Monday Share: Week 31

I’ve learned a lot since I started coaching baseball this summer. For instances, it doesn’t matter if you win or lose, but it does matter how you win or lose. I’ve learned that it’s also not about winning and losing, it’s about how much fun you had. Lastly, I learned that winning is more fun. There is a post in progress about it, actually. Tonight, however, our ball team won. There were good plays made in the field. There were good hits made at the plate. There was even a homerun. We allowed just 1 run in the first inning and 2 runs in the last 3 innings. We won 17-11.

Now here are some winning posts…

A Momma’s View
On seeing for the first time what’s been there the whole time…

WonderOak
On what to say (and not to say) to a mom with full hands…

Four Princesses and the Cheese
When minds spin like spin classes…

Grubbs-n-Critters
On a nail polish that both excites and saddens at the same time…

Home with Peanut
On the funniest meme’s on Facebook

All In A Dad’s Work
On kids answering questions about an upcoming trip…

winning

If you’re looking for a winning social media site you can find and follow me on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. For a grand slam, follow me on all four!

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Questions I Asked My Kids

Kids are fountains of youth and knowledge. I ask mine questions all the time while they still know it all. We leave for a short camping trip with DW’s brother, his wife, and their 4 kids in 6 sleeps. The boys are as excited to see their cousins as they are to sleep in a tent for 3 nights. We’ll be visiting the neighboring province, Prince Edward Island. Home of the fabled Anne of Green Gables, PEI potatoes, Cows Ice Cream, and an alpaca that, four years ago, scared a certain 2 year old for years.

PEI 2013

We will try to recreate this image from 4 years ago…

1. What are you most looking forward to doing in PEI?

Crash: Hanging out in the thing… the tent and trading Pokemon with my cousins. And going to Shining Waters
Bang: Roasting marshmallows (he doesn’t eat them, just roasts them)

2. Who is Anne of Green Gables?

Crash: A girl and she was in a bunch of movies but I completely forget who she is
Bang: Pime Minister?

3. How long will it take to get to PEI?

Crash: Probably about 75 minutes
Bang: 18,000 minutes
(It will take 4 hours)

4. What is something we should do while we are in PEI?

Crash: Go to Shining Waters
Bang: Ride our scooters

5. How many S’mores will you eat in 3 days?

Crash: 10+
Bang: Zero because I don’t like them with marshmallows on them

6. What is something you want to learn about while you’re in PEI?

Crash: Who Anne of Green Gables is
Bang: Being safe

7. What is something you remember from last time we were there? (4 years ago)

Crash: That I got my Cows Ice Cream shirt that said “Gangnum Cow”
Bang: I got scared by the alpaca (an alpaca was laying behind a wall and stood suddenly when Bang approached scaring him. For the longest time we kept him out of places (such as basements) by telling him there alpacas in there)

8. What will we do if it rains while we’re camping?

Crash: Me and my cousins will trade Pokemon cards
Bang: Go in the tent

9. What’s your favorite animal?

Crash: Cat because they’re stealthy and cool
Bang: Camel because people can ride on my humps

10. What country would be fun to visit?

Crash: Houston, Texas
Bang: Alberta… no wait, Newfoundland!
(Seems we need some geography lessons)

Alexander Graham Bell

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Beinn Bhreagh (I say Ben Bree-uh) Alexander and Mabel’s home

He is more than just the inventor of the telephone. He’s an expat who came not just to Canada, not just to Nova Scotia, but to Cape Breton Island. Just like me. Though he was born in Scotland, not America. He was a teacher for the deaf. I think my kids are deaf, sometimes. He was an inventor. The only thing I’ve invented so far are new ways to annoy DW. In that I am excelling.

Alec came to Canada, originally to an area near Brampton, Ontario, in 1870. This is 130 years after the British destroyed the French Fortress of Louisbourg. Once here, he continued working on methods to teach the deaf. He created the System of Visible Speech which helped deaf students learn to speak by allowing them to visualize the sounds.

Mabel Hubbard’s inability to hear inspired her father to work with those who were also deaf. He also founded the first school for the deaf in the US, the Clarke School for the Deaf. She eventually became one of Alexander’s pupils. Because she was educated in both Europe and the US she learned to speak and lip read in four language. When she was 19 and he 29 they married at her family’s house.

One story says that during arguments Mabel would turn her back on Alec so that she could not read his lips effectively making his argument null and void.

On March 10, 1876, just 3 days after receiving his patent, Bell spoke to his colleague, Thomas Watson, through his telephone

Come here. I want to see you.

Watson heard him clearly on the other end of the line. Wouldn’t they be impressed to see how far advanced his telephone is today? No wires needed. Though maybe not. Shortly after the telephone’s success, he and a partner developed a way to transmit a voice message on a beam of light. He would later say that that was his greatest accomplishment. Little did he know this achievement would directly lead to fiber-optic communication.

That wasn’t all of Bell’s accomplishments.

He created a metal detector which was successfully used on a patient to find a bullet, though the patient died. Unfortunately, the patient was President James Garfield.

He created hydrofoils – a slight combination of boat and plane.

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He worked extensively with kites. His favorite being tetrahedral (triangular pyramid) that were so big they had to be towed with a boat to gain lift.

In 1909, Bell and his associates witnessed their plane, The Silver Dart, take flight from the frozen Bras d’Or Lake, becoming the first powered flight in Canada.

Amoeba

What’s even more is that we where it all happened. Baddeck, Nova Scotia. There is a museum dedicated to Alexander Graham Bell’s life and works. The boys got to make their own kite. They got to see exactly how Alec lived and taught and all that he created. They saw a life size hydrofoil. They saw the Silver Dart.  They got to see the 37 room house of the Bells (from the outside). They got to take a ride on a 67′ schooner, the Amoeba, on the lake where Alexander performed his experiments with kites and hydrofoils. On the lake of which The Silver Dart took flight.

 

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Fun Fact Bonus!

Beinn Bhreagh means “beautiful mountain”. The house has 37 rooms, 11 of them are bedrooms. It has 17 fireplaces. It cost them $22,000 1893 dollars to complete and sits on 600 acres.

 

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