Monday, November 25, 2013

The Week - no - Month That Was


As inspired by our Manitoulin farming friends and our Thanksgiving dinner guests,
we have now started to receive organic fruit/veg box delivery every other week.
It is a fun challenge to see if I can cook it all up before it goes to waste. 

Walking home from daycare.  We still do not have a car.
Now the leaves are gone, but for a while Henry was well-coordinated with the autumn foliage.

Halloween! Henry is still learning how his body works.
His enjoyment of Halloween was rather hampered by fighting with his bowels.

After many weeks, many tears, many fiber cookies and laxatives, our first success!

But then, nothing can get Fireman Henry down!

Luther provides some moral support.

A short but very sweet visit from Taed and Bubbi.

Henry at a 3rd birthday party with a Chinchilla on his head.

Mr. Brave.

Mr. Brave a 2nd time.  He didn't want to be outdone by the girls.

Buying cheese from the butcher, they gave Henry 2 slices of salami.  Happy camper.

A good friend had an extra ticket, didn't know much about Mazzy Star,
but highly recommended for post-midnight listening. 
This is Henry's preferred position for dealing with poo.

A quick trip to Ottawa (see last post).  The view from Gatineau hotel room just after 6am.
Note the traffic jam.  A bit of a taxi nightmare.

Ode to Paddington Bear's cookbook (and Christine McN!)

Speed racer!

Henry's 2nd home

Christmas trees are here!

Going to the bake sale to look for more dinosaur cookies.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

The Blonde Approach to Reducing Carbon Emissions

I'm sitting in business class on a VIA rail train going from Toronto to Ottawa.

After getting on the wrong car and trying to kick some gentlemen out of "my seat" I discovered I was in the wrong car.  Then I forget my coat in the overhead bin and a kind man ran after me.  I then tried to kick a lady out of "my seat" in the business class car, only to discover that all along I was looking at the seat number for my return journey.  

After the clearly "blonde" probably-mother-of-young-child (who incidentally didn't sleep between 3:30-6:00 due to his cough and fever), settled down, the magic of business class settled in.  While the wi-fi is excruciatingly slow and I've resorted to working offline, almost as soon as we pulled out of union station the free booze started flowing.  Then we got free dinner: stuffed roast pork with roast potatoes and veg, fresh bread roll, chocolate mouse square and more wine and coffee.

I decided against a short-haul flight (1 hour) between Toronto and Ottawa for both environmental and stress reasons.  I love the low-key aspects to train travel; the freedom to walk around, use electronics and not worry too much about packing banned substances.  For instance I took a full aerosol can of hairspray and 200ml of facial lotion in my carry-on suitcase!  While the travel time is 4 hours, I only had to show up 30 minutes before boarding (but I showed up only 20 minutes ahead of time), I can work non-stop if I wish and feel super productive.  If I flew, I would need to arrive in the best-case scenario with Porter out of Billy Bishop Island Airport 45 min before the flight.  But this would involve a taxi ride down to Bathurst, taking the 1 minute ferry, waiting in the check-in line, baggage check, etc...  Then another 1 hour in the sky, followed by a 30 minute taxi ride to the hotel.  So about 2.5 hours all told.  

So probably I'm spending an extra 2 hours travelling by taking the train.  But those 2 extra hours as well as the rest of the time, will be 100% productive and stress-free.  So long as I'm able to find the right seat.  We'll see how easily I'm able to find my hotel room tonight...sheesh! 

What's more, I believe in reducing my carbon-footprint whenever possible.  My understanding is that short-haul flights are the least environmentally friendly.  This website, the Man in Seat 61 is a long-time favourite of mine and an excellent guide for anyone looking to travel anywhere by rail.  This link outlines that taking the train is roughly 90% less polluting than flying short-haul.

Also, I hope that by choosing rail over air, I'm putting in a vote towards building a high-speed rail network in Canada.  To me this is a no-brainer so long as funding and safety are adequately addressed.  


It has been a while since my last blog and a post should be forthcoming to catch up in pictures.  

I will say however that Henry is impressing me lately with his singing, counting and spelling.  He woke up one morning and starting pumping his fist and making symbol crashing sounds before launching into a convincing rendition of "Oh Canada" followed by another symbol crash at the end.  We believe they changed the tape at school recently, as they play the anthem every morning.  

Henry is able to identify, I would guess about 75% of the letters of the alphabet, and can spell out 3 letter words like car, cat, hot etc...  He is also able to count to 20, and do very basic adding and subtracting like, what's one plus one?  What's 3 plus 1?

I'm hoping to sign him up for music lessons in the new year, but this is still tbd.  

This next month and a bit leading up to Christmas look to be filled with bake sales, choir rehearsals, more baking, and present buying/making and shopping etc...  We've already started Henry's list to Santa, and can't wait to see how much more he is able to take in this year as a 3 year old.  

Let the magic begin!