Sunday, May 29, 2011

Bean Sprout

Overheard this afternoon at the dinner table:

"Holy cow! My stink is running off the table!"

"I'll trade you a stink for a chili."

Today we taught our oldest Sprout a new (to her) card game called Bohnanza.  The object of the game is to plant and harvest large amounts of beans to sell for gold.  The beans have names like red (an adorable little bean who is blushing because he is in his birthday suit), chili, blue, black-eyed, garden, green, cocoa, coffee, soy, wax and, of course, stink.  The weather hasn't been so great this spring for outdoor play (wet and cool), so FK was looking morosely over the back of the couch, body language strongly suggesting she was bored and a little bit lonely.  Realizing that in all the busy-ness of year end teaching stuff I have been neglecting my children a bit, I asked if she wanted to play a game.  Her face lit up with a big grin and she gave an enthusiastic nod.  After convincing my spouse to play too, the game commenced in a timely fashion and we spent an enjoyable hour planting, harvesting, trading and sometimes donating beans for gold coin.  Of course, anyone listening in would have wondered what was cookin' in the kitchen.

Sunday, May 22, 2011


I've been using my Kindle so much that I've almost forgotten what it is like to hold an actual paper book in my hands. The sun's finally out (although more rain will be here soon), so I'm going to take advantage of the hour or so I have of sunshine, soak up some rays and read a borrowed library book on the deck.

Food for Thought

I've been reevaluating my dietary choices, partly because my waistline has slowly expanded this past year, and partly as a response to a book I picked up recently at the local library. The book, "Food Matters: A Guide to Conscious Eating" by Mark Bittman, discusses the impact that our eating habits have on our health, and more importantly, on the environment. In the video below, Bittman shares some of his thoughts on the subject.

I highly recommend his cookbooks, such as "How to Cook Everything" and "Kitchen Express". Check out Bittman's website at for more information and recipes.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Crew Manager

"Papa, I think you should cut the grass."

"Papa, is it time to cut the grass?"

"Papa, the grass is growing. You should cut the grass."

"Papa, you should ask ______ to bring gas for the lawnmower. You need to cut the grass."

"Papa, did ______ bring the gas yet?"


Ever since I cleaned the yard and raked the lawn to clear away winter's leftovers, the littlest sprout has been zealous in reminding me to cut the grass. I had to wait until someone from the school brought out gas to the "teacherage" for the lawnmower that was provided for us to cut our own lawn. So, for two weeks I have been hearing the constant refrain from JK to "cut the grass".

Yesterday gas was finally made available and I was able to take out the lawnmower to JK's great delight. I put on my old running shoes, gloves and baseball cap. JK wanted to do the same. "Papa, I can't find my cap!" Then, after his sister put on her boots, "You can't wear boots to cut grass, you need shoes like Papa and I, and a hat, too!"

All the while I cut the lawn, JK tromped along behind me, checking to make sure the lawn was properly cut. He continually yelled over the noise of the mower, "Papa's cutting the grass. Papa's cutting the grass!" Our poor neighbours.

After finishing mowing our property and along the long driveway, I cleaned and put the mower away, all the while answering questions from an inquisitive little boy. "What are you doing? Why...How...Where...?" An enjoyable task (I like yard work) at the end of a long week was made even more enjoyable with my little crew manager taking such great interest in his papa's work, and in his papa.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Musical Interlude: Hornsmoke

Howdy, pardners!  Here is a humourous musical look at the wild West.

Saturday, May 14, 2011


My motivation for running has been lacklustre of late, so I need a goal.

The Goal: 1/2 Marathon (just over 21 km)
When: May, 2012
Where: Air Force Run, Winnipeg, Manitoba
The obstacle: Six months of Ol' Man Winter (I'm taking you down!)

I've participated in a 1/2 as well as a runway run in TO, so to combine the two in Winnipeg next year should be pretty awesome!

Wood Tick Police

"Wood tick! I found another wood tick!" That's the cry from our littlest sprout each time a wood tick is discovered crawling around the house. JK has picked up on his parents' annoyance with the little critters (unusually bad this year). Ever vigilant in his duty to protect the family from the ectoparasites, he takes great joy in finding them and announcing their presence. Little people (and big) then scramble to find a kleenex with which to capture the creepy little arachnids and either release them into the wild or send them to wood tick heaven via the toilet.

Next up, black flies and mosquitoes.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011


"Some people are open to change as long as it doesn't inconvenience them or cost anything."


"Don't look - you might see.
Don't listen - you might hear.
Don't think - you might learn.
Don't make a decision - you might be wrong.
Don't walk - you might stumble.
Don't run - you might fall.
Don't live - you might die.
Don't change - you might grow."

Developing the Leader Within You by John C. Maxwell