It’s a Post-Hump Day, Post-Trump Year post: Airing Our Grievances

Yay! Our final post to wrap up a horrible year. You’ve probably already read tons of “2016 in review/memoriam” articles, so let’s get on with business, shall we?

These last few weeks of the year . . .

this-guy-loves-christmas>  We listened to the explanation of what happens in a household where one spouse loves the Christmas decorations/festivities/general merriment, and the other doesn’t
(Don’t get us wrong: he loves Christmas and all the fixins; he just hates “the decorating and all that stuff.”)
>  Which leads us to our phrase of the week: “There’s nothing better than spiteful decorating.” – The Girl (Think Christmas ornaments hanging from the kitchen cupboard, the knife bar, and coat pockets; ribbons on manly boots; bows on the toilet tank; forcing a t-shirt like this one on a Grinchy husband . . .)
festivus-pole-copperWhat we didn’t buy into: the scourge of capitalism, part 1. (a.k.a “Note the irony in the product description of a $199 copper pole”; a.k.a. “This is how Toronto consumerism is sometimes represented, unfortunately”). They took their web page down, but Google is only too happy to provide you with a cached web page, as am I equally happy to provide you with a screenshot. Yer welcome.
>  Anyway, if you’re going to celebrate Festivus, do it right.:
What we’re reading: the scourge of capitalism, part 2 (a.k.a Why people hate Big Pharma. And drug dealers.)
What we’re watching, with laughter (and tears): Kim’s Convenience, season finale: part 1 and part 2. Tune in next week to read my response to one short-sighted white man’s review of this multicultural-celebrating comedy series.
>  The Trump presidency is not a natural thing. What we’re watching to take our mind off the ugliness in the world: great moments in nature.
christmas-cookies-2016What we ate: due to lack of time, our annual Christmas cookie baking spree was smaller this year (three types of cookies instead of five). Still, the gingerbread man (courtesy of The Boy) with tighty-whities and pink nipples more than makes up for it.
>  Finally, ring in 2017 with knowledge. Because knowledge will always beat ignorance in this world: a great general knowledge site for kids (of all ages).

Happy 2017!

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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 . . .

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!

 

Post-Hump Day Post: Giving Thanks for Never Giving You Up

This week, we gave thanks for . . .

pumpkin-spice-macarons
Part of our Thanksgiving spread: macarons with pumpkin-spice butter creme

> eating pumpkin spice macarons! This is the recipe that we used (but reduce the sugar to less than 300 g! It’s too sweet for my liking.) The Girl figured out her own pumpkin-spice-butter-creme icing recipe.
> not being able to stop watching the Pantsuit Power flash mob. Why is it that we can’t possible imagine any Trump supporters being this happy, dance-y, or fun? So of course, this led to . . .
>
not being able to stop listening to one of the big hits of this past summer. The Kids have loved this for the past few months, and even though I’m reminded of summer nights in the 80s, I have a love-hate relationship with the aching repetition of it. Speaking of hits of the 80s . . .
> learning that Rick Astley is touring again! Unfortunately, we just missed him when he was in town this weekend on his one and only Canadian stop. Here’s a review (with a great title) of another show on this tour. But don’t worry—he never gave up, and we can now all go out and get his new album to mark his 50th birthday. 50! Time flies . . .
> the funniest thing on the radio/tv, which was this age-old debate on buttons vs. zippers (skip to 14:00 if you’re not interested in Superman). Here, we get one of Steve’s best line: “And they said we would run out of topics by season 10. Wrong! We ran out in season 7.”
> little tricks for making the cracks on our glass surfaces disappear. The Husband had found out somewhere on-line (perhaps here) that this could work on eyeglasses. Though he was skeptical, we found that this really worked! I’m loving my restored watch crystals.
>
finding this great web site (thanks to an interview on CBC’s The Current) that contributes to the repair-it-yourself movement. While you’re at it, print this poster to keep in your workshop/home/store/general repair space.
> Also, if you haven’t been to a Repair Café session yet, find one asap at a library or community centre near you and thank them! They really do good, and next week is International Repair Café Week.

Post-Hump Day post: “Without a shadow of a doubt . . .”

This week . . .

> We laughed at Pen-Pineapple-Apple-Pen, which leads to fan videos like this one. I don’t think it’s catchy enough to be the next Gangnam style, but it passes the time.
long-chayote-squahs> We ate what we think is called long squash (I think some stores mistakenly call this “chayote squash”). One set of our next-door neighbours is always kindly offering us extra vegetables from their garden, and this is our new favourite. I braise or slow-cooker this with diced eggplant, tomatoes, chicken, and a mixture of garam masala, curry, cumin, salt, garlic, chili flakes, and fresh coriander. Everyone in the family loves it.
> We couldn’t stop watching this really sweet, tear-jerking Amazon Prime commercial. They’re really pushing the same-day delivery service lately, which I’m all meh about, but I could watch the commercial on a loop all day. Each time, my desire for a Lion-Dog increases. Much better than the first Amazon Prime dog commercial, where the owner walks a few feet ahead and just seems inconvenienced by his slow canine pal.
> Funniest thing I heard this week that wasn’t on the radio/tv: While cleaning out the kids’ old baby clothes, I held up an item and—yet again—jokingly said to the Husband, “You sure you don’t want another one?” To which he replied, while backing out of the room, “You’re looking through old baby clothes? This isn’t going to end well for me.”
> Our current word/phrase: “Without a shadow of a doubt” (or as the Boy has been saying, “Without a shadow of the doubt”). It’s cute because you know your kid is growing up and this is an improvement upon the previously un-sophisticated, “Nope”.
> We learned that in some school boards, teachers (not with permission from the board) are confiscating lunches and snacks due to their own judgements of what’s “healthy” and “suitable”. Come on! Yes, some of us try to provide homemade goodness, but we do have to rely on a store-bought Bear Paw with chocolate chips or Goldfish, from time to time.
> Our DIY project was neoprene hair ties. I just re-purposed this dollar-store tablet sleeve that didn’t really fit, and was sitting around empty. Like these ones, our neoprene hair ties don’t cause that pinched or pulled-back feeling, and are no-ravel. Unlike those ones, there’s no hefty price tag.neoprene-hair-ties

>
And finally, à propos of nothing in particular, we found this great article about a basket for sale.

Post-Hump Day post: Wrong! Wrong! Wrong!

Things we were doing this week (none of which involved watching anybody/anything royal):

> We played our Movie/TV Title Mash-up Game.
1-orange-skittle> We laughed at this great response to the Skittles controversy –>. A week too late, or perhaps never a wrong time for it.
> We ate oatcakes, oatcakes, and more oatcakes! We included the five recipes that we found on-line, with our reviews.
> We couldn’t stop listening to and thinking about this report that loneliness among seniors is a health epidemic, more dangerous than obesity.
> Our current word/phrase: Wrong! Wrong! Wrong! (Try saying it petulantly like a 4-year-old, kind of like with your fingers plugged into your ears. Or maybe that’s an insult to 4-year-olds.)
> We learned that students in the U.S. are constitutionally-protected if they choose to not stand for the national anthem. The Girl says there is at least one student in her class who doesn’t stand for the Canadian anthem. No one harasses her. Why is American patriotism so strong that it wants to trample on individual rights?
> We made Hollandaise sauce. Egg yolks leads to egg whites, leads to macarons. Summary of our macaron efforts next week.
> And on the topic of loneliness, we found this great article on the topic of female friendships, by the awesome Ann Friedman, and a review of a friendship app that we’ll be interested to see when it comes to Android. (Apparently, there’s also Tea with Strangers, which is not gender-specific.)