicycle for the season, although it looks like I may have a few days of bussing while the coming snow storm hits and melts. It feels good and makes picking up things and getting Viv to her dance class a lot easier, but I will have to be careful of my knees.

Elizabeth and the kids have a bunch of vegetable and flower seeds started in the back — marigolds, broccoli, tomatoes… I am looking forward to really getting the garden going. That and the new, more local, CSA we're signed up for should have us eating well this summer.

Easter was lovely this year — the egg hunt went on into Monday, the feasting was tasty, and soccer in the back field with kids and super-cousins was a blast. I'll leave talk of the bonfire to a picture post. It'll have to wait a couple of days at least, though.

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tea

Podcasts

It's been a while since I posted, and this has been sitting on the notepad for a while…

When I was at work, I listened to a lot of podcasts to damp down noise from the floor while doing not-too-intense work. At home, I find time here and there — while cooking, sometimes while the kids play if the kids are off doing their own thing, while on the bus to grab a car… it's a small luxury to let a chunk of consciousness run around with smart, different folks across Internet audio.

Here is what I manage to listen to regularly:

Spark from CBC Radio: Nora Young has the best radio voice among living radio hosts, in my opinion (Lister Sinclair gets best ever). The podcast is mostly about technology, but in an expansive, humane way that often focused on usability, accessibility and the creative uses people come up with for existing technologies.

Death, Sex, Money from WNYC is a show of long-form interviews touching on the title topics (usually all three of them) with people who have lived through some interesting stuff.

Planet Money from NPR is a show about economics for laypeople — sometimes they do a show on explaining a hyped topic (What is a collateralized debt obligation? What just happened to the Chinese markets?). Sometimes they look at something mundane and explain the minutiae (t-shirt manufacturing, raisins) and sometimes they follow a person's cunning business plan with an eye to what economic mechanisms are in play underneath (a y taxi medallion empire, for instance).

More or Less from BBC Radio 4 is a show of statistical fact-checking: from political claims to memes about toxic levels of banana consumption (hint: absent a health condition that makes you super-sensitive, you will have trouble keeping down enough bananas to kill you via potassium or radiation poisoning). It's funny, chatty and a neat way to think about all steps of the statistical process while finding out what's preoccupying Brits who listen to or make geeky podcasts.

I also listen to and enjoy Savage Love (US politics and relationship advice), Polyamory Weekly (charmingly indie relationships and media watching), Radiolab (lovingly crafted, humane stories touching on science) and Dan Carlin's Hardcore History (passionate lectures on a huge range of history, mostly military and political, with lots of quotes from original sources and psychological guesswork — and a voice and delivery that I like but is hard to be neutral on).

Any suggestions I might like, especially in the 15–30 minute range?

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