We are fairly fortunate individuals, with a roof over our heads and good jobs with the ability to work from home, our son is safe with us, we have working internet, and our fridge and freezer are reasonably well-stocked. Once a week, I make a grocery run and we can make outings to vegetable/fruit stands to get some fresher food than the grocery store too.
We also know how to cook, with my wife doing the vast majority of the meal planning and cooking, with decently healthy choices, particularly with her Epicure options. In a non-pandemic world, Andrea and Jacob would have breakfast together, and I may or may not grab something in passing. I rarely sit down for a full meal with them in the morning. Dinners, as I said, are usually in Andrea’s domain and my job is to fetch the groceries she needs in order to cook. Lunches were more of a hybrid option. » Read the rest
Whenever someone is doing some fund-raising, I’m usually fine to support their efforts. I don’t often care too much what the organization is, as long as the person doing the fund-raising isn’t a whackjob that makes me suspect the outcome, I’m happy that they are engaging with some organization and want to support it. I don’t necessarily support the organization, or even care about it, to be honest, I’m doing it to support my friend.
$20 here, $50 there, whatever. It’s a social decision. Recently, our local astronomy group was wondering about membership fees for a number of members who might be struggling with their finances right now, so an option was created to allow others to give a bit of money to help cover those fees, since most of them are not waivable but go to cover per unit costs for magazines, books, etc. So I slipped them a couple of bills to help out. » Read the rest
A few months ago, as part of the “work-from-home” lifestyle that includes more time with my son during the day so he doesn’t have to spend all of it entertaining himself, we started doing small projects together. We worked our way through a few little things here and there, and then we moved on to a big Lego project — a Millennium Falcon. Then a wooden version of the ship, much smaller. We’ve done plastic model cars here and there, lots of gaming, a few other things, some practical set up stuff for electronic wiring, etc.
And we started working on a wooden model of a T-Rex. You’re given a large wooden sheet, 3 of them actually, and all the little parts are pre-cut/punched and just need to be separated from the main sheet. Then you take all the little pieces, and without gluing, nailing, or any sort of adhesive whatsoever, you put the pieces together. » Read the rest
Back in about 2003/04, Andrea and I took a cooking course through the continuing education section of either the City of Ottawa or one of the school boards. It was a six-week course or so specializing in tastes of Asia, and each week was recipes from a different country.
Generally, as I recall (or as per Andrea and I talking about it tonight, while trying to explain to Jacob why I like the recipe), the class ran from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.-ish. It was over at a high school on St. Laurent, and we would leave work and take a bus to get there just in time. For the first 45 minutes or so, the instructor would walk everyone through the recipes and demonstrate some of the techniques to try that night. Then, we would break into about 5 or 6 teams and we would all make 1-2 dishes each, with lots of repetition. » Read the rest
As part of my new “choices challenge”, today I chose to make bread with Jacob. Bread-making holds a special place in my heart for memories of my dad.
My great-grandfather was a baker and he taught my grandfather to bake too. I never met either one of them, both of them having died long before I was even a glimmer in my dad’s eye, but my father learned to bake from them.
All through his later adult years, my father was an early riser. Even though he started work at eight, he would be awake as early as 4:00 a.m. some days, and although some days he might have grabbed a cat nap before going off to work, on weekends he would suddenly decide to bake up a storm.
At the time, it seemed totally spontaneous to me. I’d wake up on a Saturday morning to the smell of fresh baking. » Read the rest