Post-Hump Day Post: 108!

This is a short post this week because of Halloween, the World Series, the U.S. election craziness . . .

lego-and-robot-gummies> Our phrase of the week: Never quit.
> Our DIY project was of course, homemade gummy candy (as described in last week’s Post-Hump Day Post), with our assorted silicone moulds, including LEGO minifigs and robots. So happy to see that the Boy found a project that he was all gung-ho about, from start to finish, all by himself.
> We ate homemade gummies, including vegan ones made with agar agar (a gelatin substitute derived from seaweed).

agar-agar-powder
Agar agar strands are ground into a powder for a vegan alternative to gelatin

> We were thrilled to read of this happy ending to the story of the lost dog, as mentioned last week. But what does this say about humanity? One generous human being makes a personal sacrifice to make a stranger happy, and on the flip side, a family decides to do what most of us would consider to be “the right thing”, but only if they can make some quick bucks off the situation. Then Expedia and kind strangers step in to fund the generous person. My faith in humanity is riding a roller coaster right now.
> We learned what can happen if your child moves out of the booster seat too soon (so if your child is still too short or not heavy enough, don’t give in, no matter how much they beg to grow up and out of the seat!)
> And finally, we found this great web site about a fantastic award for eager, constantly learning, constantly achieving teens like the Girl, who just want to keep doing and going. Not crazy about the Royals connection, but oh well . . .

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Post-Hump Day Post: We’re all Naturally Imperfect

It seemed like there was a lot of outrageousness (other than the third U.S. presidential debate) this past week . . .

> Outrage #1: This family that heartlessly moved and left their dog behind with the garbage
> Outrage #2: Another dog, and another cruel family. Seriously, can someone start a Facebook-outrage-protest page, or whatever they call those things, to get the adoptive family to re-gain their common sense and give the dog back to grandpa?
> Outrage #3: these family court judges (and the father) who don’t take into consideration a child’s gender preferences.
> Outrage #4: the second kill on The Walking Dead’s season premiere. We blame Daryl. TWD fans understand.
> We couldn’t stop watching this funny bit about Barack Obama polishing his resumé for his upcoming career change.
> We listened to this take on whether or not parents should swear in front of their children. While we hate the fact that today’s generation seems to swear more gratuitously and less meaningfully than previous generations (just take a look at how frequently Buzzfeed feels the need to add “AF” to their writing), our household operates pretty much like Benjamin Bergen’s, and our kids never swear.
> Funniest thing we heard on t.v.: Stephen Colbert, referring to Donald Trump hugging the American flag (4:52), comments, “It’s really surprising to see Trump go after Old Glory like that. Normally, he goes for much younger glory.”
naturally-imperfect-mushrooms> We ate Naturally Imperfect mushrooms. Just one in the Naturally Imperfect line of produce. Well done, Loblaw’s!
> We learned that clowns don’t interpret the meaning of “racist” the way the rest of us do. Guess Lulu Pullitzor Palooza and Buttons Blammo have made sure that no one will ever find them funny after this.
> And finally, we (re-)found this great YouTube channel where this “King of Random” is king-maker. What creative girl or boy wouldn’t love this site, with quirky party tricks like this, for example? The Girl assures me that I sent this link to both kids quite a while ago, on how to Make Gummy LEGO. However, I’m getting old, and don’t remember that at all, and it only came up today when the Boy asked, “Please, can we make these?” Guess we have our DIY/eat project lined up for next week . . .

Post-Hump Day post: Detritus

This past week . . .

> We couldn’t stop watching 58 very good impressions by this guy (thanks to the Girl for finding this).
> We listened to this interview which confirmed that we’re not the only ones who are peeved by mispronunciations (really surprised that our favourite, “mischievious” wasn’t mentioned).
> Our current word/phrase: detritus (now properly pronounced, of course). As in, “The detritus that was spewed during the debate was hard to take.”
> Funniest thing we heard on the radio was this even-better-than-usual episode of “Because News”. Practically every joke was spot-on, and we think Ashley Botting was the star of the show who should have won.
> We ate homemade cookies and more cookies!
rubbermaid-lunch-containers-003
> We’re loving this product: our fantastic lunchbox system. Packing two lunches every day over the years, we’ve learned after many takes what works and what doesn’t work. This system is great because it’s modular, and the boxes and ice packs can be stacked in different ways for different meals and components.
> Our DIY project was these closet hanger space-savers. Rather than buy plastic ones like these (which are getting harder to find, anyway), we made our own with inexpensive chandelier chain ($1.64/foot) and S-hooks made from thick-gauge wire.closet-space-saver
> We learned some great parenting hacks. Even if our kids are past the age when most of these would be useful, and even if we’re finding it hard to read past number 5 on any given Buzzfeed listicle these days, this one had a few gems.
> And finally, we found this great web site for parents who want to sell on consignment all the stuff that their kids have outgrown and outplayed. Very well organised, takes a lot of the work out of your hands, and best of all, it’s parents running it for/with other parents. Look for one in a Canadian city near you!

 

A post-“Hump Day” round-up

Yay! We all made it past Hump Day, and it was an especially remarkable week, with many kids going back to school on Tuesday. Who doesn’t like the feeling of rounding the bend and sliding into the weekend? So after Wednesdays, I’m going to start posting a short round-up of various things. Just something to keep an eye out for, mid-week.cat-watching-horror-film

This past week (or couple of weeks). . .

> We played water balloon tennis. (No link required, as it’s pretty self-explanatory: Fill water balloons. Whack with old tennis racquet.)
> We laughed at this cat watching a horror film. The eyes, the eyes! (Thanks to the MIL!)
> We ate from this recipe over about three days. So good, and it really does taste remarkably-KFC-like!
> We couldn’t stop watching episodes of Lip Sync Battle, like this great moment here.
> We couldn’t stop listening/singing to Adele’s great album. (No, not “25”.) Young and old, we were totally carpool-karaoke-ing this one out loud last week.
> Our current word/phrase (thanks to The Boy mysteriously choosing to revive an 80s slang term) is “That’s dope!”
> Funniest thing we heard on the radio (even if it was a re-broadcast): “I also have a large vocabulary, which is both big and good.”
>
We learned how to open and do simple repairs on our own watch, especially those seemingly difficult backs. So much money and time saved, and so satisfying!
> Our DIY project was this homemade, natural spray deodorant. Have tried several of the solid recipes, but the spray was the hands-down winner during this hot summer. My only modifications: added 1/4 tsp. of rubbing alcohol, and used a mix of lemon and orange essential oils instead of clary sage.
> I wanted to make these fantastic-looking stress balls (just skip the long moments of stirring).
> And finally, we found this great web site for rocking new moms.

Discoveries on the Interwebs that make my life better: forvo.com

All the words in the world. PronouncedFor those of us who love languages, there’s this: Forvo. It’s a great user-submitted site that lets you listen to pronunciations of words and phrases in many languages, and the variations in different geographical locations.

You can even create an account, look up the list of words that need to be pronounced, and record your own pronunciation. Now we can finally hear if “about” differs for a person in Canada and people elsewhere.

I discovered the usefulness of this site on two recent occasions: 1) while answering The Girl’s question about how to pronounce “Budapest” (as in the recent frequent discussions about “The Grand Budapest Hotel”); and 2) discussing with a friend how to properly pronounce a Lunar New Year greeting that her mother had taught her.

Discoveries on the Interwebs that make my life better: scribbling.net

So, I was clicking around the interwebs tonight, really meaning to do one thing, but ending up doing 19 different other things. And I somehow, fortunately, found scribbling.net by Gina Trapani (had never heard of her before today, but she’s a VIP in tech, according to her Wikipedia page). I love the wide range, and yet simplicity, of her topics and blog format. I’m glad especially to read her October 16, 2014 post called “Short-form blogging.” I have to admit, I can count on one hand the number of  blogs that I still follow, and I’ve stopped reading some blogs just because of the sheer length of some posts.

Trying to get back into my blogging habit and not beat up myself too much over not writing as much as I should have over the past couple of years, I realise that Gina’s post spoke to me. So many friends (and family) have asked me when I was going to post again; they missed my writing. Life just got in the way, and I didn’t have time to document it all. But now I realise that it was better to have posted something short than nothing at all. So I’m going to blog more frequently, and not fret too much over the length, photos, minor details, etc. (though I may still go a bit long, from time to time, out of necessity).

Starting off this new abbreviated version of blogging, here’s my contribution for today: a story from the day’s news that made me happy.