Sunday Share: Week 30

1000

One triple o.

On another note… One double o. One. Zero. Zero. 100. 100 days until Halloween. Hope you have your costumes ready! I think this year I’m going to as Captain Underpants.

Capt_Underpants

All I need is some tighty whities and a red cape. Hope it’s not cold this year. If it is, I’ll be Captain Obvious.

Fatty McCupcakes
A Birthday to remember…

Matthew Wakelee
Just enjoying the parks and taking advantage of a warm, summery day…

Black Coffee and Bourbon
On answering a child’s question…

Welcome to the Nursery
Kids pooping on the road (not literally)…

Lutherian Liar
Story time! About a trip to the Midwest. Complete with accents…

Stomperdad
A coin, a bridge, and backed up traffic

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I’m off to watch S04Ep03. Joffery just died and all hell is about break loose! What are you watching tonight?

If you’re channel surfing you can also surf over to Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook and find me there!

Questions I Asked Nanny and Pop

I’ve asked my own parents these questions. And these questions, too. I wish I would have asked DW’s dad these questions, too. It’s a good way to get a glimpse into the past. Sometimes a past I had no part of. A past before my own d a existence. Wonder where I was before I existed…

It’s too hot to ask questions that deep. Over my head. Off the diving board deep end. 

1. What are 3 words your parents would use to describe you?

Moe: Spoiled brat (according to my siblings), Pretty, and a hard worker (I was house cleaning for people when I was 10)
Pop: Good, hard worker (using a pick and sledgehammer when I was 9), Shy

2. How did you meet you meet Pop?

Moe: Taralee (DW) introduced us at Tim Hortons the day she got her driver’s license


3. What was your favorite vacation?

Moe: My trips to Cuba. Was there for 1 week the first time and 2 weeks the second. 
Pop: Cuba. I didn’t have to cook or make beds or anything…


4. What’s one memory of DW that makes you laugh?

Moe: I can laugh now, but it wasn’t funny at the time… She wanted a pair of bib overalls and she kicked and screamed and bawled until she got them. Then she cut the legs off them! Also, when she was a baby (I was carrying her) we got off a plane she pooped herself. Her aunt picked her up and shit was running down her leg!
Pop: We had found a chip that was shaped like an ear. We told her there was a recall on potato chips because a guy had died on the assembly line and ended up in the chips.


5. What’s something you miss from “the good ol’ days?”

Moe: Neighbors and lots of company and people around all time. Now there’s barely anyone…
Pop: No worries


6. If you get reincarnated as an animal, what do you hope to come back as?

Moe: A little kitty to crawl into somebody’s lap and they can pet me all day.
Pop: A frog


7. What’s your karaoke song?

Moe: Nothing… I don’t like singing and I don’t know any songs right through. I used to like to sing “Can I Have This Dance” by Ann Murray
Pop: “If I had a Million Dollars” 


8. What was high school like for you?

Moe: Terrible, because I didn’t like my homeroom teacher, Mr. Horswell. I didn’t like gym and they made me do it. I also didn’t like French because I couldn’t understand it.
Pop: Boring, because after grade 5 had no interest in school whatsoever


9. What are 3 things (shows, sports, etc…) you like to watch on T.V

Moe: Game shows, Family Feud with Steve Harvey, Wheel of Fortune, Who Wants To be A Millionaire, The Price Is Right, Jeopardy. Oh, and cooking shows like “Master Chef”
Pop: Racing and pretty much any game show…


10. What was your first car? What color was it? Do you remember how much it cost? 

Moe: A blue 1987 Ford LTD
Pop: Green ’66 Pontiac Lauretian

How A Canadian Dime Stopped Traffic in Virgina

Today, here in Canadaland, we received a poorly timed rain. The Heavens opened above us during the second inning of Crash’s ball game and Bang’s ball practice. We tried to wait it out, but waiting wasn’t to be had. The rain was as relentless as the questions asked by children. The rain didn’t quit so we did. Called it a day, postponed the game. The parents and kids of Bang’s group soldiered on. They completed their practice. As my mom used to tell me, “You’re not made of sugar. You won’t melt.” Or, “Don’t worry, shit floats.” With baseball done for the night, everyone went home.

Except the Wood family didn’t go home. With the boys still in uniform and cleats, we went to Tim Hortons. The rain may have been dampening the world but our happiness was rising and swirling with the aroma of donuts and freshly brewed coffee. But I’m not here to wax poetic about a fast food coffee shop. 

We horked down our chocolate chip muffin and cookie and Tim Bits then, just as he always does, Bang went to man the door. Or more accurately, boy the door. He loves to play doorman and open the door for those entering and leaving. One time someone gave him a dollar. Another time someone gave him a coupon for a free donut. While the rewards are nice, he does it for the smiles. 

This evening he was given a quarter for his kindness. An American quarter.

Here in Canadaland, we use the same coins as our southern neighber. Granted, we have a couple extra, the loonie ($1) and the toonie ($2). Like our noisy neighbor, we also have a nickel, dime, and quarter. The coins of the two nationalities are interchangable here. No one takes notice when we use American coins.  

However, in the USA that isn’t always the case.

DW and I used to live in Virginia. It was a cozy, sleepy little hide-away town. The nearest pet store that had crickets to feed a couple anoles I had aquired was an hour and a half away. The return trip crossed a toll bridge. Realizing we didn’t have change or cash to pay the toll we stopped at a gas station to use the ATM. Turns out we only had $19 left in our checking account no access to our savings account because it was 1745 and there were no smart phones. We could not withdraw any of that $19 because ATMs only dispense twenties. 

All we needed was two dollars.

We scrounged around our car. Between the seats. Under the seats. In the glove box. In the center console. In the hatch. Under the spare tire.  It’s amazing all the places $2 will try to hide. We found it. We also found that toll booths don’t take pennies. Finally, after an a decade of hunting and gathering we hand over our change and wait with baited breath for the toll clerk to count it. This is when the cars started piling up behind us. 

She continues counting like she’s the fu*king Kingdom’s Master of Coin. Then she hands me back a dime. A God damn dime!

“I can’t accept this. It’s a Canadian dime.” she told us. We were down to one dollar and ninety cents. 

I explained that was all change, all the money, we had to give her. All we had left were pennies. We aready knew she didn’t want those either. Somewhere in the distance behind us a car horn honked. It could have honked all day, it wouldn’t have given us the dime we needed. Thankfully, by the grace of God, she waved us through. We were relieved to be allowed to return home. 

As were the thousands who were waiting behind us.

Never again did we cross that bridge without knowing first hand that we had the money to get back across it. 

Bang took his American quarter home and put it right in his wallet. He knows three more will get him a cookie from Tim Hortons.

A Living Museum from 1745

©Eric Wood/allinadadswork.wordpress.com

Imagine living in a remote location, possible across a cold, giant ocean. Also, it’s 250 years ago. The village you have settled is among the best fishing waters in the world. Your village’s currency is now cod. Though, you yourself still deal with your native France’s livre. In the summer there would be 7-8,000 people. Just 1 or 2,000 come winter time. It was so successful, so profitable that walls 30 feet high were built. 800 soldiers are commissioned to protect the fishing grounds and the village. 400 fishing vessels fill the harbor every day.

Today, just one fifth of that village and it’s reconstructed buildings exist. Its inhabitants are merely actors, characters to educate. Today, a living museum stands in its place. It is a very interesting piece of history.

Settled in 1713 by France the fishing port grew and by the mid 1740s it was the 3rd busiest port in North America after Boston and Philadelphia. The British, seeing it’s success, laid siege to the fortress in 1745 and won. The French tried and failed to take it back the following year. In 1748, the British returned it to France for lands in Austrian Netherlands and a trading post in India. In 1754 a few skirmishes developed into the French and Indian War which expanded into the Seven Years’ War in 1756. In 1758 the British regained control of the fortress after a six week siege. Two years later the British systematically destroyed the fortifications to prevent the French from using the port when peace returned to Cape Breton Island.

Upon our arrival a French soldier greeted us in full uniform complete with musket. He informed us we needed to be out by 5:00 before the gates closed. Should we not be out before the closing we would be stuck inside the fortress but not to worry, there would be plenty of space in the jail to sleep. Our poor little Bang, seeing a soldier in uniform with a gun five feet long, didn’t understand that he was just an actor and he couldn’t stop his tears. Fortunately, the soldier was kind-hearted and gently explained that he was only kidding. He showed him hat (which had fake hair on it to make it look like he had a pony tail) and his gun. Bang was good after that.

On our journey to the Fortress we told the boys that they could ask questions to the people there. Anything they wanted to know they could ask. All the people have French names so they could even ask them that. They are in character and will answer your question as if it is 1740. The Blacksmith, for instance, started working with his father in the forge when he was 7.


FB_IMG_1500347450259There was a cannon demonstration, too. Atop the fortress wall, from the hill upon which the top picture was taken, were two cannons (though they faced outward, of course). Once was loaded with six pounds of gunpowder and fired. The boys (and their parents) were seriously impressed. After the firing we were allowed to approach the armaments to see them for ourselves and to talk to the soldiers in charge. We were informed that the cannons could fire a cannonball 2 miles and it would take about 22 seconds to reach its target. Though the cannon was only accurate at a mile and a half. Again, we were impressed.


After that we listened to another soldier tell us about the muskets. How they work, how to use them, and how to fire it. We even got to see it fired. We were told that musketballs were extremely inaccurate, 50 yards was their maximum range. Soldiers weren’t to fire until they could see the whites of the enemies eyes. This demonstration was Bang’s favorite part of the day.

Just before we left, just before the gates closed, we saw a smaller cannon fire. The boys were impressed by the sound of it. Just think of what it sounded like with all 100 cannons firing along with those on the ships that were storming the harbor!

It was definitely a learning experience and one I hope the boys remember if not forever, at least for a very long time. Characters, questions, cannons, muskets, costumes, buildings, animals, blacksmiths, bread makers…

One busy port

Sunday Share: Week 29

*Stage whispering* There’s 160 days left!

I must not be well. I was in a bookstore yesterday with permission to buy books. That doesn’t happen often. I have a stack of books in my “to read” pile. I’m currently reading The Virgin Cure by Ami McKay. I highly recommend it. Anyway, here was I surrounded by thousands of books and I walk out empty handed. Well, not really empty. Crash bought a Warriors book about cats and Bang got Little Miss Stubborn and an early reader Star Wars book. I got nothing. Did I not know which ones I wanted? Was I so torn in my decision to choose one that I chose none? Was I really content with the number of books I have? 

For now, we’ll pick D) All of the above. 

What are you reading? How about these 5 posts…

Daughter of Nature
I haven’t received a notification for it, yet, but I think Neeraja was my 1,000th follower! Thanks, Neeraja, Daughter of Nature!

The Salty Mamas
Where I learned “mompreneur” is word and what it means…

An Every Day Dad
On babies and genders…

The Return of the Modern Philosopher
My favorite Snapple drinker makes a Hellish deal…

Who’s My Favorite Today?
A cultural learning experience in Ecuador…

 

Go Ask Your Father: Pizza, Condensation, Swimming lessons, and Wine

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There are light ones. There are dark ones. DW likes the dark ones. There are big ones, and small ones. There are brown ones and blue ones and yellow ones and orange ones and green ones. Some have nuts, some have caramel, some have pretzels, some have peanut butter. Everyone has their favorite. There’s so much we can learn from a bowl of M&M’s. So much difference, so much deliciousness just hanging out in one place. If only the world were as friendly as your favorite bag of Ms.

1. When and where was pizza first made?

Who cares? All that matters is that we have pizza. I usually don’t trust people who don’t like pizza. It’s the perfect food. You can get your veggies. You can get your meat and dairy and grains. It’s the entire food pyramid on one perfect slice. Hot from the oven and you have a slice of heaven in your hand. However, where and when it came to Earth is much debated. First, you have to define what constitutes “pizza”. If it’s just a flat bread then pizza goes back to the ancient Babylonians, Israelites and Egyptians. If pizza is to have toppings then pizza goes back to the ancient Greeks and Romans who baked flat breads topped with olive oil and available spices. These days, though, we call that focaccia breads. The pizza we know and love with tomato sauce, cheese and stuff originated in Italy. It had been selling like hotcakes by street vendors. However, Raffaele Esposito from Naples is credited with the first pizza. Plagiarised pizza?

2. Why is there water on the outside?

That cup of ice cold Coke is sweatin’ like a pig in a bacon shop. Water puddles on the table at the bottom of my margarita glass. It’s because there’s water in the air. It’s hanging out there as vapor. All invisible and innocent thinking it’s the highest state water can exist in. Then it bumps into the cold glass. The sudden chill makes its molecules slow down and move closer together, like DW and I do in bed on a January night. When all those molecules collect (like the family in bed on Sunday morning) they form visible drops of water. We call it condensation. You can see it on the bathroom mirror after a hot shower. On your eye glasses when you come in from the cold. On glass of ice cold Coke or a frosty margarita.

3. Can we practice swimming again?

A friend has allowed us to use their pool. Found out today it’s 18 feet wide and 32 feet long and about 52 inches deep. This equals 359,424 cubic feet of cool, refreshing water. They love the company, we love the pool (and the company, too). They have 2 incredible granddaughters who the boys enjoy playing and swimming with. Their oldest swims like a fish, like our oldest. The first time we were invited to their pool, their youngest (4 years old) was just learning to swim. Today she was swimming to the bottom for the sinker toys like she was a dolphin. We convinced Bang he could do that, too, if he practiced. Off came his life jacket. Bang said he wanted to practice for 2 minutes. 30 minutes later and he was still practicing. Swimming is a life skill, especially for us because live on an island. By end of summer I predict he’ll be a dolphin, too. Good thing he likes fish.

4. What’s that wine called?

yt-moscato-263x820Remember that friend who invites us to swim in her pool? She give you wine to drink while your kids are swimming. This our secret spot so don’t bother asking. I’d have to kill you if I told you. Today, as a repayment, we took her a bottle of wine. The boys know we enjoy a glass of wine. That ain’t no secret. So they tell us when they’re 19 (the legal drinking age here in Canadaland) they’ll drink wine with us. The wine we chose to share today was a Yellowtail Moscato.

This [yellow tail] Moscato is everything a great wine should be – zingy, refreshing and easy to drink. Passionfruit and melon. Well chilled on its own or with spicy Asian-inspired food. ~ Yellowtail website

It’s good wine and I don’t even like melon. It’s slightly bubbly, slightly sweet, and when you’re poolside, it’s as delicious as a Raffaele Esposito special.

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Questions I Asked My Kids About Camping

It’s official. We’re booked for 3 nights at a campsite in PEI. We’re meeting DW’s brother and his wife and 4 kids there. The boys are excited for multiple reasons, A) we get to sleep in a tent and B) they’ll get to play with their cousins for three days.

Also, we have a free pass for two nights of camping in a national/provincial park. The PEI trip is booked at a family campground. Wide open spaces, but lots for the kids to do. Bang wants to go (and I do, too) camping in a forest (as you’ll read in just a moment). So perhaps we’ll use the 2 night pass for forest camping. We might need a few practice nights in the backyard. Though, what I’m most nervous about what to feed the youngest, pickiest eater besides cookies, granola bars, and crackers.

1. What does it mean to go camping?

Crash: When you put up a tent, talk in a tent, roast marshmallows and stay up til 12:00
Bang: Like roast marshmallows, have fun, and sleep in a tent. You don’t do that at real bedtime

2. What is going to be the most fun about camping?

Crash: Going to Shinning Waters, if we go. (Shinning Waters is a water park so his favorite thing about our planned camping trip has nothing do with camping)
Bang: Roasting marshmallows, probably. Because i burn them

3. What do you want to do while we’re camping?

Crash: Doing our own comedy shows inside the tent
Bang: Go to sleep… err no.. Eat cookies

4. How many nights to you want to sleep in a tent?

Crash: 4 would be good
Bang: 30 years

5. What animal would be really cool to see while we’re camping?

Crash: A moose or an owl
Bang: Deer. I haven’t seen one in like ages

 

6. What is something you hope doesn’t happen while we’re camping?

Crash: The tent catches on fire
Bang:  A bear breaks into our tent

7. What would you do if we saw a bear while camping?

Crash: I know what I do! I would slowly walk away from it because in a book it told you how escape from a bear and it said to slowly walk away from it.
Bang: Get our guns out and shoot in the nose?
Me: Do we have guns?
Bang: We have toy guns.
Me: So you want to shoot it with a Nerf dart?
Bang: Yeah

8. Where (besides PEI) do you want to go camping?

Crash: Disneyland
Bang: In a forest. I’ve never been into the forest.

9. What are we going to eat when we go camping?

Crash: Probably granola bars and cheese and crackers
Bang: Junk, like cookies, granola bars. Oh, don’t forget my favorite kind of crackers from playgroup.

10. What is something we should do to be safe while camping?

Crash: Always have a first aid kit and don’t lose your mind and wander off.
Bang: Stick together so we don’t get lost.

Camping Quote

Put Me In, Coach!

I’ve been playing baseball since I could stand and swing a bat. Back then I wouldn’t throw. I wouldn’t give mom a turn at hitting. As I got older I learned to enjoy fielding. Making the plays. Diving catches, pitching from the mound, and throws out at first base.

I was an infielder back then.

Later, in University, my brother and I joined a men’s modified pitch (fast pitch, but underhand) softball team. I became an outfielder. Chasing down fly balls, throws out at home plate, and robbing homeruns.

That was 20 years ago. I haven’t played since.

This year, I’m finding myself in a slightly different role. Coach. I got a taste of it last summer and it tasted good. One game last year Crash’s coaches couldn’t make the game so another Dad and I stepped up and said we’d do it. We lost, but we and the team had fun losing. So when they were looking for coaches for this season, we stepped up again.

Now I find myself torn.

With this league being what’s called a “house league” there are no tryouts, no one gets cut, everyone makes a team. Since it’s an all-play there is a wide variety of skill levels. There are 1st season kids who haven’t played before. There are 2nd seasoners who are okay, but still have some needed improvement. There are also kids who have been playing much longer who understand the game and can make the plays.

What I’m torn between is giving kid the experience they want playing the position they want and playing kids in the position I know they can play and giving us the best possiblities for a win.

Winning is fun. Playing outfield sucks.

If I play to win, the game could end sooner. If I play for the kids’ experience, the game could drag on and on worse than watching Star Wars episodes I, II, and III.

If I play to win then the kids who are at an advanced level get to play a bit more than everyone else. That’s one thing I’ve been trying my hardest not to do. I give everyone the same amount of playing time no matter good they are.

We all want to win, but we all also want to pitch and play first base. Can’t have all 9 of them on first base. So I battle to get the kids to play where they want and still keep the game moving quickly and end up with a win.

As of right now we’ve won one, tied one, and lost two.

What would you do? Play the kids so you win or play the kids so they get to play where they want even if they struggle to play that position?

Now swing on over and follow me on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram! Homerun!

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Monday Share: Week 28

For those who are counting there are just 167 days left until Christmas. For those who aren’t counting there are still 167 days until Christmas.

Today I’d like to honor the seven 8 blogs who appear in my email that I make sure I read. Skim if I don’t have time to fully read. But I read and comment when I can. Some are on journeys. Some are insightful. Some are just plain funny. It’s a good can of mixed nuts.

Modern Mommy Madness
The hardest one to forgive

Dorky Mom Doodles
Fun bags… need I say more?

Home With Peanut
Toddler Hulking. We’ve all been there. We’ve all handled it in our own way.

A Momma’s View
It’s not the mountain that changes…

Four Princesses and the Cheese
Brought to you by the number 0 and the letter F

Coach Daddy
Teacher? Maestro? Guru? Jedi? Nah, Coach is cool.

Grubbs n Critters
Conquering the next 6 months!

Sounds Like Life To Me
On toilet problems and a song to get you through…

Me. On Twitter. On Instagram. On Facebook. #RockTheHashtag

Next week will be a follow your own adventure kind of Sunday Share.

handstand beach

This Summer’s Schedule

I love summer.

I love winter, too. But summer is way hotter.

Unfortunately, it’s not conducive to blogging. The kids are home all day. They either need entertaining or forced encouraged to clean something. They magically get along when they’re told to clean. It’s like a miracle.

Then there’s traveling. We don’t go far. Basically, around the block. Though we did make it to the beach yesterday.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Of course, we got home a bit late and after a day of sun, sand, surf, and supper, blogging didn’t make the to do list.

Then there’s the later than usual bedtime every night because “It’s still light out!” and “My friends get to stay up until dark!” By the time they’re finally asleep all I have left is to watch as many Game of Thrones episodes we can fit in.

Which is usually one.

There’s also baseball. It’s going to take up more time than a Lord of the Rings extended version trilogy marathon. Actually, that’s about the same length as just one game. This year, however, I have stepped into the role of Coach for Crash’s team. Yes, I’m a Coach Daddy. Except for baseball. I’ve coached soccer and wrestling and golf. This is my first stint at baseball. So far, so good. We haven’t lost! We won one and tied one. We have three games next week. Sunday. Monday. Tuesday. So we’ll be spending a good portion of our summer on the field of dreams.

The boys have been begging to go camping. I love camping and used to camp frequently. I’ve never taken along two rambunctious kids. I would love to teach them what I know about camping and the wilderness and the night sky without light pollution and about cheese filled crust pizza (but not while camping). There are a few day trips we’d like to take and trip to visit DW’s brother and sister-in-law. The boys love playing with their cousins.

I’ll be TweetingInstagramming and Facebook our adventures so feel free to follow along. What will you be doing this summer?

Sorry, South-of-the-Equatorians, what will you be doing this winter?