Sunday, 29 January 2017

Looking for fun???

So, we're flying back from Orlando, on a 6:50 am Air Canada Rouge flight this morning. We're exhausted (lights out at 11, up at 4, with very little sleep between due to sniffy, sneezy, coughy kids), so perhaps this isn't as funny as I think it is, but here goes.

Air Canada Rouge is even cheaper (read: worse) than Air Canada. There are no screens on the seat backs, or even hanging from the ceiling. The menu has about 10 items, most of them candy. Chris asked the flight attendant for a cup of water when she was passing by collecting garbage, and she responded, “You can get water at the back. If I had to remember everyone that asked for a glass of water, you'd never get it.” Ummm...alright.... I tried to reframe it as a serve-yourself buffet. With tap water. Still nope.

And they don't even wear the hats anymore.

But the BEST part by far is the card they provide in the seat pocket.

Photo credit:  Sid & Iggy's Travel Blog
Since there is no other entertainment whatsoever (see also, no hats), they give you 6 suggestions for “having fun now!” by making crafts with your air sickness bag!  Wow!  You can make a mask, an octopus, a hook hand, and, my favourite, a crown. Because obviously, if you're royalty, and you're flying Air Canada Rouge, you probably left your regular crown at home. Or forgot it in your royal carriage.  Or maybe it burned up when a dragon smashed your castle, set fire to all your clothes and kidnapped Ronald.  Either way, the Fun Card seems a bit like they're rubbing salt into the wound.  Sure, you're so poor you have to fly on Air Canada Rouge, but there's no need to make you wear crowns out of air sickness bags.  That's just mean.  "Here you go, princess. Enjoy your flight!" 

 Unfortunately, you can only pick one "fun" craft per passenger, not 6 as promised, because you only have ONE airsickness bag.  So choose wisely!  And they don't have any more suggestions for you once you make your craft. "Oh, now you're feeling a little sick, princess? Why, just take off your crown and barf into it! 

"Well, through it, I guess." 


Anyhoo, after breakfast and naps, the kids were allowed to play on their leap pads for part of the flight.  Vaughn's battery was running low, so he asked for a charger. Then Ailsa needed one, too. Chris was trying to see the outlet (down low, in shadow) and asked me if there was a USB port on it.  After a lot of manoeuvering and trying to shine my flashlight app on it, I reported that there wasn't one.  But then I had a brilliant idea.

"Hey!  Maybe you could make one from a barf bag!"

I possibly laughed for way too long.

Sunday, 15 January 2017

DG knocks it out of the park. Ish.

Thursday was a good day.  The kids are back at school, I'm feeling more like myself, and I've sort of sorted out the whole "puppy" thing, in that Ziggy has, of late, become a far more relaxed and delightful companion.

I managed to go to the gym, write for a while, paint the board that would be our travelling growth chart for the kids, finally start working on the curtains for our living room, and make a shepherd's pie from scratch.

Hold up!  The above makes me sound far too awesome to be real, so let me explain:  I had 4 months off to recover, regain my shape, finish projects around the house, and write, and the clock is now ticking loudly.  I don't want to go back to work without having accomplished any of the arbitrary goals I set for myself, and since January 1st, I've felt intense pressure while also feeling more fear of failure than usual.  It's been really, really great.

The gym is a terrible place for me right now.  I have to go.  I want to go.  But I also want to look and feel good while I'm there, and let's face it, I'm just not there yet.  I've lost 19 of the 30 pounds I'd gained, but there are still 11 to go, and I'm not happy with how I look AND with how much effort it currently takes to hold in my stomach.  Not cool.

I'm trying to write every day (obviously not on this blog), but it's hard to get started, then hard to stop, and I neglect the dog, my water-drinking, and the house when I'm absorbed in it.

The growth chart had been written with Sharpies on the doorframe between the kitchen and dining room in our last house.  Since we lived there from when little Vaughn was 21 months old till he was 7 1/2, it had a lot of marks, memories and meaning.  I was considering using tools to take it with us when we moved here, however, tools and I have a challenging relationship; I'm pretty sure that gently ripping a giant hole in the house would not have gone over well with the new owners or with Fis.  So, I took a long piece of waxed paper and a marker, and copied each and every mark, initial and date.  I have been terrified that the waxed paper would be thrown out accidentally*, but managed to conserve it.  Thursday night, I transferred those marks onto the new board, and on Friday, I drilled holes and screwed it into the wall by our basement stairs.  We celebrated by measuring their new heights...and yes, they have grown!

I started the curtains, but I am not ready to talk about them yet.  I will possibly never be.  Let's just drop it.

The shepherd's pie, or German Shepherd's pie, as we call it around here**, was spectacular.  I told the kids I made it, and they didn't believe me (full disclosure:  Shepherd's pie usually comes from the grocery store).  I added extra vegetables to the perfectly-spiced meat layer (see also, Still Fat), put lots of corn on top of that, and kept the mashed potatoes lighter than usual, adding a few cloves of garlic to the water as it boiled the potatoes, and mashing them together with only a little butter and milk, for probably the fluffiest mash I've ever made.  Delicious, amazing, perfect... a true tribute to my --

Ok, it may have slightly poisoned Fis.

I have always given him a hard time about purchasing Discount Meat from time to time at the grocery store, but hey, he sez, a deal's a deal.  So, I got a club pack of extra lean ground beef with a 30% off sticker, used half of it for Taco Tuesday.  He wasn't feeling great on Wednesday morning, but shook it off (ish), while blaming the ground beef.  A little counter to the "use it tonight!" sticker, I used the rest of it for Thursday's shepherd's pie.  On Friday morning, I agreed with him (to myself) that perhaps we were all poisoned.

Don't tell Fis, but I'm still taking it as a win.

* Silly me.  In a family with 4 packrats, my favourite activity is throwing stuff out.  The amount of paper and art these kids generate is incredible, and Fis' filing system for bills, notices, statements and every receipt ever does not include a document disposal element.  At all.  It would have been absolutely shocking if anything made its way to the garbage can or paper recycling without me.

**  German Shepherd's pie:  it's alsatianal!